The Philippines’ Baby Factory | 101 East

In the Philippines’ biggest maternity hospital, a baby is born every few minutes. And often the new mothers are just children themselves. With the legal age of consent just 12, teen pregnancy is on the rise here. Tempting many to turn to a shadowy underworld for help. I’m Steve Chow. On this episode, 101 East investigates the impact of church and state on a nation dubbed “The Baby Factory” It’s late afternoon in an area locals call, “Happy Land” On the outskirts of the Philippine capital, Manila. Among the shanty dwellings, 13-year-old Maymay is playing a jumping game, Chinese garters, with her friends. “The two of you.” Watching on, high from sniffing paint solvent, is her 22-year-old boyfriend. At just 11, she became pregnant to him. But she was seven months along before she even realized. “I didn’t know I was pregnant. I was even playing Chinese garter.” “When I was jumping the garter, I felt something in my stomach.” “Then I suffered a miscarriage.” Local health workers say her boyfriend taunt her for losing their child. But Maymay doesn’t mention that. She just blames herself. “It was painful. It’s also an affront to the Lord.” “Why did I commit such a sin that I played garter?” “I cried hard because it was painful painful to lose a baby.” Maymay’s pregnancy was not by choice and it seems neither was the first time she had sex. “It hurt. It was painful.” “I was just forced to do it.” With her father in prison and her mother in a new relationship, she lives here with her boyfriend’s family. Why you’re staying here with your boyfriend? “Because they feed me well.” Maymay’s just one of the growing number of young Filipino girls who find themselves pregnant. – It’s really a tremendous problem. Not just for in terms of the health of the actual teenagers themselves were becoming parents at such young ages and for the children that they then have, but it’s also costing the government and the country a lot in so much– so much money lost in productivity and in terms of them being unable to join the formal economy because they haven’t finished high school. It’s really a very, very big problem for the country. The province of Palawan in the west of the Philippines is a pretty part of the world. But it bellies an ugly reality. – Palawan has one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancies anywhere in the country. One in five teenagers is either pregnant or already has a child. And the vast majority of them live in very poor communities like this one. In this slum on the edge of Palawan’s capital, Puerto Princesa, we find 15-year-old Teril with her family The baby she’s holding isn’t one of her three siblings, it’s her daughter. She says she knew little about sex when she met the child’s father soon after her 14th birthday. “At first, I didn’t want to do it. I was scared.” “But after a week, I agreed.” When it came to protecting herself against pregnancy, Teril says she knew nothing and her mother never talked about it. “I felt awkward giving her advise about contraceptives because she was too young.” “I also wasn’t sure whether she was allowed to use contraceptives at her age.” In the Philippines, girls under the age of 18, need their parents’ permission to get contraception or an HIV test. But the age of consent is much lower. Just 12. One of the lowest in the world. The father of Teril’s baby says he’s 28. But local health workers believe he’s at least 10 years older than that. “I feel proud that I have a beautiful wife.” “Even if I’m so much older.” Rodel already had four children when he met Teril. His eldest just a couple of years younger than her. He claimed he didn’t know Teril was only 14 until she got pregnant. “After a year of being together, she told me she was pregnant.” “So I chose her over my wife because I was scared a case might be filed against me.” On the Filipino law, even though Teril was above the age of consent, because she was still under 18 and he was older, Rodel could have been charged with coercing her to have sex. ” I was so scared. I went to her parents’ house and told them that I would take responsibility for the baby.” “They gave the consent.” “My parents were concerned that he might not be able to make a living for us.” “But now they see he’s trying his best to put food on the table. And to support our daily needs. They don’t say anything anymore.” – We reported him to the Department of Social Welfare and Development but the girl didn’t want to press charges because she’s in love. Her parents didn’t want to press charges because as far as they were concerned, she’s being taken care of by her boyfriend now. She’s living with him, one less mouth for them to feed. And they didn’t want to interfere. Amina Evangelista Swanepoel is one of the founders of a Palawan women’s health NGO, Roots of Health. – Something troubling that we’ve also seen among the groups that we work with is that a lot of young girls are in relationships with much older men. And I think technically via the law, you should be able to press charges even without the cooperation of the girl and of the parents. On the other side of town, 23-year-old Angela has four children to two different fathers. The youngest child is just a week old. She says her first sexual experience was when she was fourteen and her boyfriend, 19. “All I knew back then was how to play Chinese garters. That’s all.” “I wanted to cry.” “I was pushing him away.” “But he said he would take responsibility and that he loved me.” “I was scared that other guys won’t accept me anymore.” “I thought whoever took my virginity should be the one.” Angela’s aunt threatened to file a case against him for coercing her into having sex. “That’s why his mother and father decided to make us live together. And make him take responsibility for what he did to me.” At 15, Angela got pregnant. But miscarried at 7 months. At 16, she gave birth to a baby boy. And then within a few weeks, was pregnant again. “They said contraception has side effects. They said it damage the uterus. So, I got scared.” After her second child was born, her boyfriend left her for another woman. Taking their two other kids with him. She now has two more children with a new partner. He’s at work today but they all live here with her family. “He wanted me to get pregnant. “I agreed because he accepted me for who what I am. Unlike others.” “But there are times when he tells me I should be thankful he accepted me.” “Sometimes I cry because my children are suffering. And sometimes they have nothing to eat.” Angela believes would have been very different if she’d known more as a teenager. “It’s better to be educated about what contraceptives are available.” “And what sex is about.” “That’s better than being ignorant.” – Here in Palawan, we have a government that doesn’t spend very much money on teen pregnancy prevention programs. They don’t allot very much funding or any at all to contraception. And so this really ties the hands of the provincial health office. They can’t really do much without the budget to have activities and programs. We visit the vice governor of the province, Dennis Socrates to ask him why this is the case. “I think the solution lies in a more intensive information and education campaign. To tell young people that sex is good but it has to be within the context of a loving and indissoluble marriage and it must be open to life. To parenting, which is a natural consequence of the marital act. – So abstinence till married. – Yes, that’s right. A member of the extremely conservative Catholic group, Opus Dei, he’s vehemently against all forms of contraception. – All human life is good. Even life that is helpless. Even life that belongs to a poor family. Even human life that is unwanted by the mother. – But the United Nations says that it’s a woman’s right to be able to plan a family. What do you say to that? – I disagree with the UN proposition or the UN idea. And I would like to think that that could be overturned in the future. With more than 80% of Filipinos Catholic, the Church wills enormous influence over national policies particularly when it comes to family planning. – It’s 5 years since the government pass a reproductive health law, guaranteeing sex education in schools and access to free contraception. But with fierce lobbying from the Catholic Church and other pro-life groups, it still hasn’t been implemented. And having no access to contraception can have tragic consequences. The black Nazarene church in Manila has come to be known as a place of despair. Many mothers live aborted fetuses here in the hope their child’s soul will be saved. They not only by their God, but also by the law. In the Philippines, abortion is illegal in all circumstances. Even rape. – But right here in front of this church is an abortion supermarket. Where women desperate to get rid of unplanned pregnancies, come for help. Wearing a hidden camera, we send one of our team in undercover to see if she can buy abortion treatments. Within a few minutes, she finds a store willing to help. She tells the woman she’s 4 months pregnant, and with no questions asked, she pays $75 for the remedies. – How did you go? – Yeah. We were able to get what we were looking for. – Wow, it didn’t take you very long. She was sold two treatments, one a herbal and root concoction. – The lady said that you take that concoction when you’re up to two months along. – But then when she found out that I was four months pregnant, she offered pills. And even offered if I wanted further operation through a catheter. The pills are an illegal ulcer medication, known to induce abortion. Anyone caught selling or using them can face up to six years in prison. In a back street of a poor urban community, an abortionist says a prayer. Fearing prosecution, she doesn’t want to be identified. “I light a candle for the fetus because it’s already a human being.” “I also ask for forgiveness from the Lord for the sin I committed.” “I’m scared that the police will come for me. But I muster all my courage because I really need the money.” The woman tells us she’s performed more than a thousand abortions. Most of them on teenagers who were about five months pregnant. She charges them up to $80 depending on how advance the pregnancy is. She says she uses a combination of the illegal ulcer drug and deep massage to push the fetus out. “I tell them if you shout, you did that in pleasure. Don’t complain now.” “If I see that there’s a sudden gush of blood that means some thing has ruptured inside.” “That’s when I ask them to run to the hospital.” They’re on their own. I don’t go with them. I just stay here at the house because we already had a deal.” Every year, it’s estimated that more than half a million women resort to abortion in the Philippines. About a hundred thousand, almost half of them teenagers end up in hospital due to complications. And many die. – So this is ward 4. Here at Doctor Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila, one of the busiest maternity hospitals in the world, there’s a ward dedicated to post abortion patients. – Most patients are reluctant to tell us that they have had an abortion. So, there are telltale signs that they have aborted. And if it’s infected or septic, they come in here heavily bleeding, without a blood pressure, without a pulse. And you do not have any choice but to treat them. Or else they will die. Obstetrician and gynecologist, Dr. Asuncion, sees teenage abortions as a serious health issue. And believes the alarming numbers of teenagers getting pregnant needs to be addressed urgently. “I’d say it’s a crisis because lot of teenagers are getting pregnant. And without finishing their school, the cycle of poverty is never broken. She says each year the hospital delivers thirteen thousand babies. More than two thousand to teenagers. – My goodness, there are a lot of people. Most of them ending up in the cesarean ward. There are a lot of complications for teenage pregnancies like, preterm labor, and usually they would undergo cesarean section because their pelvis are untested. Hypertension is a problem. Hemorrhage is a problem. – So you had your baby just yesterday. Allihah is just 15 years old. Her little boy is now in intensive care with respiratory problems. A common issue for babies born to teenage mothers. Allihah says she got pregnant to her first boyfriend. But that the 25-year-old left her soon after. – Hello, Jolina. On the other side of the ward, is 18-year-old Jolina. – Is this your first baby? – And what about your first baby? What happened? She says after her first pregnancy, she had a contraceptive implant. But had it removed when her 21-year-old partner wanted a baby. – I think really the education is key for solving the problems here. Like having a curriculum in reproductive health and sexuality. – Our stand is to let the teenagers have options regarding contraception. But with no comprehensive sex education curriculum in schools, the Catholic church has a loud voice when it comes to what’s taught to teenagers. Joay Villas’s group, Live Pure, is in the home of one of the country’s most powerful church organizations: Couples for Christ foundation. And works in partnership with the education and social welfare departments. Today they’re at this middle class Catholic high school just outside Manila. After a song, the lesson begins with self worth. – Can you tap the person beside you and tell that person “you are amazing”. Then comes the difference between the sexes. – Every microphone is a male. Because it has penis just like a male. A male organ. – This one, is a female. Because just like a female organ, it’s like that. That’s why only a man and a woman can be one. – If you got it, say “I got it”. But it all goes back to one message. Abstinence is the only way. – When two people does the marital act of sex the woman gives herself and not only herself but also her fertility. The reason why we as a movement, we don’t believe in contraceptives and all that, why? ask me why? – Why?
– Because we believe in our innate capability to control ourselves. – Everybody say “yes”. – Say it louder, say “yes”. – Now even louder say, “yes”. – You know what, chastity, is a yes, prophetic love. Why? – What happens today was amazing. Because at this age our curiosity is triggering. We’re starting to be thirsty. We’re starting to starve for things that shouldn’t be done by us at this young age. The students endorsement of Live Pure is one thing. But their curiosity has many of them turning to social media and pornography. – Why do I watch it? Because I’m incapable of doing it. – Sad to say that it’s normal for us to know that a man is watching pornography. – So with pornography, will you learn about sex? – Yeah.
– Yes. When it comes to contraception, the jury is still out. – Well, natural contraception has a higher risk of of, of pregnancy. But I don’t really have any idea about that. I’m just having— – What about you two girls, like if you did have sex, what do you think you would use to protect yourself? – Stop doing it. – Stop doing it. *laughs* – For me I will never use contraceptives or any birth control because I’m a Catholic person. – I do agree in contraception. I think should be bought. Because not all of us, not everyone of us, can control ourselves. There are people who are weak. Back in Palawan, there’s help for those teenagers who some consider weak. – I think we need a preparation. In the room of the local NGO, Roots of Health, a team of youth advocates prepare to battle the teenage pregnancy epidemic. – I think we need to talk with (..) to get the contraceptives because I have a lot of experience that most of the young people doesn’t want to avail the contraceptives. – Because their partners doesn’t want to get it. Their weapons, contraceptives and sex education. Taking to the streets they visit a popular teenage hangout in Puerto Princesa. Not faraway, at home in her community, thanks to Roots of Health, Teril is now protected from another pregnancy. “I got an implant for 3 years because I’m scared of giving birth again.” She’s also hoping to start vocational educational classes. Having only got to graduate grade six at school. “I want to work hard for my baby. That’s all.” “I want to raise her well.” “I will try my best to send her to school so she won’t be ignorant. So she won’t end up like me who got pregnant at a young age.” And 23-year-old Angela will not be having a fifth baby. She, too, has turned to contraception. Getting an IUD from Roots of Health. “This would be the last one. I don’t want more kids. I might die if I give birth again.” But for 13-year-old Maymay, living in a Manila slum with her 22-year-old boyfriend, the risk of another pregnancy is high. Health coworkers say her contraception injections have lapsed. and fear she’d become yet another of the hundreds of thousands of young Filipino girls whose lives are jeopardized every year by unplanned pregnancies.

100 Replies to “The Philippines’ Baby Factory | 101 East”

  1. age of consent is 12… "omg there are so many teenage pregnancies how do we solve this?????" who dfuc is running this country…

  2. 7:35 kızlar kendi rızalarıyla ilişki kurup, hamile kalırken; erkekler hamile bıraktığı için suçlu oluyor? ilginç…
    istmediğiniz insanlar ile ilişki kurup sonra onları suçlamayı bırakın…. ne kadar iğrenç ve adaletsiz bir dünya…
    bu dünyanın erkek hakları savunucularına ihtiyaç var…

    yoksa güçlü erkekler ve kadılar haricinde kimse kölelikten ve sürünmekten kurtulşamıyacak..

  3. 10:32 insanların girdiği cinsel ilişkilerden dolayı devleti nasıl suçlarsınız? cinsel ilişkiye girildikten sonra hamile kalmak tamamen doğal birşeydir…
    eğer hamile kalmak istemeyen 14-17 yaşında kızlar varsa ya cinsel ilişkiye giremeyecekler, ya kendilerine ilaç veya kondom alacaklar yada hamile kalacaklar…

    devletin görevi tecavüzleri önlemektir, insanlara kondom dağıtmak değil… heleki bu kadar iğrenç bir devletin eminim ki o kadar kaynağı yoktur..

  4. 11:45 çocuğun yaşama hakkını anne ve baba ortak olarak karar alabilir… anne çocuğun tanrısı değildir, onu tek başınada yapmamıştır..
    eğer evli değillerse, aralarında bir anlaşama yoksa kadının çocuğu öldürmesi kendi vicdanına kalmış bir durum…
    ama bir anlaşma sonucu hamile kaldıysa tek başına bu kararı alma hakkı yok…

  5. 23:21 aslında doğum kontrol ürünlerinin piyasada olmasıının sebebi iffetsizliğin artmasına platform sağlamak olabir…

  6. “Contraception has side effects”

    As if having 4 kids that u can barely raise is better having those “side effects” that don’t even exist?

  7. 06:42 So she reports him despite the fact he manned up to his mistake and provides for his family. What does she want to see? Him jail and another single mother who can't support her and her child?

  8. These can not be true!!!! I mean everybody knows that 12 years old is a child! For crying out loud I wonder if President Rodrigo Duterte knows about these or brief by his advisor?

  9. Here In the continent of AFRICA its basically the same as whats happening in phillipines,poverty,lack of education,selfihness and stupidity are the main culprit especially poverty and no education = disaster

  10. There is no Leadership in this nation. There are many fools at the helm & poverty is the reward, for people of "the Philippines"

  11. This is sad. Look at the filth and poverty. Is it a wonder that there are communist insurgencies seeking a redistribution of the economic pie?

  12. 6:25 I don't wanna sound weird, but those philippine ppl all look like being the same age … if that guy is much older than that chick, then it s only on paper. Both look to be around 16 … LOL.

  13. This is called immorality. The judeo Christian vew bassed on the Bible offers a perfect solution. It's called morality. If you run around humping like rabbits you destroy a country and a culture.

  14. Philippines unable to handle or incapable of handling its own problems of uncontrolled population growth… international communities and organization should help because the problem might become international.. illegal filipinos are showing up in the shores of Thailand and Malaysia and these countries also have their own problems

  15. When I'm 17 I give birth my baby and it's hard to carry the baby coz is my first time but I realize that being a young mom is very2x hard but now I'm a 19 of age and I'm from Phillipines to… And I'm proud being a single mom

  16. Abortion is illegal in the Philippines because we are a Christian Country but I feel sorry for those rape victims. Abortion is only legal in case of medical problems wherein the mother's life is at risk if she gets pregnant.

  17. The major media channels love making developing countries look very bad with stories like these. Especially white/western media. Do not trust these white people.

  18. I am seriously sad. Didn't know this. I am dating a Filipino, and I truly want to marry her. She deserves a good life. They all do.

  19. why they live so stupid….just why. i think god make their stupidity is double from average ppl shud be. whatever dis is sick

  20. oh my gosh, If I could, i would just want them all to stay with me and have a better life. I am not rich, but I would definitely share what I have and its better than what they have. They would be safe, fed and a good shelter.


  22. This kind of case because of "PLEASURE" of both partners without gaining information and knowledge. At the end the children inherited suffering and just what parents do is feel 'PITY" and the worse scenario biological parents will just leave them.

    Anyway at the end they will pay the price

  23. Its all our fault,,we make them look so pitiable,,but they are all in ,,illiterate foools,,so stop piitying this lusty girl,,they know what they are doing,,and let them suffer,,to understand for better…

  24. As a pastor, I have to say that the live pure program is garbage. Gender identity and sexual identity is not that simple. That was moronic to say the least. It says something when the guy singing songs to look cool ignores the teenagers getting pregnant by rape and says yiu can keep it in ur pants like that is these youths' fault. This is just brainwashing and totally irresponcible of the Catholic church. Statistics say that all the things the church claims they are against like premarital pregnancy, divorce etc happens at exactly the same percentage in the church as it does outside of it. What religion teaches is that we are all the same. We all have the capacity to much good and much harm. That is the human condition. The hope we claim is that we are all able to be good bc we are created good. This is such a sad story…

  25. The more I hear about Philippines..the less I want to visit….single moms 68 percent. Don't go there to seek a future marriage partner. 👎

  26. Among all the Asians the Filipinos are the most ignorant.
    The Philippines is like a bunch of children. No mature minds in those islands.

  27. I am a Catholic and have met many Catholics and been to churches and such and even my priest knows if you were God forbid assaulted you should get the choice to let the fetus grow or not. My church always let us know we are in charge of our bodies and God will forgive us for whatever decision we choose. I am not sure why most people try to input religion to whatever viewpoint they want. This is wrong, and should not be acceptable.

  28. A lot of people still uses religion as slavery and to further their agenda. These girls are babies for God's sake. That man is a liar saying he didn't know her age. This is so twisted. They should bebin school getting an education. Sick!

  29. Breeding like rabbits making babies is the main cause for poverty in the Philippines. They have no regards for the innocent kids suffering…… People who can't feed, cloth, put a roof over their child and sending them to school should have no business making babies. Hundreds or even thousands of children begging in the streets of Philippines daily seems acceptable to the Filipinos. The Philippines refuses to wake up and just ignores it…. So who's to blame for the high rate of poverty? Answer is very obvious. The Filipinos. Making babies in the PI seems like a hobby…..Just totally sad.

  30. Most of family planning were always blamed at lady's when in fact it should be both. Men should have vasectomy when he has atleast 4 children. And all boy's should put in jail when they neglected their child. Not to force a young lady to use contraceptive.

  31. Ironic that a news station, funded by and promoting the ideals of the Islamic Brotherhood, is making shows about child abuse and the exploitation of females.

  32. Telsereryes are a big cost to taxpayers. To make things worse, one network making teleseryes that cause these are not paying their taxes.

  33. Catholic Church is just causing the same problems as any other religion. It prevents development and logical thinking. Ban them from institutions like school. Thank you!

  34. This is so sad! I can't believe all of these countries that allow child molestation it is disgusting and makes my hear heart.

  35. This is giving me an overall look into how women and young girls are being treated all over the world. We are being subjugated by using all forms known to mankind. I'm literally sick. Their being taken advantage of and these babies are coming into the world not knowing what's going on.

  36. he is blaming her for losing a baby but it was his fault to sexually assault her and GOT HER PREGNANT. and she didn't know she was pregnant. she clearly didn't know the consequences. she got hurt and she shouldn't be experiencing this at such a young age

  37. Poor girls even if you have your consent you shouldn't have kids in 12 or 14 years of age. These guys are literally pedo in my society, its like child marriages in our culture which are now banned.

  38. They need a better education and laws preventing these girls from being sexualized. Laws that would criminalize predators. Contraceptives will not help these young girls from being assaulted rather it would mask their troubles only.

  39. Thats why it us prohibited by god to be in such relationships before proper marriage. The parents have to teach their children whats right and what is wrong dont allow your daughter's at such age to have grown up boyfriends.

  40. OMG! video at 1:32 were really look like my younger sister, 100% they look alike. I am surprisingly found this video and saw that they are look alike. Oh my god!

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