The Dead Who Are Forgotten

Blog Pic Angelica 1

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We Filipinos never forget the dead. Every year on the 1st of November, we remember the souls of our loved ones who have passed before us. Some of us visit the cemeteries, some light candles, and some present flowers as our offering of prayers. However, there are many dead who never receive any of these.

They never get flowers.

No candles are lighted for them. They are not granted any space in cemeteries.

They are the dead who were buried in the tormented memories of their mothers.

They are the thousands of abortion victims.

  • Approximately 400,000 abortions among women of all ages are performed every year in the Philippines (Raymundo, Zablan, Cabigon, Cruz and Berja, 2001).
  • 20 million or more abortions occur every year all over the world (Cohen, 2007; The Allan Guttmacher Institute, 2008).
  • Approximately 70,000 -100,000 deaths result from abortion procedures every year. Many of these deaths occur among adolescent girls and young women undergoing abortion (Singh & Darroch, 2000).
  • Adolescents who abort are 2-4 times more likely to commit suicide and three times more likely to be committed to mental hospitals.

These unborn are sometimes flushed in the toilet, thrown in the garbage dump or even offered in churches and altars. These practices are inhumane and unjustified, and usually happen to aborted babies who result from unwanted pregnancies.

“Abortion. The mere sound of it rattles the soul. It is the ugliest and the most abominable face of poverty that can never be justified; that can never be romanticized” (Ortega, 2013).

Nowadays, abortion barely appears inside tabloids. Killing the unborn has become such a common event not even worthy of the headlines anymore. Quiapo City in the Philippines, which is famous for the home of the Black Nazarene, a historic and iconic statue of Jesus Christ, is also the place that is infamous for abortifacient herbal drugs and devices. Just a few meters away from the church are non-medical personnel offering services for aborting a fetus, regardless of how many months old the child may be.

Rape is one of the most horrible crimes in the world that directly contributes to abortion. Rape abuses the dignity of the afflicted one and makes this person question why the misfortune happened to him or her. Rape damages the victim’s sense of self-worth, and wounds his or her sense of dignity. Rape is a thief at night that may come just once, but leaves its mark forever.  Many victims take a long time to recover from rape.

Those who get pregnant as a result of rape often think of abortion. In their bewildered state and desperate situation, they think that perhaps they should erase all proof of what they have suffered. Sometimes even their own parents do not want to have anything to do with their unwanted babies. In the end, they do the unbearable. They decide to end the possibility of what could have been…

But abortion does not solve the problem of the rape. Abortion is not retribution. In fact, it commits a second act of violation, the violation now of the dignity of the conceived child.

Blog Pic Angelica 2In Baguio City, Philippines, there is a statue located in front of the Saint Joseph the Worker Church that depicts the Memorial to the Unborn Child. The statue is that of a fetus lifted high by two hands. At the bottom is the mother grieving for the loss of her child. Beneath are words that read: “This Memorial to the Unborn Child is dedicated to the millions of victims of abortion. Let everyone be reminded that abortion is a grave sin and a heinous crime. Let them be born, for God has given them life that they may carve their own destiny.”

It is said that among Jews, no abortion could possibly take place. It is believed that every male child conceived could possibly be the Messiah. And every female child could be the bearer of the Savior they are waiting for. As a Christian, my faith tells me that no legislation should threaten a life conceived. A fetus, even just one day old, is a fully live human being created in the image of God. He or she is a sacred and cherished gift, already in possession of a soul.

“For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” –Psalm 139:13-14

My friends, I urge you to reach out to those who are suffering. We are called to respond to the marginalized, to the least and to the lost. If you are interested in helping to alleviate the corruption of human life, you can contact the following pro-life institutions I have come to know:

Jeremiah 33:6-7 Foundation at

Grace to be Born Ministry at

Pro-life Philippines Foundation Inc. at

By Angelica Destajo, a regional intern at the WYA Asia Pacific Office