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Where Presidentiables Stand On Reproductive Rights, Divorce, And Other Issues Relevant To Filipinas

What does your chosen candidate think about a woman’s right to choose?
Presidentiables on women's issues
ILLUSTRATION: Bacs Arcebal
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The Presidential Elections are upon us, and unlike previous ones, this year’s election cycle is worth so much more than a candidate’s win— it’s also an opportunity for our country to choose the right person to lead us into our recovery from the collective trauma brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not to mention, a number of women’s issues—reproductive rights, divorce, pornography, and many more—are also at stake.

ICYDK, women make up 51.19 percent of voters in the upcoming May 2022 elections (33.64 million against 32.08 million men) so now more than ever, casting your vote for the candidate who puts issues that matter to women at the forefront of his or her priorities is a must.

We looked at the interviews and debates attended by Presidential candidates Labor leader Leody De Guzman, Senator Ping Lacson, former Senator Bongbong Marcos, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Senator Manny Pacquiao, and Vice President Leni Robredo to determine their stances on women’s core concerns. But since we won’t be able to cover all bases, we highly suggest that you watch these televised shows for in-depth information on their platforms and the other causes they’re championing. If you haven’t seen them yet, please do so here: COMELEC Presidential Debates, CNN Philippines Presidential Debates, and The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews.

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Where Presidentiables stand on issues that you as a Filipina should care about:

1. Divorce

Divorce
Unsplash/Engin Akyurt

As the only country in the world (next to Vatican, which is a city-state) where divorce is prohibited, Filipinas who find themselves in a toxic marriage scenario lack an accessible and affordable option to legally separate themselves from their husbands. Under current laws, women can only choose from two options: 1. Legal Separation, which is limited and doesn't allow remarrying; and 2. Annulment, a long and expensive process unattainable for many. The proposed Divorce Act (also known as Senate Bill 2134) authored by Senator Risa Hontiveros provides an option of absolute divorce to couples, aiming to protect all women stuck from loveless, dysfunctional, and abusive marriages.

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Pro-Divorce: De Guzman, Marcos, Moreno
Anti-Divorce: Lacson, Pacquiao, Robredo


2. Abortion

Despite advances in Reproductive law, the country, in general, has been hostile towards abortion and women who choose to have them, resulting in making abortion increasingly inaccessible. Data shows that about 1,000 Filipinas die and tens of thousands get hospitalized each year due to abortion complications, making it one of the biggest barriers to women wanting to take full ownership of their bodies and futures.

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Pro-Abortion: De Guzman, Marcos
Anti-Abortion: Lacson, Moreno, Pacquiao, Robredo

3. Same-Sex Marriage

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Same-Sex Marriage is about guaranteeing individuals, regardless of their gender and identity, the right to marry the one they love. It’s a pressing issue that has long been lobbied for by the members of LGBTQIA+, emphasizing that love is love and that everyone should enjoy the full rights and benefits of a legal marriage.

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Pro-Same Sex Marriage: De Guzman, Marcos
Against Same Sex Marriage but Pro-Civil Union: Lacson, Moreno, Robredo
Against Same-Sex Marriage: Pacquiao

4. Pornography in Social Media

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The rampant exposure of pornography, especially in social media, can pose a significant threat to one’s mental health. In fact, multiple studies show that porn has a direct correlation to sexual aggression, harassment, and violence, resulting in an increase in statistics of abused women.

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Pro to legally penalizing social media sites promoting porn: Lacson, Moreno, Pacquiao, Robredo
Not specified: De Guzman, Marcos

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