Thursday, May 12, 2011
Atty. Sison on Abortifacients
A LAW EACH DAY (Keeps Trouble Away)
By Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star)
Updated May 09, 2011 12:00 AM
Today, Congress is supposed to start deliberations on the RH bill. As usual, the public is hoping that our legislators will not spend and waste their time on hearing arguments about the RH bill which are half-truths or complete lies. Indeed Congress will be the harbinger of good news if they can first draw up the real and truthful issues regarding the pros and cons of the said bill. Both sides should first confer and draw the clear battle lines.
The foremost issue here is when life begins. The authors of the bill should explicitly tell the people and their colleagues in Congress whether or not they agree with the proposition that life begins at conception and that conception means the fertilization of the female ovum by the male sperm. As of now it seems they do not agree. They insist that life begins at implantation of the fertilized ovum in the mother’s womb. Indeed this is their reason for repeatedly asserting that the bill does not legalize abortion despite allowing and subsidizing the use of certain pills and contraceptive devices that prevent implantation of a fertilized ovum. So, is it their intention to contradict the framers of the Constitution on this issue? The framers have already affirmed that life begins at the fertilization of the ovum when they draw up that provision in Article II Section 12 requiring the protection of the life of the unborn from conception. If this is their theory of when life begins in pushing for the bill, then this is a real issue that must be raised before the Supreme Court (SC) if the bill is enacted into law. The SC will then resolve whether or not the RH law violates the Constitutional provision mandating the State to protect the life of the unborn from the moment of conception.
Obviously, these differing versions of when life begins create a doubt. In such a case, the accepted rule is that the doubt must always be resolved in favor of life. This rule is illustrated by that classic story of several sportsmen who went hunting for deer one night. One of them got separated from his group and came upon a bush where he heard some rustling sound. As he quietly stalked towards the bush and prepared to shoot what he believed was a deer, he was suddenly seized with doubt that the one making the sound is not his prey after all but one of his companions. So he refrained from firing his gun, shouted at the direction of the rustling sound. And true enough, one of his companions came out of the bush. He resolved his doubt in favor of human life.
The authors of the bill should also specify the “medically safe” artificial contraceptives and devices. Scientific and medical studies and actual experiences in other countries have already established that no artificial contraceptives, whether in the form of chemicals (pills) or mechanical devices, are “medically safe”. They either cause abortion, cancer, sexually transmissible diseases and other sickness on mother and child. Even condoms that are supposed to place artificial barriers between the sperm and the ovum are not fail-safe so that their use has given rise to indiscriminate sex resulting in more HIV/AIDSs cases. Tubal ligation and vasectomy on the other hand distort the natural structure of the human body and therefore demean human dignity.
To be more specific, the authors of the bill must categorically answer this question: Does the bill consider the following contraceptives as medically safe and essential medicines for free distribution to couples who want to plan the size of their family?
(1) Depoprovera has been labeled a long term contraceptive but is in fact an abortifacient, It comes in the form of an injection. The US Food and Drug Administration has deemed this drug unsafe for American women but has not discouraged its producers (Upjohn) from promoting and distributing it in third world countries.
(2) RU 486 (produced by Roussel-Uclaf) prevents the uptake of progesterone, a necessary hormone in the early stages of pregnancy. Expulsion of the baby occurs in about 86 percent of women in 24 hours. It causes severe bleeding, at times lasting up to 42 days.
(3) IUD (intra uterine device) is a plastic device of various shapes that is placed inside the uterus. It alters the lining of the uterus by producing local irritation. It seems to produce inflammation of the uterine mucosa that impedes the implantation of the ovum. Likewise it alters the mechanism of transport of the spermatocytes. The developing child (fertilized ovum) who has come from the fallopian tube cannot implant and thus dies. The IUD has anti-implantation and abortive effects.
(4) Norplant is a series of six non-biodegradable rubber-like rods or capsules that are surgically implanted under the skin in the inside portion of the arm. It can continue its abortifacient activity for up to six years. Its side effects are similar to those of the IUD.
(5) The morning after pill or emergency contraceptive pill (ECP) is a chemical product of hormonal nature. It is increasingly presented and marketed as a contraceptive (i.e. preventing conception) that could be used in emergency situations after sexual intercourse to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. In reality, it is an abortive product. It peevents the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus by altering the internal wall of this organ, and provokes its expulsion from the uterus. It works the same way as the IUD.
These are only some of the issues that must be squarely met and adequately answered. There are many more but with the answers to these issues, our legislators can already get a clear picture showing that the bill should not be passed.
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