The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) slammed on Tuesday the policy of Pines City College in Baguio City mandating its female students to undergo pregnancy testing, adding that it had started investigating the case.
“Women and girls should not be denied exercise and full enjoyment of basic rights, they should not suffer negative consequences in educational and work spaces, simply because they are pregnant,” lawyer Jacqueline de Guia, CHR spokesperson, said in a statement.
A copy of the memorandum supposedly on the pregnancy testing circulated on social media through a Facebook post which subsequently drew flak online.
READ: Baguio college implements compulsory pregnancy tests, draws flak online
One of the documents noted that pregnant students must not enroll in courses such as Clinical Dentistry, Roentgenology, Anesthesiology, and Endodontics – subjects that could “endanger both mother and child.”
READ: Baguio school sticks by its mandatory pregnancy test policy
According to De Guia, “dismissal on the basis of pregnancy” is prohibited under the Magna Carta of Women (MCW).
“The prohibition against dismissing students on the basis of pregnancy does not distinguish between public or private educational institutions,” she added.
The CHR said it was alarmed at the requirement as it would also violated the rights of women to privacy and bodily autonomy.
“As Gender Ombud, the Commission through its CAR (Cordillera Administrative Region) office is investigating the case motu propio, according to the institution due process and verifying the existence of the policy,” De Guia said.
She also noted that in the past, the CHR had “not refused to hold an educational institution in violation of MCW” after it dismissed a teacher in the basis of pregnancy. /atm
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