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Letter of Opposition to Abortion

dr-ryan-capitulo

Greetings! I am writing this letter to express my STRONG OPPOSITION to all proposed bills to decriminalize or legalize abortion (induced or on-demand) in the Philippines for the following reasons:

1. The fetus is NOT just a part of a pregnant woman’s body that she can dispose of for any reason. The embryo, fetus or unborn baby has a unique DNA derived from paternal and maternal DNA. Even if the fetus is attached to the woman’s body via the placenta, the fetal DNA is distinct from the pregnant woman’s DNA. As such, a woman cannot claim that the fetus in her womb is a part of her body like an appendage. Moreover, women are not allowed to remove any part of their bodies whenever they want to. A woman cannot just go to a surgeon asking for amputation of a finger or removal of any internal organs just because she desires to. Surgical removal of body parts with no medical indication is unethical and tantamount to mutilation. The fetus is NOT a body part of the mother but a different person growing and developing in the mother’s womb.

2. Even if the embryo, fetus or unborn baby is TOTALLY DEPENDENT on the mother for survival, growth and nourishment, the mother does not have the right to terminate this relationship and kill her baby. Newborn babies, toddlers and young children are totally dependent on their parents for survival and yet parents are not allowed to kill them for whatever reasons. People with disabilities, patients with terminal illness and elderly citizens are totally dependent on their caregivers for survival and yet no one is allowed to kill them for any reason. Filipinos value and love life in all stages, from fertilization to natural death. Filipino culture respects the value and dignity inherent in all human beings. Human dignity is not dependent on utility: an unborn fetus or a bedridden elderly person has the same dignity as a person who works and contributes to society. Filipinos take pride that abortion and euthanasia are illegal in the Philippines, one of the few remaining countries in the world with such laws that respect and protect lives.

3. Abortion (induced or on-demand) harms women. While abortion inflicts the greatest harm to unborn babies resulting in death, this procedure has been proven to have deleterious effects on pregnant women as well. Elective abortion procedures would subject women to anesthesia and a surgical procedure with possible complications like bleeding, perforation, intrauterine adhesions, anesthetic side-effects, infections, etc. Undergoing an abortion procedure may also affect the mental health of women in the form of depression, persistent guilt feelings, decreased self-esteem, nightmares, regret and even eating disorders according to some reports in medical literature.

4. Abortion does NOT promote gender equality. Women do NOT need legalized abortion to be “equal” to men. Society must move towards ensuring that the responsibility for a pregnancy is shared by the pregnant woman and the man who impregnated her. Both men and women must be equally responsible for the pregnancy so that women are not unduly burdened even if their reproductive biology assigns gestation and childbirth solely to the female gender. Men must take responsibility or be held responsible by law, something that legislators can look into instead of discussing bills on legalizing abortion. Moreover, government agencies must enforce existing laws to ensure that pregnant women are given all opportunities to succeed and advance in their careers while caring for their children and building their families. Many Filipino mothers are able to balance a successful family life with success in their professional development. On the contrary, enacting abortion laws will further perpetuate the thinking that men are superior to women, that men need not be responsible for their actions, and that women will have to kill their unborn children just to achieve their goals.

5. Abortion is NOT healthcare and it is NOT necessary even for severely ill women. Filipino Obstetricians have been successfully managing pregnant Filipinas despite the absence of legal abortion. Women with complex medical conditions who become pregnant can be adequately managed by a multidisciplinary team of specialists to ensure excellent outcomes for these mothers and their babies. Legislators must pass laws to (a) modernize all government hospitals, (2) ensure access to excellent maternal and child care for the entire population, (3) increase the salaries of healthworkers so that specialists will choose to stay in the country, (4) increase the budget for health and other measures to take care of pregnant women, especially those considered as high-risk.

6. Legal abortion is NOT needed even for victims of sexual abuse. The crime of rape will NOT be undone by another crime of killing the unborn baby. Government must instead focus on providing appropriate care for sexually abused women. Adoption laws must be reviewed and revised accordingly in order to make adoption a feasible option for pregnant women who will choose not to keep their babies after delivery.

7. Legalizing abortion is NOT the solution for the problem of women dying after procuring an illegal abortion. Induced abortion is ILLEGAL in the Philippines as stated in the Philippine Constitution and the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines. Law enforcement agencies must implement these laws and close these illegal abortion clinics, imprison abortionists, close shops selling abortifacients, file cases against websites and social media accounts promoting abortion in the Philippines, and cancel seminars or meetings discussing abortion since this act is illegal.

Filipinos love and value the life of unborn babies in their mothers’ wombs. Majority of the Filipinos are satisfied that abortion is illegal in the Philippines. I urge you to keep abortion illegal in our country and to pass laws that will take care of pregnant women and their babies instead of harming them. Thank you! May GOD bless and keep you.

Yours truly,

RYAN B. CAPITULO, M.D., FPOGS, FIFEPAG
Registered Voter
Manila, 4th District

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1v6c1iDURhBD9Bp5OdOeWxQe3APACgCYG/view?fbclid=IwAR1xgsahR9hb4WtYclLVp_3Gxbml20wQYKVS4pGkNbERen9rrNLEnE-jQkw

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