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The Dangers of Unsafe Abortion And Where Women Can Seek Help

The Dangers of Unsafe Abortion And Where Women Can Seek Help

Abortion is illegal in the Philippines. This is why some women who had unintended pregnancy resort to unsafe abortion practices that endanger their lives. What are the dangers of unsafe abortion, and where can women reach out for help?

What Constitutes Unsafe Abortion

Unsafe abortion is any method that removes the baby from the mother’s womb. These result from procedures NOT DONE under the supervision of a board-certified, experienced doctor.

This includes drinking toxic substances, such as turpentine, bleach, or handmade concoctions sold illegally. Likewise, unsafe abortion also includes inflicting injury to the vagina or womb through insertion of medicines or foreign objects, like herbal medicines or a twig.

Of course, dilatation and curettage performed by unskilled people without a license is also unsafe.

The Dangers of Unsafe Abortion

On top of the possible psychological and emotional trauma, numerous physical consequences may also arise from unsafe abortion.The effects of these consequences may even persist for years.

The World Health Organization outlined these possible complications:

  • Hemorrhage
  • Infections
  • Incomplete abortion – when some pregnancy tissues still remain in the womb. This may cause both hemorrhage and infection.
  • Uterine perforation
  • Damage to the reproductive organs and other internal organs.

Of course, let’s not forget that unsafe abortion may lead to the woman’s death. In some case when the abortion doesn’t happen successfully and the baby survives, he or she, too may suffer long-term consequences.

If you have symptoms of complications of unsafe abortion, like bleeding, severe abdominal pain, and infection, please seek medical help immediately. The Philippines has post-abortive care act (RA 8344) that protects women seeking treatment for the complications of abortion from maltreatment and discrimination.

Where to Seek Help

Reports say abortion may be justified when performed to protect the life and health of the pregnant woman. But the Philippines is still unclear with regards to when abortion is legal.

That’s why it’s even more important for women with unintended pregnancy to know where they can seek help.

1. Department of Health Services

Instead of having unsafe abortion, consider availing of the DOH’s services, like the hospital-based center for teens.

The participating hospitals have a designated area or room where they attend to pregnant teens. They refer the teens to different services within the hospital, like prenatal care and delivery, and guide them through postpartum care.

2. Kaisang Buhay Foundation

Kaisang Buhay Foundation offers Community-Based Counseling and Referral Services to pregnant teens or women who feel lost and scared of disclosing their pregnancy to their family.

Among their many objectives is to “provide support to pregnant teens and women in making appropriate decisions whether to keep or make alternative plans for their child.”

Learn more about KBF’s Community-Based Counseling and Referral Services here.

3. Pregnancy Support Services of Asia

PSSA is a non-profit association that offers multiple services, like Crisis Intervention Services (host homes, providing baby clothing items, etc.), Pregnancy Crisis Counseling, and Post-Abortion Healing and Support.

If you want to get in touch, check out PSSA’s contact details here.

Considering Setting the Baby Up for Adoption

Another option for women who are still not prepared to become a mother is to set their baby up for adoption.

However, refrain from going through illegal channels. To protect the baby, get in touch with registered agencies.

Learn more about the process of adoption here in the Philippines in this article.

Key Takeaways

Unsafe abortion still happens in the Philippines and women should be made aware of its dangers. On top of being potentially fatal, unsafe abortion may also result in hemorrhage, infections, and injuries, such as imperforated uterus and damaged internal organs.

In case you have signs and symptoms of complications from an unsafe abortion, know that you can safely get treatment from hospitals around the country.

Learn more about Pregnancy here.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion in the Philippines: context and consequences, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24006559/, November 19, 2021

Unsafe Abortion: Unnecessary Maternal Mortality, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2709326/, November 19, 2021

Preventing unsafe abortion, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/preventing-unsafe-abortion,  November 19, 2021

The Philippines’ new postabortion care policy, https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ijgo.12452, November 19, 2021

Community-Based Pregnancy Counseling and Referral Services, https://www.kbf.ph/services/service-for-single-mothers/, November 19, 2021

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated a week ago
Fact Checked by Kristel Lagorza