Last Friday, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago deplored the indifference the government displays regarding abortion pills openly sold just outside Quiapo Church.
Abortion pills are being sold right at the steps of the Quiapo Church in Manila, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said yesterday.
"Sellers (in Quiapo) are reportedly those very vendors who are situated right at the door of the church," she said.
Santiago called on the Manila police to raid the area and arrest those found to be selling abortion pills to women who would like to get rid of an unwanted pregnancy.
"I am calling on the police authorities to spearhead a strong campaign against abortion pill sellers in the (Quiapo) area," she said.
"Abortion pills are being sold like cigarettes and menthol candies, along many busy streets in Quiapo. This problem has long been neglected by the government.
"What have we been doing about it? Nothing."
This has been going on for years and years. It's a wonder why they are raising a howl over this now.
Young women who get pregnant by accident know that the easiest way to get a pamparegla (herb or pill to induce menstruation; abortifacient) is to go to Quiapo. NO PRESCRIPTIONS NEEDED. The vendors there provide "free obstetric consultations," give you the dosage, and for how long you should take their medicines should you want to abort your unwanted pregnancy.
The risks are high, of course. Many end up bleeding in hospital emergency rooms, some with infections, and worse, some of them end up dead.
Moralists will argue that these women shouldn't have engaged in pre-marital sex. But there are also wives who are legitimately married who buy these abortion pills because they don't want to add more kids to their already big families.
I agree that these abortion pills shouldn't be sold openly like candies outside the church doors. In a country like ours where abortion is a criminal offense, these pills shouldn't be available even in drugstores.
But we have a dysfunctional system here, so I guess nothing will happen again. The police might raid the place once or twice to show they exist, but after that, the abortion pills will be available again.....just like those pirated DVDs.