The Philippines rolls back advances in postabortion care policy

Many thanks to Melissa Upreti and Jihan Jacob for their update on Philippine post-abortion care policy, published in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.  We are pleased to circulate the reference and abstract:

Melissa Upreti and Jihan Jacob, “The Philippines rolls back advancements in the postabortion care policy,”  International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics August 2018; 142: 255–256.   PDF online  Submitted text  at SSRN.

Abstract:  In 2018, the Philippines announced a postabortion care policy that rolls back crucial
safeguards aimed at protecting women who seek medical treatment for postabortion
complications from discrimination and abuse. It replaces another policy that was introduce in 2016, following years of advocacy by national and international advocates who were concerned about the mistreatment of women seeking postabortion care due to discriminatory practices in the health system and abortion stigma. The new policy is narrower in scope than the previous policy and reinforces abortion stigma by emphasizing the legal prohibition on abortion, failing to clarify that women seeking postabortion care need not be reported to the authorities, and not recognizing the availability of complaint mechanisms for women who are mistreated. These and other crucial gaps put the new policy at risk of being in violation of ethical standards of medical care and guarantees of human rights.

Abortion; Criminal behavior; Discrimination; Ethical standards; Mistreatment of patients;  Philippines policy reform; Postabortion care; Stigma.

Full text:    PDF online  Submitted text  at SSRN.:

Previous article: “The Philippines’ New Postabortion Care Policy,” by Melissa Upreti and Jihan Jacob.   International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 141.2 (May 2018): 268-275.  PDF at Wiley onlineSubmitted text online at SSRN.


Publications by Philippine NGOs: EnGendeRights and Pinsan, the Philippine Safe Abortion Advocacy Network  Philippines postabortion care policy resources.

Saving Women’s Lives:   National Policy on the Prevention and Management of Abortion Complications (DOH AO No. 2016-0041)   Frequently Asked Questions, by EnGenderRights and PINSAN, Dec 2017.  Download 36 pages.

Policy Brief: Access to Safe and Legal Abortion and Post-Abortion Care Can Save
Filipino Women’s Lives, by Clara Rita Padilla  (EnGendeRights, December 2016).

Fact Sheets:  “Safe and Legal Abortion Saves Women’s Lives”  by Clara Rita Padilla (EnGendeRights, Dec. 2016):
1.  Public Health Concerns and Social Costs of Lack of Access to Safe and Legal Abortion and Post-Abortion Care.    Fact Sheet 1
2. Liberalizing Abortion Laws Will Save Women’s Lives: Asian, Predominantly Catholic Countries, and Former Spanish colonies Allowing safe and Legal Abortion; The Philippine Constitution Allows Access to Safe and Legal Abortion  Fact Sheet 2.
3. Philippine Constitutional Guarantees, Comparative Law, International and Regional Human Rights Standards Support the Right to Safe and Legal AbortionFact sheet 3.

Ethical and Legal Issues in Reproductive Health – 86+ concise articles published in the International Journal of Gynecology and ObstetricsEthical/Legal articles.

Compiled by the Coordinator of the International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, reprohealth*law at For Program publications and resources, see our website, online here. TO JOIN THIS BLOG: enter your email address in upper right corner of this webpage, then check your email to confirm the subscription.

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