Sunday, September 11, 2011
Federico Pascual: why blame the innocent for maternal deaths?
From Federico Pascual's column in the Philippine Star for September 11, 2011:
BIRTH CONTROL: My interest in the Reproductive Health debate has been waning, but I was pumped with adrenalin when no less than Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, with Sen. Vicente Sotto not far behind, stood to oppose passage of birth control measures.
Sponsors of RH bills lose points as they lose their cool when replying to searching questions on the abortive effects of birth control pills that the RH bill wants to propagate to unwitting users at great cost to taxpayers.
Maternal deaths and poverty cannot justify killing a helpless fertilized ovum (already a human being as recognized by the Constitution no less) desperately trying to cling for life in the womb’s lining made inhospitable by abortifacient pills.
If a mother could die in childbirth — a possibility even in normal cases — why blame in advance an innocent fetus and execute it?
Why blame the unborn (that did not ask to be produced in the first place) if his family is poor because of government failure to provide opportunities for jobs, education, health care and the decent amenities of normal life?
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MALDISTRIBUTION: Some people drive by a squatter area and see grimy kids in the streets. They conclude that there are just too many of us and that still unborn Filipinos should not be allowed to come into the world.
The problem is actually mainly of population distribution. The population density shows that there is still ample room and resources for more people.
The problem is traceable to the government’s failure to create and spread opportunities and services so people do not flock to urban centers on the mistaken notion that only the cities can provide for life’s necessities.
Taking the line of least resistance, or because it does not know any better, the Aquino administration goes along with the multibillion-peso lobby and pushes the RH bills — in an immoral and criminal bid to kill unborn Filipinos fidgeting in their mothers’ wombs.
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FALSE CLAIMS: Proponents of the RH bill claim that our population growth rate will increase exponentially without a birth control law.
This is simply not true. Data of the government itself show that the projected average annual population growth rate actually has been declining even without an RH law.
Based on the trend as analyzed in 2007 by the National Statistics Office, the growth rate was and is projected to be 1.81 percent from 2010 to 2015, 1.64 percent from 2015 to 2020, and 1.46 percent for 2020 to 2025.
The same NSO study debunks the other claim that the average Filipino household size is 10 or more and will increase without an RH law.
Data show that the average household size has been declining even without an RH law. The household size in 2007 was 4.8 persons, lower than the average household size of 5.0 persons in 2000. The National Capital Region had the lowest average household size of 4.4 persons.