Monday, June 13, 2011
Once more with feeling: the RH bill is unnecessary!
Published this morning on the website of the Philippine Star:
By Davao City 1st District Rep. Karlo Nograles
There is no need for Congress to pass the Reproductive Health Bill. The proposed measure is unconstitutional, inappropriate, inimical to the interests of the Filipino people and unnecessary.
Notwithstanding Section 12, Article II of the Constitution, which mandates the State to protect the life of the unborn, the proposed Reproductive Health Bill seeks to prevent the life of the unborn by making the State the main provider of contraception and sterilization services, contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Several contraceptives are abortifacients (cause abortion), because their mechanisms include preventing the proliferation of the endometrium (the uterine lining of the woman) so it will NOT be favorable for the implantation of any fertilized ova. The RH Bill seeks to give these abortifacients for free to Filipino women; this goes against the constitutional guarantee for the protection of the life of the unborn.
The RH Bill also seeks to require all individuals to set aside their religious beliefs and support with their tax monies an RH agenda that runs counter to those beliefs, contrary to the Constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of religion. Under pain of imprisonment and/or fine, health professionals, health workers and other health service providers, as well as teachers and school administrators, among others, will be forced to perform services even if these go against their religious convictions and moral beliefs.
There are more important ways to spend taxpayers’ money. The State has no duty to use public money to cure pregnancy, which is NOT a disease. It is the State’s duty, however, to protect our people from real diseases, namely: heart diseases, vascular diseases, cancer, pneumonia, tuberculosis, respiratory diseases, diarrheal diseases, diabetes, pulmonary diseases, and the like. This is where we must spend our taxes for health.
On the issues of maternal death and infant mortality, these could be brought to zero by ensuring adequate basic and emergency obstetrics-care facilities and skilled medical personnel and health attendants all over the country. This is where our taxes must go.
Spending hard-earned taxpayers’ money on Population control will not be intelligent investment. Multiple studies have shown that there is no correlation between population growth and economic growth. There are countries with large populations that are prosperous. For our country to attain economic prosperity, government must spend on education and job generation. Besides, our country’s population growth rate and fertility rate have been steadily decreasing over the years, even without the RH Bill. This trend will continue naturally without massive government intervention, like the RH Bill.
The non-passage of the RH Bill will not prejudice nor have any adverse effect on any one. As it stands today, any person who wants to use contraception or sterilization in this country may do so, since everyone is free to use any method of birth control even now. Thus, it is unnecessary to enact an RH Bill.