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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Atty. Jose Sison reminds Congressmen why the RH bill should not be passed

By Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star) 
January 27, 2012 

The time, effort, and attention given, and public money used by both chambers of Congress to prosecute and try the impeachment charges against the Chief Justice of a co-equal branch of government are definitely taking its toll on their main job of legislation. Our Congressmen and Senators should be reminded that this impeachment business is just a special and extraordinary task imposed upon them by the Constitution and that their primary job is still the enactment of laws. Hence they should continue devoting the same kind if not more attention, deliberation and study, as they have been doing before, on pending bills. They should guard against reported moves to fast track some controversial legislation like the RH bill while public attention is focused on this impeachment thing.

Lest our legislators forget therefore it may be timely once more to refresh them on the controversial issues surrounding this bill which they should meticulously look into and prudently resolve always having the common good in mind. Specifically, these are:

First, is the RH bill necessary? The bill is supposedly necessary for the purpose of “managing” our population growth since it continues to increase and now numbers 95 million. Statistics however show that while our population is increasing, the population growth rate is steadily declining. In the ’60s the average number of children per couple was six, with a population growth rate of 3.01 percent. Now the average number of children per couple is only two with a population growth rate of 1.96 percent. Pretty soon our population growth rate will fall to zero level and below. With no more babies being born, the existing population will get older and older and fewer and fewer like what is happening now in Singapore and Japan which are encouraging couples to have more babies in a complete reversal of their previous population control policy. There is therefore no need to control our population so there is no need for the RH bill.

Almost 70 percent to 80 percent of our population is supposedly poor where most families have an average of 8-10 children. So the bill is necessary because it encourages and provides the poor some means and methods to limit the size of their family and thus reduce the mouths to feed into such number as the couple can afford. The bill obviously looks at the poor and not poverty as the problem. It is getting rid of the victims of poverty instead of reducing the incidence of poverty by improving educational and health services, eliminating graft and corruption, developing infrastructures and promoting more equitable distribution of the country’s wealth and resources where the P3 billion budget proposed in the said bill can be put to better use. Indeed, even now, the Department of Health is already implanting some of the health measures proposed in said bill with a budget allocation of almost P1billion that mainly benefits the multi-national pharmaceutical companies supplying drugs, medicines and devices supposedly for reproductive health. So the bill is not really necessary.

Second, is the bill lawful? While the bill expressly says that it is not legalizing abortion, it allocates billions of pesos to guarantee access to a full range of supposedly medically safe, legal, affordable and health care services, methods, supplies and devices including artificial contraceptives such as birth control pills already medically proven to cause abortion because they prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum or a conceived child into the mother’s womb. Indeed the terms “reproductive health”, “reproductive health rights” and “reproductive services” which are repeatedly used in the bill “include abortion or access to abortion” as confirmed by US State Secretary Hillary Clinton of the Obama administration which is openly advocating abortion in imposing its population control policy over developing countries. So the bill is actually sanctioning a violation of the provisions of the Revised Penal Code (Articles 256 to 259) penalizing various acts of abortion or the killing of an innocent baby in the mother’s womb. It is also contrary to Article II Section 12 of the Constitution mandating the protection of the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.

Third, is the bill good for the health? One of the bill’s purposes is allegedly the promotion of women’s reproductive health to arrest the alarming increase in maternal deaths and infant mortality during childbirths. In achieving this purpose it is treating pregnancy as a disease that should be prevented by giving women the freedom to choose birth control methods including the artificial means like the use of contraceptives. But again it has already been medically proven that most if not all of these artificial contraceptives not only cause abortion but other serious ailments and illnesses on women and children including cancer, cardiovascular and liver diseases. In fact there are several recorded incidents of women using contraceptives who give birth to babies with all sorts of deformities and abnormalities. So the bill is not actually good for the health of women and children.

And fourth, does the bill protect marriage as an inviolable social institution, recognize the sanctity of family life and strengthen family solidarity? Undoubtedly by promoting the use of contraceptives the bill is actually promoting the contraceptive mentality which cheapens sex and leads to marital infidelity because couples may be lured into satisfying their sexual urge with anybody else in the belief that these contraceptives assure them of “safe” sex or sex that does not result in pregnancy. These consequences have already been shown in western countries which allow the use of contraceptives where there are rampant breakdown of marriages and family. Besides, requiring compulsory sex education to children from age 10 intrudes into the parents’ natural and inherent right in their rearing and education. This provision not only violates the sanctity of family life but also leads to many teenage pregnancies as again shown by the happenings in western countries. So the bill actually shakes the very foundation of the family which is marriage and as a result also shakes the foundation of the nation which is the family.

These are some of the basic issues that our legislators should properly consider in tackling the RH bill. And by doing so, they would certainly come to the conclusion that the bill should not be passed.

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