Wednesday, September 14, 2011
On the refusal of RH bill supporters to admit that their pet bill supports abortion
From Journal Online:
Bishop Teodoro Bacani
The arguments for or against the RH bills both in the Lower House and in the Senate continue unabated. I notice, though, that the pro-RH people in general do not get or refuse to get one of the major objections against the bill. It is this: The so-called contraceptives to be purchased and distributed by the government to the poor are not only contraceptives. They are, in fact, abortifacients.
We who oppose the RH bill do not equate contraception with abortion. We know the distinction very well. When ovulation is prevented or when fertilization is prevented, you have contraception. But when the pill, device or procedure do not only prevent ovulation or fertilization but prevent the implantation of the fertilized ovum or to dislodge from the uterus the already fertilized ovum, you are already talking of abortion. Now, many of these so-called contraceptive devices (pills, IUDs, injectables, and implants) are precisely designed to prevent the fertilized ovum from implanting itself on the uterine wall. The IUD would dislodge the fertilized ovum already implanted on the uterine wall (endometrium).
This third abortifacient function of these contraceptives was not yet known when Humanae Vitae was issued in July 1968. This encyclical-letter very strongly rejected abortion. It also rejected explicitly direct contraception. It was this rejection of all direct contraception which became very controversial then and up to the present. But even those who would disagree with the Pope in his rejection of all direct contraception have no grounds for accepting direct abortion. After the encyclical, the abortifacient effect of many pills came to be known: They do not only prevent conception; they also prevent the implantation of the fertilized ovum. Attacks on papal authority or on the binding force on Catholics of the papal teaching against contraception, therefore, are no argument in favor of the RH bill. The most objectionable part of this bill is not its promotion of contraceptive devices but its proposed dissemination by the government of contraceptive devices which are abortifacient.
To a person, all the proponents of the RH bill claim they are against abortion, and that the bill does not promote abortion. Why then do they propose in the bill the dissemination by the government of devices which are abortifacient?
Some would say that there are opinions from authoritative bodies that the contraceptive devices are not abortifacients since those bodies say that conception begins at implantation.
The answer to that is: The majority today still hold that conception happens at fertilization and not at implantation (which takes place about a week after fertilization). But even if we admit, for the sake of argument, that there is a division of opinion, there is no sound ethics that will admit the direct killing of what is at least probably a human being. When there is any serious doubt at all about the existence of a human life, it is ethically wrong to kill that life. For example, you do not shoot at what seems to be an animal hiding in the bushes if there is at least a probability that it may be a human being and not an animal. Likewise, an embalmer should not embalm a body which may still probably be alive.
This is what the proponents of the RH bill seem to ignore or are ignorant of.
Once they look at this argument in the eye, they will be left only with proposing the dissemination of condoms or spermicides or those pills which will be certified as not capable of preventing the implantation of the fertilized ovum. I do not think they will relish that prospect.
But in all this matter, we should all seek divine guidance. We should pray for our enlightenment and the enlightenment of those who propose or support the bill.
More than for enlightenment, we should also pray for the courage to do what is right and not vote for a bill simply because the party bosses say so.