Manila, Catholic women united against abortion
by Santosh Digal

The Grace to Be Born Maternity Home and Nursery is a haven for mothers and orphans, providing hope, food, care and spiritual nourishment during pregnancies. The facility has helped more than 263 mothers and spared the lives of 221 babies. About a thousand women die each year from abortion-related complications.

Manila (AsiaNews) - Grace to Be Born is a pro-life movement that unites Catholic women against abortion. Active in the Philippines, it offers alternatives to women facing a difficult pregnancy and want to abort.

In 2009, Bo Sanchez, Rey Ortega, Ditas Espanol and other members of the Light of Jesus community set up the Grace to Be Born Maternity Home and Nursery.

Betty Roxas-Chua, the organisation’s vice president, says the facility operates as a temporary shelter for unmarried mothers and as an orphanage. It covers maternity costs and takes care of children abandoned in the streets and government hospitals.

The home helps girls and women in crisis like Mary, a 13-year-old victim of incest, who saw abortion as a way to escape from her personal misfortune but instead found during her pregnancy hope, food, care and spiritual nourishment at Grace to Be Born.

The home also offers girls and women vocational training so that they can subsequently have a source of income and be able to maintain their child. In total, more than 263 mothers received help and 221 babies were spared.

"When the women are here, they renew themselves, for their family and their baby," said Roxas-Chua.

According to pro-life doctors, the girls and women have to deal with the mental and psychological consequences that come with abortion.

Grace to Be Born saves children and helps mothers realise their dreams, like Anna’s, a young woman deserted by her boyfriend after she told him about the unexpected pregnancy.

After turning to the home, she was able to go back to school after having her baby, and eventually earn a Bachelor of Science in Social work.

The Catholic Church of the Philippines is strongly opposed to the legalisation of abortion in the country, stressing the importance of respecting and protecting human life from conception.

From the very first moment of their existence, human beings have the same rights as persons, including the inalienable right to life.

The Philippines’s law on abortion is among the strictest in the world. Abortion is illegal in all circumstances and there are no exceptions.

However, due to a high rate of unintended pregnancies, abortion is widespread. Almost all abortions are clandestine and pose serious risks to the health of women who resort to it.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, about 1,000 women die each year in the Philippines from complications related to abortion, a practice that contributes to the country’s high maternal mortality rate.

According to projections based on the 2000 data, about 100,000 women were hospitalised in 2012 due to abortion-related problems out of 610,000 who had an abortion.