Oliver 13 0 0 5 min to read

To handle unwanted, dangerous pregnancies, POPCOM wants wider legal protections.

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The adoption of a Senate bill that will protect women’s health during pregnancy and delivery is expected to result in a more comprehensive reproductive health law, according to the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM).

According to POPCOM, the law has to be amended to more directly address concerns about unintended and dangerous pregnancies, particularly those involving adolescents, which are recognized as the main causes of maternal mortality.

The well-being of mothers and their children is protected by Senate Bill No. 1416, introduced by Senator Mark Villar. It is titled “An Act Safeguarding the Health of Filipino Mothers at the Time of Their Childbirth, Providing Protective Mechanism Therefor and For Other Purposes.”

The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law, which demands the upholding of maternal, neonatal, child health, and nutrition as primary important result areas, would be supplemented and further strengthened by the legislation, according to a statement released by POPCOM on Friday.

According to the Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Survey 2021, roughly 6% of Filipino women who were never married and formally married either had an early pregnancy termination or had an induced abortion.

According to POPCOM, the poll also revealed that one in ten live babies involved prenatal problems that needed to be treated.

The Department of Health (DOH) was also praised by the agency for promoting primary care to combat the rising rates of maternal and infant fatalities.

POPCOM stated that in order to ensure that children grow up to be healthy adults, the nation must advance in supporting and advocating for mothers’ safe pregnancies, births, and the first 1,000 days after their newborns are born.

According to Villar, he introduced the bill in response to recent findings on rising maternal and neonatal fatalities.

“I am aware of how challenging being a mother can be, particularly during pregnancy and childbirth. Isang paa of manganganak totoo na nasa hukay. It is true that a mother’s life is at danger during giving birth. Kaya mahalaga na nabibigyan sila ng kinakailangan na tulong. It is crucial that they receive the support they require. Every mother deserves access to high-quality healthcare for a safe pregnancy and delivery, and every kid deserves a safe delivery at the time of birth, according to a recent statement from Villar.

The measure mandates that local government entities (LGUs) promote facility-based delivery for all women.

Furthermore, no maternal hospital, clinic, health facility, lying-in, midwifery facility, or comparable facility, whether public or private, shall deny or refuse to assist, admit, or accept the entry of a woman during childbirth.

Similarly, SB 1416 requires local government units (LGUs) to modernize and enhance decentralized medical services and infrastructure in order to deliver top-notch emergency obstetric care.

Villar continued, “It’s nevertheless frightening to realize that there are a rising number of maternal mortalities directly resulting from pregnancy difficulties during labor, delivery, and the postpartum period at this time, where all medical institutions are equipped with contemporary technologies.

The DOH has pledged to increase primary care in order to combat rising maternal and newborn fatalities, stressing that supporting the primary care reform envisioned under the Universal Health Care is essential for doing so.

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