A NON-GOVERNMENT organization based in Iloilo City strongly condemned a call for Congress to pass a law that would legalize abortion in the Philippines.

Dr. Betty Polido, president of Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP)-Iloilo Chapter, said her Iloilo group is strongly supporting the call of the Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development Foundation Inc. (PLCPD), which earlier expressed strong opposition on the call for legalized abortion.

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Polido said FPOP is supporting PLCPD in firmly pushing for the passage of the proposed Reproductive Health (RH), Responsible Parenthood and Population Development bills currently filed in Congress.

"The number of dying mothers keeps on increasing everyday and we are very much concerned on this development," Polido said, adding that legalization of abortion is not the right approach to address the increasing number of 11 mothers dying every day due to pregnancy and pregnancy-related complications.

Polido said the proposed bills only want couples to have access to legal and medically safe family planning methods that will reduce unplanned pregnancies, which will eventually lessen the incidence of abortions in the country.

PLCPD maintained that voluntary family planning can reduce maternal deaths by 20 to 35 percent based on the World Health Organization report and these can be "institutionalized" by enactment into law of the proposed RH bills. (Lydia C. Pendon)