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Filipino vs. USA: Abortion

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Note from the Editor:  This article is on one of the most controversial topics in the world.  Jay, the author of the article, attempted to take an unbiased, balanced look at the issue.  If you wish to comment, you are welcome to do so, but attacks, fighting and such will not be allowed and your comment will be deleted.  Please keep this in mind.

MapThis article is different from my usual Filipino vs. USA articles in two ways:

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  1. I have no intention of sharing my personal opinion on whether I am Pro-Life or Pro-Choice. Quite frankly for this article my opinion is not important.
  2. The article is about a serious subject, unlike my preference for Filipino peanut butter or USA cooked pig.

The reason I decided to write this article is to point out the differences in how the two countries view Abortion legally and morally. I will start with legal then go to moral.

Philippine Law

Abortion is illegal in the Philippines. Life begins at conception. There is no exception for rape or incest. Even if the life of the mother is at risk Abortion is not a legal option. From conception the baby/fetus has an equal right to life as the mother.

One of my wife’s second nieces was very helpful to us on our first visit to the Philippines as a family with our then 1 year old eldest son. She basically served as our son’s yaya. She went with us many places and watched out for our son. She was the only person we took with us on a trip to the Bohol Beach Club. My wife told me that the girl was so good with children, but it was a shame that she could not become a mother. She was born with a heart defect and doctors said she would never be able to survive giving birth.

About a year after we had vacationed in the Philippines we got disturbing news. My wife’s second niece had become pregnant by some good for nothing sweet talking young man. She had fled her home in Bohol for fear of her parents and journeyed to Manila. When it came time for her to deliver her daughter she was hospitalized. The doctors that said she would not survive child birth were correct. Second Niece died. Her daughter survived and is being raised by her Second Niece’s parents in a little house very close to Mama’s House. People say when a person dies young that it was a horrible way to go, but Second Niece died bringing a precious new life to the world and that is a beautiful way to die.

My understanding is that performing, causing, getting or paying for an abortion in the Philippines is a crime punishable by 6 months to 6 years in prison. I image if a foreigner were found guilty of such a crime they would be forced to leave the Philippines after they did their time and not allowed back. If you get a lady in the Philippines pregnant consider yourself a father from conception. The unborn has an equal right to life as the mother. That is how the law in the Philippines sees the situation at least that is my understanding.

USA Law

Laws Vary from State to State

Laws Vary from State to State

A woman has a right to end her pregnancy by aborting the baby/fetus. In the US, different states have different levels of restrictions. Some states allow partial birth abortion where the baby/fetus can be aborted as long as the baby/fetus is partially inside the mother. My home state of NC has stricter laws like the pregnant lady has to view an ultrasound of the baby/fetus before going through with the Abortion. A court case upheld by the US Supreme Court, Roe vs. Wade, insures for the time being that Abortion is a legal choice for the pregnant lady. A pregnant lady is allowed to end a pregnancy for any reason even if it is just a matter of convenience. In some states the pregnant lady has to make the decision before a certain time passes.

Filipino Moral View

CandlesAbortion does not seem to me to be a very divisive issue in the Philippines. The vast majority of Filipino seems to see Abortion as immoral and something that should be illegal. I believe the majority agree with the law that people causing Abortions should go to jail for 6 months to 6 years. I suspect a lot of Filipinos feel the punishment should be harsher. I mean if you were to kill a person outside the womb you would get more than 6 months to 6 years. Again this has nothing to do with how I feel about this. I am just pointing out the impression I get from the Filipinos I interact with. Overall I have the impression that the Philippines is very Pro-Life. I know there are Filipinos who are Pro-Choice, but my impression is it is a small percentage of the general population. I think most Filipinos are alarmed, shocked and saddened that Abortion is legal in the USA.

USA Moral View

PillAbortion is probably the most divisive issue in the USA. The Republican Party is officially Pro-Life, but I know people who are otherwise staunch fiscal conservatives who are Pro-Choice. The Democratic Party is officially Pro-Choice, but I know Socialist Democrats who are Pro-Life. In general most people in the USA seem to agree that Abortion should be legal to protect the life of the pregnant lady or in cases of rape and incest.

FightingPeople’s opinions on other conditions when Abortion should or should not be legal vary greatly. The general population of the USA seems to be split pretty evenly among people who favor the right of the unborn to life and those who want to insure the right of a woman to control what goes on inside of her body. People in the USA seem to widely disagree on when human life begins. Some believe when sperm meets egg. Others believe when the fetus/baby is capable of life outside the mother. Still others believe life begins at birth.

Balanced Article

Jay trying to balance

Jay trying to balance

My intent in writing this article is to explain how things are. I usually like to express my opinion when I write directly or indirectly, but this article is meant to raise awareness of the difference in how Abortion is seen legally and morally in my home country the USA and the land my better half comes from the Philippines. It has been and will continue to be my intent to not express a Pro-Life or Pro-Choice opinion. If others wish to disagree in the comments that is fine, but I will not be trying to persuade anybody to be Pro-Life or Pro-Choice or make any judgement of Philippine Law or USA Law. Thanks for reading! I hope I have given you something to think about.

Peace be with you!

Jay

Jay Stainback

Jay Stainback lives in Raleigh, NC, USA and is hoping/planning to retire to Bohol in about 10 years. He is married to his beautiful Filipina wife Juliet whom he met on-line. They were married 12/7/02 and have two boys’ ages 9 years old and 5 years old. Jay has visited the Philippines 4 times the first time 1 week, the 2nd time 2 weeks, the 3rd time for 3 weeks, the 4th time 4 weeks spending most of their time in Bohol.

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ben krahne
ben krahne
5 years ago

Stupid law the country is riddled in poverty , but the church has them brainwashed to have multitude of kids they can’t feed
Jesus loves you but he won’t feed your kids

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  ben krahne

Hi Ben,

The Philippines is more of a true Democracy than the USA. The USA is a Constitutional Democratic Republic. If the USA were like the Philippines then President Gore would have been in office during the 9/11 attacks unless he could have prevented it which seems unlikely. The Laws of the Philippines more closely align with the values of its people. This is of course my opinion. My opinion is also that I can either accept it or not I cannot change it. Thank you for commenting! I hope I have given you something to think about.

Peace

Jay

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  ben krahne

Hi Ben,

The Philippines is more of a true Democracy than the USA. The USA is a Constitutional Democratic Republic. If the USA were like the Philippines then President Gore would have been in office during the 9/11 attacks unless he could have prevented it which seems unlikely. The Laws of the Philippines more closely align with the values of its people. This is of course my opinion. My opinion is also that I can either accept it or not I cannot change it. Thank you for commenting! I hope I have given you something to think about.

Peace

Jay

corjo
corjo
5 years ago

I think that I have never made up my mind on the issue. Having seen my own kids grow up makes me pro life but having seen the problems caused by unwanted pregnancy makes me pro choice. Most people I know have extreme difficulty deciding on the issue. I am just thankful that it has not been a decision I have needed to make

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  corjo

Hi Corjo,

Thank you for commenting! I appreciate your input and I agree with you particularly in the case of the Philippines you have no say one way or the other of the law you can accept it or not. If you cannot accept the laws of a country, I feel it would difficult and possibly dangerous to live there.

Peace

Jay

Gregory T. Bunn
5 years ago

Must read. Totally different mindset and views than USA.

Jay
Jay
5 years ago

Hi Greg,

Thank you for commenting and the compliment! The point of the article is that the Philippines has totally different laws based on their values. It is important to know this if you plan on visiting or relocating to the Philippines in my opinion.

Peace

Jay

Roger Craft
5 years ago

I would agree with Filipinos that life begins at conception but what is sad is the lack of their sense of responsibility to prevent in wanted or needed pregnancy. So many kids running the streets, begging, stealing and being raised without parents because of OFW.
They do view Americans as strange for abortion but Americans would I suspect equally question their
Method of raising children. Good article:)

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Roger Craft

Hi Roger,

Thanks for the comment and compliment! I think birth control would be a different topic, but some consider Abortion a form of birth control. The central moral question is when does life begin. I hinted at the problem of OFW’s and seamen in a previous article, but I am not sure many got the hint. The absence of a parent can lead to problems. In the USA, divorce also has a similar affect.

Peace

Jay

OB
OB
5 years ago

Hi Jay. Good article. I believe (from my observation in the province) there are more “closet” pro-choice” folks than one might suspect. High level of religion being the swing of “pro-life” in the majority of the county I believe is the driving force. Thanks for sharing.

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  OB

Hi OB,

Thanks for commenting! You could be correct in that there may be more Pro Choice Filipinos than I think, but I think it less likely that the Philippines would drastically change its laws on Abortion than the USA. Only my opinion, I could be wrong.

Peace

Jay

Luke Tynan
Luke Tynan
5 years ago

Jay,
Very well done. I read the article and I believe you hit the nail on the head without letting you personal believes shine through. The area is very personal to each of us and should not be something to hate or fight over. Each of us make our own decisions, knowing that we will have to face God for our actions and as long as the person understands their choice under the law then others need to back away. It is Gods place to Judge not us.

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Luke Tynan

Hi Luke,

Thank you for the compliment! In the long run, I agree that only God can judge us, but while we are living on Earth we are judged by the laws of whatever country we live in and if we break the laws we can suffer the consequences. In the Philippines, Abortion is a crime and if one does a crime one must be prepared to do the time and face other legal consequences. Just something to think about.

Peace

Jay

Maynard Handy
5 years ago

Isnt this more the fault of the Catholic church ? They dont believe in birth control so im told. Correct me if im wrong.

OpaoPhil
OpaoPhil
5 years ago
Reply to  Maynard Handy

You’re right, the Catholic Church doesn’t believe in birth control. The reason being is (like Christians) they don’t believe in sex outside of marriage. If you’re not financially ready for marriage then you’re not ready to have children; which is the one of the great reasons to want marriage in the first place. So, the (church) logic is that why need birth control if you’re not supposed to have sex outside marriage? Why use it if you’re married anyway? This isn’t a church problem, it’s a moral one; one which the church is fighting and sadly losing against a world… Read more »

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  OpaoPhil

Hi OphaoPhil,

Thanks for adding your insights! I had a couple of responses in mind for your comment, but thought better of it. I also kind of regret getting into whether or not President elect Duterte is Catholic or not in my previous response to Maynard’s comment. I did not mean to be saying anything derogatory towards the man. I don’t know him, but I wish him well with the big job he has now as President of the Philippines.

Peace

Jay

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Maynard Handy

Hi Maynard, I am a Catholic Christian and you are correct the Roman Catholic Church only approves of Natural Family Planning. I learned about it during marriage class. Catholic couples must complete a marriage class with a 200 + question compatibility test for both participants in the marriage. The joke I heard about Natural Family Planning is that there is a word for couples that practice it…parents. One thing I do find interesting is that the Catholic Church is very opposed to the Death Penalty, but Filipinos seem to favor the Death Penalty. The new President elected seems to be… Read more »

Dr Russell Cunning
Dr Russell Cunning
5 years ago

Hi Jay, It’s a very well written article, and as you promised, you just stated the facts and not your opinions. In the sense that it is an educational article, I commend you. I do have one opinion to share – and that is that I think this is a topic best left with comments disabled. There aren’t many things that I feel are unsuitable for public discussion, but this is certainly top of the list. All the best, Russell p.s. I’m not commenting as a ‘doctor’ – I have a Doctorate, and no medical training beyond being a (volunteer)… Read more »

Jay
Jay
5 years ago

Hi Dr Russell Cunning, Thank you for your compliment and comment! I think I have given Bob more work as I believe he is monitoring the comments more closely as he should. I did think that this topic should be addressed since the two countries are very different on this issue. I also feel that a lot of the people from the USA particularity are like me not frequent world travelers and do not realize that other countries often see things differently. I am sorry I was flippant about your title in my response to your comment on a previous… Read more »

PapaDuck
PapaDuck
5 years ago

Jay,
Contraception is the answer to a lot of the unwanted births here. You are not going to stop the young Filipina’s from having sexual relations. Why women continue to have children here when they can’t even support the ones they already have has always boggled my mind. The saddest thing i’ve seen was when my wife’s 2nd cousin just abandoned her little girl. The population is really growing. Something has to be done or the country will not be able to support the growth down the road.

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  PapaDuck

Hi Randy, The question is whether or not Abortion is a form of contraception or killing of an unborn human. When does life begin? My understanding is that Philippine Law sees it as killing an unborn human and USA Law sees it as a form of contraception that can be regulated and limited by individual states, but not banned. I heard news yesterday that Oklahoma passed a law banning Abortion and setting up prison time for doctors. We shall soon here more of this I think. Republican candidate for POTUS, Donald Trump, actually proposed jail for women who get Abortion… Read more »

Gary Dadds
Gary Dadds
5 years ago

I suspect the Philippines is no different to any other anti abortion country. Only the poor comply, the rich go abroad to get their treatment. I know it is the case in Ireland where if needs must you pop over to England where it is allowed as long as the criteria is met.

Jay
Jay
5 years ago
Reply to  Gary Dadds

Hi Gary,

I suspect you are correct that some wealthy Filipinos go overseas to have Abortions. Some Abortions are also done illegally in the Philippines. I have heard that some of these are done under conditions that are dangerous to the lady having the Abortion. Thanks for commenting!

Peace

Jay

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