Women's rights and abortion

Date of Publication


Document Type

Bachelor's Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Commerce Major in Legal Management

Subject Categories

Commercial Law


Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business


Commercial Law

Thesis Adviser

Emmanuel O. Sales

Defense Panel Member

Lily Ann M. Padaen
Jose C. Reyes, Jr.


Articles 256 to 259 of the Revised Penal Code criminalize abortion in all circumstances even for the purpose of the pregnant woman's physical and mental health preservation. The intent of the aforementioned provisions is to discourage women from undergoing abortion. Despite this, the restrictive law on abortion is being criticized by various international committees, organization, and publications for violating women's rights.

To test the validity of this claim, the researcher conducted a study ascertaining whether or not the prohibition of the Revised Penal Code on abortion to preserve the physical and mental health of the pregnant woman violates women's rights. In order to answer this query, the researchers used three parameters namely Article III, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution, and CEDAW. In order to analyze these parameters, the researcher utilized the Critical Feminist Theory and the Hart's Theory of Choice.

The results of the analysis indicated that women's Constitutional rights to life and health are being violated by the prohibition of abortion on physical and mental health preservation grounds under the Revised Penal Code. Also, such prohibition violates CEDAW.

As a signatory to the CEDAW, the Philippines is obliged to comply with the requirements of this convention. In order to prevent non-compliance, the prohibition on abortion for physical and mental health preservation under the Revised Penal Code should be removed since they are violative of women's rights. However, this cannot easily be done because of Article II, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution, which guarantees equal protection on the right to life of the pregnant woman and the unborn from conception. This Constitutional provision only permits abortion to save the life of the pregnant woman.

The recommended course of actions of the researcher includes the Constitutional amendment of Article II, Section 12 of the 1987 Constitution, the amendment of Articles 256 to 259 to consider abortion for physical and mental health preservation as grounds for justifying circumstances, and the development of guidelines on the scope of abortion for physical and mental health preservation. The researcher likewise proposed preventive measures through suggestions on how the Department of Health can improve its Women's Health and Safe Motherhood Project and its National Mental Health Program.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F, Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

126 leaves

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