The Center for Reproductive Rights submitted a shadow letter to the Committee against Torture (CAT Committee) recommending questions to be incorporated in the List of Issues being prepared for the upcoming review of the Philippines. Several of the Center’s concerns have been included in the Committee’s List of Issues, released in July, including unsafe abortion as a result of the Philippine criminal abortion ban without any clear exceptions, abuse in and poor quality of post-abortion care, and deregistration of emergency contraception by the government.
The CAT Committee has asked the Philippines to report on accountability mechanisms relating to these three issues, and sought information as to whether the government has established a confidential-complaints mechanism for women who face ill-treatment while seeking reproductive health services, particularly post-abortion care, as well as steps taken to investigate, prevent, and punish incidents of abuse when they occur. Additionally, the Committee has asked the Philippines about steps taken to ensure effective implementation of the Magna Carta on Women, which recognizes the right to family planning and obligates the government to repeal any laws which contradict its guarantees. Lastly, it requested that the Philippines indicate if measures were being implemented to restore access to emergency contraception for victims of sexual violence.
For further information about legal restrictions on contraceptives and related human rights violations in the Philippines and the harmful impact of the criminal abortion ban, please see our reports: Imposing Misery and Forsaken Lives.