Guide A Virgin in the Philippines

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In the Philippines, a former U. Philippine law mandates prison terms of up to six years for people who have abortions and for anyone who assists in the procedure.

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Arrests and convictions of women and abortion providers are commonly reported in local media, and United Nations committees repeatedly note that the abortion ban disproportionately harms socioeconomically disadvantaged women and members of other vulnerable groups. Opposition to abortion in the United States is principally driven by the religious right, in a rare alliance between evangelical Protestants and the Catholic Church. In the Philippines, where over 90 percent of the population identifies as Christian, proposals to change abortion laws are consistently opposed by the highly influential Catholic Church.

Public health advocates pinpoint this as a key reason new HIV cases in the country surged by over 3, percent between and The Philippines is also the only country in the world that does not allow divorce. That keeps women, in particular, trapped in abusive marriages — and helps erode any sense of sexual independence.

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These measures have caused huge pain for ordinary Filipinos. The new U. Wade established the right to abortion in , when women seeking abortions often relied on dangerous self-induction methods or turned to underground abortion providers. Scholars estimate up to 25 percent of pregnancies in the United States ended in abortion during that time—that number was 19 percent in About , Filipino women get abortions every year, and many turn to unlicensed doctors, use folk medicine, or attempt to self-induce.

It is estimated that as many as , women are hospitalized annually due to abortion complications, and about 1, women die each year after getting abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a think tank which supports expanded access to abortion and reproductive health. Some trained doctors in the Philippines secretly offer safe abortions in clinics, risking their careers out of their belief that women should have the right to ensure their own well-being.

Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Sagada Panorama | Cities

Meanwhile, the general state of sexual education and health has suffered. In , the Philippines passed the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, or the RH Law, which mandates the government distribute free birth control pills and condoms and provide sexual education. Despite its intended wide remit, the RH Law has failed to spark a sea change in access to contraceptives. Some provisions of the law have been struck down , and public health advocates say the government has not prioritized funding for the new programs. While the RH Law has made some free services available, stigma still keeps Filipinos, especially gay men, from getting tested, seeking information, or learning about safe sexual practices. While the presence of these bans has made such debate an inevitability, there are signs that public opinion is starting to favor allowing divorces and liberalizing access to contraceptives. In Ireland, where over 75 percent of the population identifies as Catholic, an abortion ban was overturned by referendum in On May 24, the country overwhelmingly voted to liberalize its divorce laws by removing a clause that had previously restricted divorce to spouses who had been separated for four of the previous five years.

In the Philippines, abuses by the clergy have largely remained under wraps due to church guidelines giving bishops leeway to delay investigations, and priests are rarely charged in criminal courts. The church, which Filipinos trust more than any other institution, remains immensely powerful. Palabay, the human rights organizer, said that the recently passed U.

The pushback against Roe v. Nick Aspinwall is a journalist based in Taipei and an editor-at-large for the News Lens. Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola. The volatile Philippine leader is trying to fend off accusations of being soft on Beijing.

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When it made landfall in the Philippines on November 8, it was already clear that this super typhoon was going to inflict massive damage on the islands and communities in its path. Haiyan turned out to be the deadliest typhoon in the history of the Philippines and the strongest storm ever recorded at landfall.

Within hours of the storm hitting the islands, Virgin businesses began reaching out to Virgin Unite and asked about our plans to help.

So, we worked with the Virgin Management internal comms and digital teams and reached out to all Virgin businesses , encouraging group-wide support for the DEC appeal. Everyone helped. Some businesses went the extra mile. And the donations continue. Several aid organisations reached out to Unite and Virgin Atlantic asking for spare cargo capacities.

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What if some of the cargo capacity on these usually empty flights could be used to transport emergency aid? Of course, our amazing colleagues at the airline had already thought of that themselves. Dave Gunner at Virgin Atlantic was on board and shared his experience with us:. These flights are empty, so it was an opportunity to fill the plane with desperately needed aid supplies. Engineer Andy Masters is in charge for Virgin Atlantic at LTP and he knew that this was a real opportunity to give back to a community that they work so closely with and who perform some of their most important and complex maintenance work.