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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Manila Times summarizes the case versus the RH bill

To the best of my knowledge The Manila Times is the only Metro Manila-based mainstream newspaper that unambiguously opposes the RH bill at the editorial level. Their Easter Sunday (April 24, 2011) editorial -- which I am belatedly posting on this blog -- has the following summary of reasons for rejecting the RH bill:

That bill now pending in the House of Representatives would impose an anti-life, morally neutral and unjust outlook on human sexuality, fertility and reproduction—the very opposite of the culture of life that Easter commemorates. 
We also think the CBCP pastoral letter and the summary of reasons against the bill have not been given enough exposure in the most widely circulated media. Leading broadcasters and radio-TV commentators have been summarily mocking the pro-life stand without honestly, accurately reporting the arguments against the RH bill. 
Here are some of the most fundamental reasons the RH bill should be rejected. 
1…As a consolidated bill (a melding of the bills filed) it pretends to be about reproductive health but it is really more an effort to impose measures that will lead to a reduction in the Philippines population. 
The real purpose of the bill is to prescribe and promote universal birth control for all married couples through an official program funded and run by the state and all its agencies and instrumentalities. 
Section 18 of the bill provides: “No marriage license shall be issued by the Local Civil Registrar unless the applicants present a Certificate of Compliance issued for free by the Local Family Planning Office certifying that they had duly received adequate instructions and information on family planning, responsible parenthood, breastfeeding and infant nutrition.” 
We fear that passing laws with such compliance requirements will become a precedent for the state requiring a compliance certificate for having voted in an election before being given a passport. Or a compliance certificate for having a woman ligated before being qualified for a government job. 
2…Some of its provisions are directly unconstitutional because these provisions would make the Philippine state an accessory to abortion for they make government supply contraceptive pills and devices that cause abortion by making the fertilized ovum unable to cling to a mother’s uterine wall and there receive sustenance and life from the mother. 
3…It proceeds, unmistakably, from the same motives and mentality that first invented the term Reproductive Health, which includes in United Nations documents and in the laws of countries that have passed RH legislation, the meaning “access to abortion.” Therefore the RH bill in our House of Representatives, in spirit and despite its stated and avowed prohibition of the killing of human embryos, is really a pro-abortion proposed law. 
4…In making the use of contraceptives and access to them a universal right it would allow the use of even the clearly abortive contraceptive pills and chemicals. For the bill does not prohibit pills, medicines and devices that do cause abortion, such as the notorious R-486 and similar pills. The bill also does not accept the warnings made by even a division of the World Health organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), that certain oral contraceptives are carcinogenic. 
The CBCP objections 
Here is the Catholic Bishops Conference pastoral letter’s list of the prelates’ basic objections to the RH bill: 
1. We object to the non-consideration of moral principles, the bedrock of law, in legislative discussions of bills that are intended for the good of individuals and for the common good. 
2. We are against the anti-life, anti-natal and contraceptive mentality that is reflected in media and in some proposed legislative bills. 
3. We object strongly to efforts at railroading the passage of the RH bill. 
4. We denounce the over-all trajectory of the RH bill towards population control. 
5. We denounce the use of public funds for contraceptives and sterilization. 
6. We condemn compulsory sex education that would effectively let parents abdicate their primary role of educating their own children, especially in an area of life—sexuality—which is a sacred gift of God.

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