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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On Malacanang's undue interest in the RH bill

Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star) 

Malacañang’s undue interest in the RH bill at this stage cannot help but arouse curiosity. The palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda even went out of bounds by telling our legislators to cut short the debate on the bill and vote on it already. As PNoy’s mouthpiece, he is putting his boss in a tight spot because his stance is a clear violation of the principle of separation of powers among the three main branches of the government. The President may be the most powerful official in our system of government but he certainly cannot tell Congress to rush their process of legislation especially on a bill as controversial as the RH bill. He can only certify to Congress the bills which he believes should be passed.

This latest stance of Malacañang further confirms the existence of strong lobby groups pushing for the bill’s passage and the increasing pressure they are exerting. Of course lobbying for legislation is an accepted practice but in this case of the RH bill, the lobbyists allegedly have well funded foreign backers who are known advocates of abortion. With more reason therefore should legislators thoroughly discuss and more deeply look into every nuance in the bill to ensure that it will not eventually lead to recognizing abortion in this country. Indeed even before further debating and discussing the RH bill, Congress should conduct an inquiry on this lobby groups and their funding. This inquiry is definitely “in aid of legislation”.

Meddling in the legislative process by rushing the legislators to vote on the bill provides a stronger reason to further scrutinize the bill because it is an indubitable sign that the bill has many more questionable features which the authors and their backers would not like to be examined and exposed. It cannot really be denied that the original bill was not crafted by our legislators but by the lobbyists. The local authors in Congress only tried to edit it in such a way that it will look like a measure that will be for women’s reproductive health and that it will not appear as a population control measure imposed on this country by developed countries through UN agencies.

Indeed, one of the features of the RH bill which has never been denied is the supposed promotion of the women’s reproductive health by using artificial contraceptives to prevent pregnancy or conception. Obviously there is already something wrong with this feature because it considers pregnancy as a disability or a disease that should be gotten rid of or prevented. Worse yet is that it tries to get rid of pregnancy as a disease through the use of artificial contraceptives that have known adverse effects on life, health, marriage and family.

Another feature in the bill which the authors have not fully disclosed or admitted is that it is a population control measure implementing the population control policy of developed countries particularly the US through the United Nations (UN) and its agencies specially the UN Fund for Population and Development. This is the same policy of the Obama administration promoting abortion to control population in developing countries. In fact no less than Secretary of State Clinton has openly admitted that “Reproductive Health includes abortion”.

Of course, the sponsors of the RH bill in both houses have repeatedly said that it does not allow or legalize abortion; that the RH bill is not about abortion. They claim that while the entire range of artificial methods and contraceptives are made available by the bill, women are still given the freedom to choose what methods to use for promoting their reproductive health.

Free choice is really an accepted and popular notion. But given the facts about some contraceptives that have already been medically proven to be abortifacients like the RU 486, the IUD’s and the “Morning After Pills”, the question we must ask is: should people be given the right to choose to kill innocent children in the womb if that’s what they want to do? As Randy Alcorn said in his book “Pro-Life Answers to Pro Choice Arguments”, “When we oppose the right to choose…abortion, we aren’t opposing a right, we are opposing a wrong. And we are not narrow-minded or bigoted for doing so. We’re just decent people concerned for the rights of the innocent”.

Curiously, one of the new authors of the RH bill in the Senate is Miriam Defensor-Santiago who is aspiring to be a member of the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ). The coincidence is quite noticeable that she is now aggressively pushing for an early vote on the RH bill with the assistance of Malacañang, at the same time that she is campaigning for the ICJ post. Such coincidence inevitably leads to the conclusion that her successful campaign for the post depends to a large extent, on her successful sponsorship of the RH bill.

This conclusion is further bolstered when PNoy, who is supporting Santiago’s candidacy, made a pitch for the RH bill, which he calls more euphemistically as “Responsible Parenthood” (RP) bill, in his recent trip to the US. There, PNoy once more repeated the authors’ “freedom of choice” line” respecting the use of contraceptives that are abortifacients saying that parents should be given the freedom to choose the methods in spacing the births of their children. Again the question should be what choice is he talking about? Does it include contraceptives that cause abortion given the fact that the bill makes available all sorts of contraceptives including those causing abortion?

Quoting the scripture, PNoy says that he is pushing for the passage of the RP bill because on judgment day he will be asked “what he has done for the least of his brethren”. Apparently, PNoy would not want to commit a sin of omission. He or his advisers however must be reminded that a sin of omission is committed when one fails to do something good. The RH bill however which may result in abortion is not something good.

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