Questions about Reproductive Health Act
THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT WILL SEVERELY INJURE FILIPINOS AND FILIPINAS, OUR FAMILIES, SOCIETY AND ECONOMY
The ongoing debate concerning the Reproductive Health bill fails to even consider most of the consequences that would flow from its passage. If passed, this bill will change our Filipino society forever. Contraceptive Societies, such as that which will be created by HB 5043, have characteristics in common. Some of the major ones are described here, along with relevant aspects of the bill itself:
1.The oral contraceptive was introduced in the U.S. – and contraception subsequently became accepted and popular there – in 1960. In the years since then, out of wedlock births there have gone from about 6% per cent of all births to about 37%, a more than 500% increase, and more than one-third of all births. Similar results have occurred in the other countries which have adopted the contraceptive society. What provision will be made for the explosion in the numbers of children who will be born outside of families in our Philippines after this bill becomes law – especially those who will be raised by single mothers who must divide their time between earning income and caring for their children, and will therefore be even more poor than their married peers?
2.During the twenty years following the introduction of the contraceptive world view which came along with the oral contraceptive, the rate of family dissolution in the U.S. reached 250% of what it had been previously, despite having been fairly stable in the preceding decades. Similar results have occurred in other countries which have adopted the contraceptive society. What provision will be made for the vast increase in broken families which will occur here, as it has everywhere else, if this bill becomes law?
3.After the adoption of the contraceptive society in other countries, marriage as a way of life has greatly declined. Britain, for example, now has the lowest rate of marriage since records began there in 1862. Other countries which have adopted the contraceptive society are experiencing similar declines. In the U.S., the number of couples living together without being married increased by 865% in less than 40 years after the introduction of the contraceptive society. Yet numerous scientific studies have proved that women in such relationships are several times more likely to be physically abused than married women, and so are their children. Moreover, the children are not as healthy, do not do as well in school, are more likely to drop out of school, are more likely to be in poverty, and are more likely to commit crimes than children living in married families. What provision will be made to help the many more women and children who will be abused in unmarried relationships, and the children from non-marital families, who will not be able to keep up with their peers from married families, if this bill becomes law?
4.During the thirty years following the introduction of the contraceptive society in the U.S., the rate of violent crime increased by 500%, largely as a result of the destruction of marriages. What provision will be made to deal with the large increase in violent crime that is likely to occur if this bill becomes law? In the U.S., this increase in crime necessitated increasing the prison population by 500%. What provision will be made to construct the many new prisons we are likely to need, since existing prisons are already operating beyond capacity, if this bill becomes law?
5.Countries which adopt the contraceptive model of society eventually legalize abortion, because their people come to believe in its necessity to deal with contraception failures, where a baby is conceived “by mistake,” since all contraceptive methods have a failure rate. This has occurred in almost all contraceptive societies already, and there is strong pressure to legalize it in the remaining ones. Since the sponsors of the bill oppose abortion, how will they keep it illegal once the people support its legalization, as a result of the contraceptive society?
6.Contraceptive societies experience an explosion of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s), particularly among young people. This is because no contraceptives provide any protection from STD’s except for the condom, and its protection is significantly limited. As a result, for example, there were almost 400,000 NEW cases of sexually transmitted diseases in Britain in 2007, the highest number since record-keeping began thirty years ago. Despite widespread condom usage in the U.S., which has a population less than four times as large as ours, there are nearly 19 million new STD cases there each year, more than half of them among 15- to 24-year-olds. To take just one of the more than twenty STD’s in circulation, it is estimated by medical authorities that three million new cases of Chlamydia occur in the U.S. each year, 1.2 million of them among teenagers. This is more new cases each year than our Philippines has in the past 100 years put together. But this favorable disparity will disappear if we too adopt the contraceptive mentality. And while the U.S. has the most extensive medical establishment in the world to deal with this serious disease, which can be treated effectively if diagnosed in time, we do not have that advantage, and timely diagnosis is unlikely here — since it is often asymptomatic — let alone treatment. Direct medical costs associated with STD’s in the United States have been estimated at up to 14.7 billion dollars annually. We can expect equally devastating health and financial consequences here if the Reproductive Health act becomes law. What provision will be made to diagnose and treat this explosion of Sexually Transmitted Infections and Diseases, and to pay for the required medical care?
7.In 1991, Thailand had a total of 642 reported cases of AIDS which had been contracted since the epidemic reached there in 1984. In that year, its government embarked upon a nationwide campaign for 100% condom use to prevent transmission of AIDS. This program was widely accepted and implemented by the people of Thailand. Nevertheless, by the end of 2003, Thailand had 570,000 people infected by HIV, the virus which causes AIDS, and 58,000 of its people died from AIDS that year alone. The Philippines, which had a comparable number of AIDS cases in 1991, but did not institute a condom campaign, by 2003 had only 9,000 people infected, and 500 deaths. The HIV infection rate of Thailand was 8,000% higher than ours by that year. With a national campaign to encourage condom use under this bill, we can expect to make rapid and substantial progress to catching up with Thailand in HIV infections and AIDS deaths. What provision will be made to care for the many people who will be infected, and the survivors of those who die from the disease if this bill is enacted into law?
8.In 1960, the average number of children per Filipina in her lifetime was seven. By 1980, it was five. By the millennium year 2000, it was 3.5. By two years from now, in 2010, it is projected by the NSO to be 2.05. This is below the level required to replace population, and therefore our population is already destined to eventually fall. However, the number of children per Filipina will itself continue to fall after 2010 – it is projected to be about 1.7, on average, by 2020, further exacerbating this trend toward a declining population. All this will occur WITHOUT passage of the Reproductive Health bill. With passage, it will happen sooner, and to a somewhat greater degree. While some observers will welcome the prospect of a declining population, it is obviously very difficult to maintain economic growth with declining population, the more so in a less-developed and non-industrial economy. Thus, Philippine business faces a long-term prospect of fewer customers for its products and services: fewer cell-phone customers, reduced bank deposits, lower foot-traffic in malls, fewer motor vehicles purchased, and so on. The fact that this will not happen until decades from now doesn’t mean that we can pretend it won’t happen at all – and if we care about the future of our country and our people, we must take it into account. Once our population passes below replacement fertility, long before it begins to actually fall, the process becomes irreversible – nothing short of massive immigration can prevent it from falling eventually and indefinitely – this has been the experience of all the countries which are facing this predicament. The question becomes, are we willing to accept massive immigration? We must make that decision now, since we will very soon be below replacement fertility. What is the position of the bill’s authors concerning eventual massive immigration to sustain economic growth? And from what countries will immigrants be expected, if the decision is in favor of massive immigration to sustain economic growth?
9.A long-term consequence of enacting Reproductive Health will be the impoverishment of our elderly, particularly women. As family ties become weaker, and fewer children are born, there will be many elderly with no one to support them. Given the state of our public finances, the government will not be able to assume this role, as it does in some countries. (In fact, most of the developed countries, with their own contraceptive societies, are already facing severe difficulties in funding their pension systems, for the same reason.) Both the Asian Development Bank, in its 2002 annual report entitled Population And Human Resource Trends and Challenges, where the authors state that the bank’s “Developing Member Countries are aging faster than they are developing,” and the United Nations, for example in a press release by UN ESCAP News Services dated May 15, 2002, where it states “The combination of a declining birth rate, and lack of adequate provision for senior citizens in many Asian and Pacific countries, could result in future destitution for many people, especially women,” have essentially admitted this, What provision will be made for the elderly, particularly women – who make up a disproportionate share of the elderly, because they live substantially longer than men – who have no children, and no pension, or one that is inadequate to live on?
10.The contraceptive society and sex education have produced a culture of promiscuity and sexual libertinism in the developed world. In the U.S., during a typical week according to an authoritative polling firm, 38 per cent of adults younger than 25 engage in sex outside of marriage, and 33 per cent view pornography. Over half of all babies born to girls younger than 18 in the U.S. are fathered by adult men. The situation is similar in Britain and in other countries. How will promiscuity and sexual libertinism be dealt with here, in view of the fact that the bill mandates universal sex education in the contraceptive society which it will create?
11.The contraceptive society has fostered the growth of the commercial sex industry, which is at unprecedented levels the world over. The largest growth area of the commercial sex industry has been child prostitution, which, like the adult version, is based on coercion and abuse. One small but telling illustration of this is a U.S. Department of Justice joint report that about 240 underage girls are transported into the Kansas City metro area every month to be prostituted. Kansas City is in one of the most conservative areas of the U.S., and it is not even in the top twenty-five largest U.S. cities. What provision will be made to assist the underage girls and boys who will be forced into, or who will be at risk of being forced into, prostitution, in the climate of promiscuity and sexual libertinism that results from a contraceptive society with universal sex education?
12.According to Lant H. Pritchett, writing in the authoritative academic journal, Population and Development Review – which is published on behalf of the Population Council, one of the foremost advocates of artificial contraception in the world – government contraceptive/reproductive health programs do not play a very important role in fertility reduction, accounting for only 10% of the massive reduction in fertility that occurred in the 20th century. This same finding was reached by Grant Miller, a strong supporter of contraception, writing about the effect of contraception on the demographic transition in the nation of Colombia for the National Bureau of Economic Research in the U.S. Much more important than contraception are urbanization, education and employment for women, and later age of marriage related to these. Other social scientists have found the same. But although contraceptive programs are not very effective at lowering fertility, they are extremely effective at breaking up families and societies, as has been noted. In view of this small effect, but high costs in money and damage to society, why should we invest the people’s money in contraceptives, rather than in economic development projects such as microfinance which can actually provide additional income to the poor, which this bill will not? After all, no family has ever contracepted its way out of poverty – it takes additional income get out of poverty.
13.A recent study in the UK revealed three leading potential “triggers” for serious mental health problems in girls, the first being premature sexualization. The report reveals a loss of childhood innocence and says girls today experience high levels of “stress, anxiety and unhappiness.” Sexual advances from boys, pressure to wear clothes that make them look too old and magazines and websites directly targeting younger girls to lose weight or consider plastic surgery were identified as taking a particular toll. Two-fifths of the 10 to 14 year old Girl Guides surveyed know someone who has self-harmed, a third had a friend who suffered from an eating disorder and almost two in five know someone who had experienced panic attacks. Many feel strongly that self-harm could be within the spectrum of “typical teenage behavior,” Providing contraceptives and sex education to our children, as this bill does, will bring the same consequences here that it has in other contraceptive societies. What provision will be made to mitigate this, and to help the girls who are harmed in this way by sexualization?
14. The bill mandates a full range of contraceptives, many of which cause very early abortions by preventing implantation of the zygote, a developing human being, into the endometrium of the uterus. On the other hand, the bill affirmatively maintains the existing prohibition on abortion. These conflicting provisions cannot be reconciled, unless the sponsors deny the existence of these abortions, which are described in the standard textbooks on embryology. The bill mandates prison and/or fines for persons disseminating disinformation concerning the contents of the bill. Will these penalties apply to persons who point out the fact that abortions occur when using many types of contraceptives?
15.Will these same penalties apply, once the bill takes effect, to persons who continue to point out the various harmful consequences that will result to individuals and society from its implementation? If they will, what happens to the freedom of speech guaranteed by out constitution?
16. Religion, especially the Christian religions, withers in a contraceptive society. The developed world has seen observance of religion diminish almost to a point of insignificance in society. Today, for example, 16 per cent, 14 per cent, and 13 per cent, respectively, of the British, French and Germans consider religion as very important. Researchers estimate that the percentage of adults in the U.S. who actually attend religious services during the previous weekend dropped from 42% in 1965 to 26% in 1994, a period roughly beginning with the introduction of the contraceptive society there. But all morality ultimately stems from religious belief. As George Washington, John Adams and James Madison, among the leading founders of modern democracy, all observed, it is essential to the success of democratic government. What provision will be made to deal with the loss of practical religious faith in the contraceptive society which this bill will establish?
17. A typical child born today in Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan or the largest cities of China has no brothers, no sisters, no cousins, no aunts and no uncles. This is the future of the contraceptive society. Not to mention that such typical child does have four grandparents whom it must eventually support through taxes, or directly – unless grandpa and grandma are euthanized to eliminate the burden they impose. What will happen to the Filipino family, the crown jewel of our culture, in this society of the future?