Raised by a devout mother, Sen. Ping Lacson shared his personal stance on abortion, saying an unborn child is already alive, no matter the circumstances of conception may be—even if it was caused by rape.
In a one-on-one interview with Boy Abunda, the presidential aspirant was asked if he thinks it's time to enact a law that would give pregnant rape victims the choice of legal and safe abortion. Lacson gave a non-answer, adding that he needs more data about the far-reaching implications of rape as well as its long-term consequences.
Personally, however, the presidential candidate is against abortion for pregnant rape victims, believing that the government should instead "intervene" with raising the child.
"Sa personal level, sa tingin ko, wag i-abort pero mag-intervene ang government kung paano mapapalaki yung bata at kung paano mawawala yung trauma sa nanay," he told Abunda.
"Choice nung [babae] kung gusto niyang akuin yung kanyang anak or ipaubaya sa isang social services institution kung saan lalaki ng matino yung bata pero wala sa kargo ng kanyang mga magulang," Lacson added.
Lacson is one of the authors of Republic Act 10354 or The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, which proposed population management as a means to address poverty. This, however, rejects abortion as a measure to curb the population growth rate. In 2011, Lacson said any form of abortion should be "condemned and punished."
'No matter the circumstances'
Currently, abortion in the Philippines is criminalized, even for rape-related cases. Based on data from the Philippine Safe Abortion Advocacy Network or PINSAN, one Filipina woman/girl is raped every 75 minutes, and one in every eight women/girls who resort to abortion is a rape survivor.
But since abortion is illegal, the rape survivors are forced to turn to clandestine or unsafe methods—some of which have resulted in complications causing at least three women to die every day.
Despite this data shared by Abunda, the senator said he believes the fetus should be kept, even if the mother was a victim of rape.
"Sa akin, ang bottomline: ang unborn child, buhay pa rin ‘yan eh, may tumitibok na ‘yan eh, no matter the circumstances behind paano nabuo yung bata na ‘yon," he said.
And for birth situations where only one can be saved between the mother and her child, Lacson said it should be the family's choice on who to save.
The presidential candidate attributed his views to his religious mother, who brought him to church in Imus, Cavite "without fail."