Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Act approved in third and final reading

A pregnant young mother on her last three months of pregnancy. Paul John
Domalaon/Save the Children


MANILA – A group of children’s rights advocates welcomed the passing, on third and final reading, of a bill in the House of Representatives seeking to provide appropriate sex education for the Filipino youth and other social services, especially adolescent mothers who are victims of abuse.

“When pregnancies and births happen to girls before their bodies are fully developed, they face higher risks not only for the adolescent mother but also for their child,” said Shebana Alqaseer, Save the Children Philippines’ technical adviser on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.

House Bill 8910 or Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Act aims to provide appropriate sex education for the Filipino youth and other social services such as health services, workshops and livelihood programs for adolescent mothers. The proposed law also gives medical and legal services for adolescent mothers who are victims of sexual abuse and violence.

Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raoul Manuel said in a statement that education and [health] services can curb the increasing number of adolescent mothers who are mentally, physically, financially, and socially not ready to become parents.

“At 16, I had struggles in the family and made immature decisions that resulted in my early pregnancy,” Simbiat, not her real name, a child advocate for Save the Children Philippines, said in a statement.

Adolescent mothers are inclined to drop out of school and hinder their full development.

Early and unplanned pregnancies remain rampant in the Philippines, with young women getting pregnant at ages 10 to 14, according to the Commission on Population and Development (CPD).

“It was difficult with no one to help me. I suffered from discrimination in the school and the community.”, Simbiat said.

Save the Children Philippines supported the immediate passing of the bill as it is a vital step to recognizing the crisis of adolescent pregnancy and addressing their sexual and reproductive needs.

“Complications during pregnancy are the leading cause of death among adolescents,” Alqaseer said.

Save the Children now calls for strong public support for the bill which will contribute to an improved response of the government to sexual and reproductive health issues of the youth. This also creates social protection for adolescent parents and their children.

“I thank the legislators for this huge support to young girls like me,” said Simbiat.

Kabataan Partylist Rep. Manuel now urges the senate to pass a counterpart bill as it will expedite the proposed measure into passing into law. (JJE, RTS) (

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