This is Rosalie and and she gave birth to 17 children


Stories of unfortunate Filipino women who had teenage pregnancies.

Rosalie had her first child at age 16. She has been pregnant 22 times since then and had 17 children. She said that she "just kept on having them."

She is quite popular in her residence at Tondo, an urban slum area known as one of the densely populated on earth, as the "woman with many children." Because of this, many journalists, both local and foreign, interestingly came looking for her to know her story.

Rosalie became an unplanned poster girl for the movement of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill that took more than a decade to pass.

She is not the only woman in Tondo who has many children. If Rosalie isn't available, mindful neighbors offer journalists other women who have many children.

"There's one who has 6 children," one will say.

"That's not a lot. There's one who has 10 children," another argue.

"No, no. We should take them to the one with 12 children," one will yet argue.

Another teenage mom is Laura Jane. She became a teenage mother at 15. She had a dream that she would not rather to open about because she already knew that it will just stay as a dream. It was to become a scientist but because of poverty she just accepted that it would never come true.

In the neighborhoods of Rosalie and Laura Jane, dreams are a luxury. The reality of poverty crush their chances of having dreams.

Jeremy, an 18-year-old teenage mom, had just given birth to her 2nd child. She is living with her 19-year-old boyfriend and when was asked if they have put into thought about family planning, she answered,"Hindi po ba pang mag-asawa lang yun? (Isn't that for married couples only?)"

It is devastating to know that in her knowledge, birth control is only limited to married couples.

For the sake of old people's virtues, the sexual literacy of young people have been compromised, letting them to have inferior knowledge that lead them to stray in the wrong path.

Unmet need for contraception means that Filipino women need birth control for family planning but the contraceptives are not accessible for them. An estimated number of 5.25 million of Filipino women belong to this category.

The RH Law was supposed to provide free contraceptives for Filipinos like Rosalie, Laura Jane, and Jeremy.

According to Senator Pia Cayetano, an estimated number of 24 million women of reproductive age will unable to access reproductive health products because the P1 billion fund for contraceptives was scrapped by Senator Vicente Sotto with the agreement of Senator Loren Legarda. Among the number, four million are the poorest of the poor.

"It means married women who are probably on their fifth pregnant may then become pregnant this year. Young women who have had two miscarriages and should not get pregnant again might die because they won't have access to contraceptives. So it goes on and on and that's millions of women who will be deprived," said Cayetano.

The executive director of Catholics4RH was furious when she learned that the budget was cut and asked in rage: "All these men and women want is help planning their families - is that too much to ask?"

For Sotto and Legarda, it does seem too much.




XOLXOL: This is Rosalie and and she gave birth to 17 children
This is Rosalie and and she gave birth to 17 children
Stories of unfortunate Filipino women who had teenage pregnancies.
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