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"The majority of abortions in Olangpo [Philippines] are done by a hilot, the traditional woman healer. Several trips to the hilot are necessary, and fees depend on how advanced the pregnancy is. Abortion is illegal in the Philippines. If a woman has complications as a result of the abortion, she may have difficulty obtaining the necessary health care.

The hilot massages the abdomen to dislodge the fetus so that it will miscarry. No studies have been done regarding the saftey and effectiveness of this method. However, if done during the first trimester, it appears to be successful."

- From Let the Good Times Roll: Prostitution and the U.S. Military in Asia

I mention this because I was once asked to do this, by a massage client. (I am a liscensed massage practitioner in the state of Washington.) "Please," she said, "It would be so much easier if you could mush some things around and I didn't have to have surgery."

I said no.

Let's just put aside for a moment the nightmare of medical risk, liability, and criminal risk. Also the idea that who knows if I could even do it, (although when I think of it, I'll bet that I could) but really those are secondary.

In the final balance I thought about whether or not I wanted to be directly, personally responsible for killing a being and I did not. It may not be a human being yet, but it is a being.

Of course she went and had an abortion anyway, but even today I'm glad I didn't try it. Then I just recently came across this excellent book and it brought it all to the front for me. For one thing I highly recommend the book. It is compelling and educational. It's sad, but the stories are so real and even inspirational that it's worth it.

Would you do it if you thought you could? If it would save the woman's life, or if she was raped, or the rest of those hypotheticals?


Hi! I have never heard of a Hilot practitioner performing abortions, although I have heard of the very true and real natural healing methods that they use and are sought out for. Aside from this horrendous tale, I highly recommend that as a massage therapist, you seek out an authentic practitioner of Hilot just to learn from them (preferrably Filipino). You will undoubtedly be amazed! ~John