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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"The way to the RH Bill is certainly not paved with good intentions"

Kris-Crossing Mindanao

By Antonio J. Montalvan II
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:04:00 01/10/2011

WERE THEY on life-or-death tenterhooks? Reports have it that the committee on population of the House of Representatives met by themselves last Jan. 2. Nothing extraordinary there, except when you begin to recall that Jan. 2 was a Sunday and was still within the New Year’s Eve hangover period. Perhaps they were just hardworking. But then we are told that those in attendance were only the pro-RH Bill committee members and their pro-RH Bill NGO counterparts who acted as “citizens’ representatives.” The alleged intent was to put that meeting on record as the third and final “public hearing” on the Reproductive Health Bill, and then railroad it for plenary agenda.

If truth is stranger than fiction, then we are in for an illegal, unconstitutional act. Informed of this development, a vehemently opposing Roilo Golez reportedly vowed to make the railroading impossible. Before the House adjourned for the holidays, Golez was second on a list of 20 interpellators with his interpellation still in progress.

The bill’s supporters have repeatedly claimed, like a broken record, that the RH Bill is not pro-abortion and contraceptives are not abortifacients. With a possible railroading maneuver, the public is now brought to the canyon’s edge. An informed choice from life and death issues emanating from contraceptive use has to be imminent.

As that midnight committee meeting was surreptitiously taking place, the journal Contraception released its January 2011 issue on 2,000 Spanish women aged 15 to 49 who were surveyed every two years from 1997 to 2007. Researchers found that within that period the number of women in contraceptive use increased from 49.1 percent to 79.9 percent. But there was more that truly puzzled the researchers, who paradoxically had aimed to gather information about contraceptive use in order to reduce the number of abortions. Over that period, the country’s abortion rate more than doubled from 5.52 per 1,000 women to 11.49.

That is not odd. Over the years since the 1950s, both scientific studies and abortion advocates themselves (such as Alfred Kinsey, Beckworth Whitehouse and Christopher Tietze) have pointed out the connection between abortion and contraception. In 1979, Malcolm Potts, then medical director of International Planned Parenthood Federation, had admitted that “as people turn to contraception, there will be a rise, not a fall, in the abortion rate.”

Also admitting that connection, the US Supreme Court said in its 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey that “In some critical respects abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception. For two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail,” the justices wrote.

Documented scientific fact has long recognized that since almost all so-called contraceptives routinely fail at statistically significant rates resulting in “unplanned pregnancies,” abortions have become a social requirement to take care of such “accidents.” Among many studies, the Guttmacher Institute’s report “Contraception Counts” (2006) showed NO correlation between better access to contraception and lower abortion rates. “Seventy-two percent of low-income teens who cohabitate and rely on condoms will become pregnant within a year, and protection rates against STDs are even worse. We have one million unplanned pregnancies in the US every year due to contraceptive failure, half of which result in abortion.”

With sexual activity rising from greater contraceptive use, abortion thus has become part of the “safety” constellation, a contraceptive in itself. Hence the pattern all over the world is to legalize contraception first, then legalize abortion later. When contraception fails tremendously, women start looking for illegal abortion; so then it has to be legalized. We have said in the past that they are Siamese twins.

Is the pill an abortifacient? The common defense is to say that it is not because it only prevents ovulation. That is not even a half-truth, however, for additionally, it has two other actions. It thickens the genital tract’s cervical mucus, rendering it more viscous so as to inhibit sperm penetration. But thirdly, it thins the lining of the uterus known as the endometrium, impairing implantation of the newly fertilized egg, effectively killing the new human being that already has its own set of genetic codes. That is the same action an intra-uterine device (IUD) does. If that is not abortion, what is?

Pills are composed of hormonal steroids and chemicals that have been known to cause deep vein thrombosis in women, a blood clot that forms in the vein which can block the blood supply to the heart or brain, resulting in a heart attack, stroke or death. The clot may also travel to the lungs, causing pulmonary embolism or death. It has been estimated that 25,000 lawsuits could take place in the US due to one brand alone of a birth control pill.

Normally the New Year ushers in good tidings. In this case, however, RH Bill proponents have just prescribed us a death sentence, via a reprehensible means of cultural, political and constitutional imposition. The way to the RH Bill is certainly not paved with good intentions.

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