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SC urged to affirm legality of RH Law

/ 06:00 AM March 20, 2014

Former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral: More teenage pregnancies

MANILA, Philippines—With teenage pregnancies on the rise, proponents of the reproductive health law on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to decide on the petitions challenging the measure and to uphold its constitutionality.

It has been a year since the tribunal issued a status quo ante order effectively stopping the implementation of the law, but available figures continue to support the need for such a measure, according to the Purple Ribbon for RH group.

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The Supreme Court is expected to deliberate on the petitions against the RH law on April 8 during its summer session in Baguio City.

The Purple Ribbon group’s lead convenor, former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral, said more teenage girls were getting pregnant and experiencing complications arising from pregnancies.

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According to the latest data from the National Statistics Office, the number of teenagers giving birth rose to 207,898 in 2010, up from 126,025 in 2000. The number of maternal deaths of women below 20 years old also increased from 94 to 168 from 2000 to 2010.

Teenage pregnancies cause complications, especially for those from impoverished families. They may be kicked out of their homes by their families and forced to stop schooling, leaving them with little resources to care for their children.

Pregnant adolescents are also more likely to have unsafe abortions, according to the World Health Organization.

If the RH law is implemented, these teenagers can be educated on the facts about their sexuality and reproductive health, Cabral told a press briefing.

The RH law contains a provision mandating age-appropriate sexuality education in public schools.

“The call of the Purple Ribbon campaign to the … Justices of the Supreme Court is to take into consideration the future of the youth and women and uphold the RH law,” Cabral said in a press briefing.

According to Cabral, there has been little sex education for children because adults tend to think that children do not think about sex. Catholic Church leaders also object to sexuality education.

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TAGS: Esperanza Cabral, legality, reproductive health, RH law, Supreme Court, Women
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