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UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES DILIMAN

EXTENSION PROGRAM IN PAMPANGA


Clark Special Economic Zone, Pampanga

A Social Psychology Experiment

Abortion:
Accepted Practice or Cultural Taboo
(On the perspective of men and women)

Corpuz, John James


Mendoza, Reinaliza
Pile, Bea Dominique
Santos, Roselyn Grace

I. Title of the Experiment


Abortion: Accepted Practice or Cultural Taboo

II.

Objectives of the Experiment

Abortion is the ending of pregnancy by removing a fetus or embryo from the womb
before it can survive on its own. It is one of the leading causes in maternal mortality in the world.
According to the World Health Organization, every year in the world there are an estimated 4050 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day.

Women employ a variety of methods to induce abortion. These methods include herbal
concoctions, abdominal massage, insertion of objects in the vagina, and ingesting Vino de Quina

and other liquors. Others also try to induce abortions by hitting their bellies, exercising
intensively, and jumping from high places. Cytotech (Misoprostol) together with Mifepristone
(Mifeprex) are also commonly used to induce abortion, it has a 90% success rate.

In the Philippines, Abortion has always been criminalized in the country. The Penal Code
of 1870 under Spanish Colonial Rule, which was incorporated into the Revised Penal Code
passed in 1930, criminalized the act. But according to Center for Reproductive Right, the
criminalization of abortion has not prevented abortion, but instead has made the procedure
unsafe and potentially deadly for the over half a million women each year who try to terminate
their pregnancies.
The criminalization of abortion has put a prejudice in the procedure. Filipino women who
seek treatment for complications from unsafe abortion frequently reported that the prejudice and
stereotype surrounding the practice means that healthcare workers often discriminate them by
unwillingly providing care, applying treatment only after they were threatened to be reported to
the police, or after verbally and physically harassing them.
The prejudice against this cultural taboo has also spread because of the strong influence
of The Catholic Church in the moral life of the citizens, which is practiced by at least 85% of the
countrys population. The Catholic Church, in a statement by the Catholic Bishops Conference
of the Philippines (CBCP) remains strongly against abortion dubbing is at as an absolutely
abhorrent act. But as on now, Pro-Abortion or Pro-Choice movements like Family Planning

Organization of the Philippines (FPOP), the Womens Global Network for Reproductive Rights
(WGNRR), and Likhaan are emerging.

The main objective of this study is to observe and record the reactions of people to a
person asking for drug inducing abortion, and get an idea of how they view the act, if it is
already an accepted practice or still a cultural taboo.
This experiment also aims to see if more people are averse to abortion and see if they will
act on this aversion.
Also, this experiment hopes to see the difference between a male and female participants
perspectives on abortion and sexual acts.

III.Participants of the Experiment


This experiment has 40 participants, 20 males and 20 females. The participants are from
Bulacan, Pampanga and Quezon City and include mothers, fathers, friends and classmates of the
experimenters. All of these participants were selected through random sampling. The
participants are within the ages of 18 and above.

The experimenters are Social Psychology students from University of the Philippines
Diliman Extension Program in Pampanga.

IV. Procedure
Step 1: An assigned member, who is acting as a pregnant woman or an accomplice of a pregnant
woman, asks for abortion inducing drugs.
Step 2: Record reactions of the people asked and the surrounding observers. See if more people
are averse to abortion, and comprehend if they will act on this aversion.
Step 3: Deduce if there is a difference between the male and female participants perspective on
abortion and sexual acts.

V. Findings of the Experiment

Participants

Agree

Disagree

Undecided

TOTAL

Female

20

Male

10

20

TOTAL

17

16

40

Some

Recorded Verbal and Facial Reactions


Male
Wala akong alam, eh

Female
Buntis ka, te? Wag mong gagawin yan.
Nasan ba yung ama?

Buntis ka? Bakit ka naman magpapalaglag?

Wala akong idea. Feeling ko hindi naman


available yun sa drugstores kasi hindi
naman pwede gumamit non.

Alam ko sa Quiapo meron. Bakit? Gagamit ka?

Hindi naman pwede gumamit non kaya

Masama yon.

wag mo nang gawin yang balak mo.

Hindi naman legal yun, diba?

Seryoso ka ba? Bakit mo naman


ipapalaglag yan? Hindi ka ba magi-guilty?
Tsaka baka pagsisihan mo lang.

Kung buntis ka talaga, wag ka magpalaglag.

Hindi legal yan.

Ewan ko eh.

*frown* Sorry, wala akong alam.


Wala akong alam kung saan pwede

Niloloko mo ba ko? *tawa*

makabili. Pero kung kailangan mo talagang


gawin yan, siguro magpaclinic ka na lang
para mas safe.

Bubuntis buntis ka, di mo naman kaya.

Bakit? Buntis ka ba?

Hindi ka dapat magpalaglag at dapat pandingan

Masama yang binabalak mo. Siguro naman

ng ama yan kung sino man siya

okay lang sa parents mo yan*sermon*

Delikado yan.

Huh? Wala akong alam eh, pero beh wag


na, baka mapasama ka pa.

Cytotec, pero wag mo na gawin. Pag sisisihan

Alam mo ba yang ginagawa sa mga

mo lang sa huli.

abortion clinic na yan? *explains explicit


procedure*

Boyfriend mo ba, or hindi?

*stare and frown* Sino ama?

Summary of Findings
Out of 40 participants composing of 20 Females and 20 Males, 7 people seemed to accept
the concept of abortion, 17 people disagreed while 16 people felt undecided or neither agreed nor

disagreed. 6 out of the 7 people that agreed with abortion are females and two of them admitted
that they have committed abortion. Only one male agreed with the concept of abortion.
There were 17 people who showed disagreement with Abortion. 8 of them were females
while 9 of them were males. Most of them asked who the father of the child is and took a stand
that the father should take responsibility of the child. Some of them used the illegality of
abortion as their reason of being against to it. Lastly, some of them advised not to abort the baby
because they were just thinking of the safety of both the mother and the child.
Same as the number of people who disagreed doing the abortion act, 16 people were
undecided and did not give a solid answer whether to do the abortion or not. Ten out of all the
people who were undecided are male and this is half of the male respondents. Most of them
would rather remain silent and just gave safe replies while there are few people who were
considering what could be the reason why does the pregnant woman wants to abort the child.

VI. Conclusion
Out of the 40 participants of this study, the researchers have seen a pattern in their responses
regarding abortion and abortive drugs. Women, especially those who disagreed, respond in a
more family-oriented/motherly fashion, saying, Masama yan, siguro naman okay lang sa
parents mo yan., urging the researcher to not go through with the abortion. Where as men
respond more righteous manner with remarks such as Hindi naman legal yun diba? and
Bakit ka naman magpapalagalag?

In this experiment the researchers have seen the difference of views of men and women
regarding abortion and abortive drugs through their responses. But what alarms the researchers
most is the number of participants who were undecided regarding the matter. As if they were
displaying a bystander effect by washing their hands clean of the problem itself of abortion.