Philippine teen pregnancy rates defy trend

Country tops list of Asian countries, with one in 10 women in 15-19 age group already a mother, according to UN study.

by

    Manila - Teenage pregnancy rates across the world have declined in the past two decades except in the Philippines, according to a new survey.

    The report by the UN says the Philippines topped the regional list of Asian countries that continued to have the greatest number of teenage pregnancies.

    It also says that one in 10 young Filipino women - between 15 and 19 years of age - is already a mother.

    Philippines poverty: Children forced to beg to survive

    A few factors adding to the continued increase in birth rates include having multiple sexual partners as well as low condom use.

    Social attitudes towards family planning in the Philippines are heavily influenced by the Catholic Church.

    Vanessa Aguilos, a 24-year-old Filipino mother of three, told Al Jazeera she did not know that having unsafe sex would lead to her pregnancy.

    "It did not cross my mind that this could happen. My mother just asked me one day why I was not having my period any more ... After a pregnancy test, it turned out I was [pregnant]," she said.

    Aguilos comes from a low-income family and did not have access to family-planning advice. Nor were contraceptives given to her.

    In 2012, the Supreme Court of the Philippines ruled that it was constitutional to implement the Reproductive Health Law, meaning that low-income earners had a right to family planning services and free contraception.

    The government says it will address the matter again after the May election.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.

    Crisis of Aboriginal women in prison in Australia

    Crisis of Aboriginal women in prison in Australia

    Aboriginal women are the largest cohort of prisoners in Australia, despite making up only 2 percent of the population.