Friday, May 6, 2011
A foreign-crafted bill
A LAW EACH DAY (Keeps Trouble Away)
By Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star)
Updated May 06, 2011 12:00 AM
Admittedly, one of the subjects most exhaustibly discussed in this column, is the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill. Since its introduction in Congress almost 15 years ago under the aegis of foreign groups with seemingly inexhaustible funds, I have written so many articles against it mainly because it is unconstitutional or illegal and unnecessary. While it has been by-passed in several Congressional sessions, its sponsors keep on reintroducing a bill with essentially the same objectionable features.
Indeed there will always be controversy surrounding the RH bill for as long as our legislators, particularly its sponsors, fail or refuse to realize that this is one bill not needed by our country and our people; that it is only needed by wealthy nations and foreign vested interests with sinister hidden agenda of depopulating developing countries like the Philippines so they can continue monopolizing and enjoying the world’s wealth and resources. As Teresa R. Tunay says in her superb article aptly entitled “Reading between the lies”, the RH bill is “coming from a place of fear, the fear of losing worldly power and wealth” So it is really up to Congress to end this very divisive and debilitating controversy. All they have to do is drive the final nail on its coffin and never revive it again.
Actually if the members of Congress sponsoring this foreign crafted bill continue to ignore this hidden agenda and should Congress itself be eventually lured into approving the bill, the controversy will still not end because its legality will now be questioned before our courts. Hence ultimately, it will still be the Supreme Court (SC), the final arbiter of legal issues which will write finis to the controversy by finally nullifying the bill on the ground that it is unconstitutional and unnecessary. Of course at this time, all we can do is hope and pray that the SC Justices will not be lured into siding with Congress that may approve such bill.
There is really a need to continue writing against the bill because its advocates and supporters continue to sidetrack the issues by engaging in personal attacks and by presenting arguments that necessitate replies so as not to mislead the public and so as to properly inform them why the bill should not really be passed.
First of all, in defending the bill and answering the points raised against it, the supporters and advocates have repeatedly attacked the Catholic Church. Even a Catholic American clergy belonging to a religious order who heads a “social institute” blames the Church for dividing the people with its stand.
They also accused the Church of violating the principle of separation of Church and State for taking a stand against the bill. But when the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) endorsed the bill and even cited and interpreted the scriptures to justify their stand, they never accused INC of violating this principle and even praised this religious sect. As repeatedly pointed out, the issues here are essentially legal not religious. Hence the principle of Church-State separation does not come into play.
Secondly, every time they argue for the passage of the bill, the sponsors and advocates especially in media never fail to cite the situation in depressed areas where families with 7-10 children with unemployed parents live together in one small room. In a year they say that one of those children will die of malnutrition and other diseases.
It is really hard to figure out how the RH bill will be able to help the family get out of such situation. The only thing they can point out here is that if if the RH bill is passed, then contraceptives will be available to the couple so that when the man of the house goes home drunk and cannot resist the urge to have sex, he can do so without danger of having more children. Obviously the situation of the family here still remains in the same deplorable condition. Only the contraceptive manufacturers will get richer at the expense of the taxpayers whose money will be used by the government in purchasing those contraceptives. In effect, the RH bill “steals from the people by using the taxpayers’ money to buy contraceptive devices for the poor who can’t and won’t control their sexual appetites” (Reading between the lines).
Thirdly, it has also been repeatedly emphasized that the RH bill has other elements aside from promoting contraceptives like maternal, infant and child health and nutrition; promotion of breast feeding; adolescent and youth health; prevention and management of reproductive tract infection, HIVs AIDS and STDs; elimination of violence against women; counseling on sexuality and reproductive health; treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancer; male involvement and participation in reproductive health; prevention and treatment of infertility; and Reproductive Health education for the youth.
All these aspects of the bill however can already be carried out even without enacting it into law. These are the jobs of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). DOH and DSWD should just improve their services in these areas. There is no need to pass the RH bill which has a different agenda. Indeed, the passage of this bill is one of the strings attached to the more than $300 million Millennium Development Grant awarded last year to our country by the USA represented by State Secretary Clinton who has openly admitted that “reproductive health means abortion”.
Members of Congress, please take note. Don’t lose sight of this hidden agenda when you deliberate on the bill.
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