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Is There Anybody Out There?: Illegal Abortion, Social Work, Advocacy and Interventions in the Philippines
Ersta Sköndal University College, Institutionen för socialvetenskap.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Unsafe abortion is a worldwide reproductive health issue and a contributing factor of high numbers of maternal death in the developing world. Many international conferences and assemblies acknowledge the issue and urge governments to take action. Abortion is a phenomenon surrounded by strong opinions, many times regulated by restrictive laws as well as socio-ethical, religious and cultural norms. Factors often active in making abortion a clandestine procedure which take place under unsafe conditions.The Philippines have one of the most restrictive laws on abortion in the world, but it does not diminish the occurrence of abortion in the country. There is unmet need for family planning that in turn makes way for unwanted pregnancies ending in unsafe abortion. Attempts in congress aiming at providing universal reproductive health service are being opposed and the issue of abortion is surrounded by its criminal ban and a great social stigma. The Roman Catholic Church is very present in the Philippine society and also offers a powerful voice against abortion and equally rejects modern contraception.This study look into how the issue of abortion – under its criminal ban – is being dealt with and if there are any actors/groups/organisations of social work, within the reproductive health sector or women’s organisations acting upon this, making abortion an issue and a part of their work. It asks if there is any advocacy for abortion in the Philippines and any interventions for the women concerned. If so, how is abortion spoken about and understood and how is that notion put into action? Groups are identified as either anti-abortion or pro-abortion, two discourses addressing abortion as a public health issue in fundamentally different ways.There are groups that might not be public about their opinion being pro-abortion, as they do not wish to get on the wrong side of the general opinion or negatively affect their reputation. Some pro-abortion groups are found acting against the law by providing safe abortions for these women. Trough social constructivist glasses this study look at the structure surrounding abortion in the Philippines, analysing how these discourses are being reconstructed and transferred under different postulations as anti-abortion or pro-abortion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 73 p.
Keyword [en]
Abortion, unsafe abortion, anti-abortion, pro-abortion, maternal death, reproductive rights, family planning, social work, human rights, Catholic Church, social constructivism, discourse.
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-1819OAI: diva2:574793
Educational program
Socionomprogrammet, inriktning mot etik och livsåskådning
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-12-12 Created: 2012-12-06 Last updated: 2012-12-12Bibliographically approved

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Institutionen för socialvetenskap
Social Work

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