Pre-marital sex and abortion

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dear Cindy,

I’m 17 years old and come from a well-respected family in my town. Being the eldest child and grandchild, I have lots of responsibilities. I have always been very cautious with my relationships with people, especially with the opposite sex—until this guy came along. I don’t know why, but I
gave him everything including my virginity.

At fi rst, I had no qualms about PMS (preparital sex). But fear gripped me when my period didn’t come on schedule. Fortunately it did two days later. Anyway, if I do get pregnant, I guess, I will undergo an abortion like most of the girls I know, but I’m scared.


My parents and grandparents are all counting on me. I really hate to disappoint them. I don’t want to let down my younger siblings and cousins.

I’ve spent lots of sleepless nights pondering on these things and I can’t seem to concentrate on my studies anymore. Please help.


Dear Marianne,

You are indeed mighty confused! Still and all, I’m glad you did write, so together, we can sort out some of these things that are confusing you. PMS is wrong.

It is immoral; it is sinful. Sexual intercourse (SI) is a sacred privilege reserved only for married couples, in line with the divine plan of procreation.

Pregnancy, therefore, is a natural consequence of SI. To “stop pregnancy” or to have an abortion is the premature expulsion of a fetus so that it ceases life.

It is murder. As a Christian, it is sinful, it is immoral. In the Philippines, abortion is illegal.

For purposes of clarifi cation, a fetus has life. Life starts at conception. Conception begins when an egg meets a sperm and it is fertilized. So no matter what others may say—to abort is to kill. Please, do not compound one mistake with another.

I know that you are a good person and a lucky one, too, to have been endowed with so much: beauty, brains and family. Remember that to one who has been given much, much is also expected.

You are right. Your siblings look up to you as their model. You have a responsibility here to give them the example that will make them better persons-the persons that God meant them to be.

Marianne, your parents and grandparents love you so much. I’m sure they will be willing to forgive you for any misdeeds and misbehavior. But why go to that extent? The least that you can do to reciprocate their love is to live up their expectations. Do not dishonor them. It will all be for your well-being if you take stock of yourself now.

Your failing grades indicate that you have to make bold steps to redirect your life. At 17, you have the whole world ahead of you. Go for it. I
could be wrong but I seem to sense that you may be going around with the wrong crowd or friends.

Give yourself a break. Give yourself space from your boyfriend and your friends. Pre-occupy yourself with your books or sports or hobbies.

Everyone is entitled to some mistakes. They happen to be life’s best teachers. Let them not go to waste. The most unfortunate mistakes are those that no one has learned from. Each one of us has to experience death, particularly a death to one’s self, in order to rise.

God bless


Real fear of flying

Dear Dr. Dana,

I had this unfortunate experience on my way to my hometown via plane. The fl ight encountered tremendous air pockets and it rocked the plane for 10 minutes. It was the longest agony if my life. I thought it was the end of my life. We landed safely, though, but I was never the same again.

I have been suffering from plane phobia ever since, but I cannot do anything about it since my job requires me to travel. After that incident, I gathered all my guts to keep on riding the plane. However,
I am no longer relaxed or at ease and I have this strong uncomfortable feeling throughout the flight.

I cannot express properly how I feel, but I hope you can help me fi nd solutions on how I can bring back my old self.

Since I’m not based in Cebu, doc, could you please answer me through my e-mail as soon as you can. I badly need sound advice from you because
my job is being affected by my fear of planes.


Dear Tiffany,

What you are suffering from right now is a form of stress disorder known as post traumatic stress (PTS) disorder. You have been exposed to extreme
emotional or psychological trauma in which there was an actual threat to your life. This, too, is subject to recurrence, based on what you have been experiencing right now.

Accordingly PTS with stress disorder is at increased risk for development of other anxiety and moral disorders. The best thing you can do is to ask the help of a psychiatrist. They are best trained to help you cope with the problem you are undergoing.

They can give psycho therapeutic strategies to make you overcome your behavior and behavior.

From a non-medical point of view, you may reduce your fear of planes by just remembering that fear is a negative feeling and that anything negative attracts negative vibrations. So instead of dwelling on that negative field, why don’t you take the opposite point of view.

This you can do if you pray and believe that the Lord loves and cares for you; so much, so that He won’t allow anything bad happen to you. Trust Him. He never fails.

Very truly yours,
Dr. Dana R. Sesante

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 23, 2014.


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