ON RH BILL

The proposed Reproductive Health Care Act of 2008 or House Bill 812 has a wide coverage. It deals with 12 provisions which draw criticism because according to legislators a bill should have only one subject matter.

It’s not new to me anymore the news about fetus found on garbage piles, flushed in toilet bowls of public comfort rooms or even just thrown on sidewalks.

Worse than these are newly born found in box, on tombstones or in a street corners devoured by dogs.

But the worst among these are babies being toasted, hammered to death or plunged into the river or creek by their own mothers.

Well, I can’t fathom the reasons of those mothers but their acts are very inhuman.

It is for these reasons that the Reproductive Health Bill must be approved by the higher House because one of its provisions is prevention of abortion which is becoming rampant and high school students can’t be excused from the list.

Besides, it promotes both natural and modern family planning whose common purpose is to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Everyone should be warned that abortion and infanticide are both crimes under Revised Penal Code. Under the RH Bill, hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables, and other safe and effective family planning products and supplies shall be part of the National Drug Formulary and included in the regular purchase if essential medicines and supplies of all national and local hospitals and other government health units.

In addition, the Philippines with its 88.7 million populations are the 12th most populous nation in the world today. This very alarming fact urges the approval of the Reproductive Health Bill which provides information and access to natural and modern family planning.

I don’t say we should not listen and just ignore the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) which disapproves family planning but we should consider the situation of our fellow Filipinos.

Many are suffering from disease caused by environmental problems. A number of children are malnourished and can’t go to school. There are families who don’t have permanent address due to poverty. Some are contented sleeping under the bridge or living in shanties. Which do you think is more delightful in the eyes of God few but healthy and happy children or many but malnourished and miserable ones?

I have no problem with leaders and members of the Catholic Church speaking out against the RH Bill. Freedom of expression is available to everyone under the Constitution.

I also have no problem with leaders of the Catholic Church threatening to excommunicate members whom they consider to be violating its teachings. It’s an organized religion and it can do whatever it wants to do with its members, including kicking them out of the group.

What I dislike are the lies and misinformation being spread about the RH Bill. Among those I heard are that the RH Bill allows abortion and that it mandates that seven-year-olds be taught about how to have sex. One only has to read House Bill 96, authored by Representative Edcel Lagman, to know that the RH Bill does not have those provisions.

Without the RH bill, women would not be able to know what choices are available to them. They will not have access to birth control methods that they would have otherwise chosen because would not know that these existed. Even if they knew what their contraceptive options were, most Filipinas would probably not be in position to afford these.

And it has been argued that there is no need for the government to make contraceptives available because they can be bought at the same sari-sari store that sells dried fish. That is missing the point.

I love life and support the RH Bill because it gives women/men the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies and to obtain enough information about the choices available to them.

It is the right of a mankind to make choices about their body that is at the heart of the controversy. Everything else is noise.

I would be grateful to have a life that makes it possible for us to have access to information that would allow me to pick the best method in preventing such matters to the best of my knowledge.

Author Elie Wiesek wrote: “Once you bring life into the world, you must protect it. We must protect it by changing the world.” I support the RH Bill. By supporting the RH Bill, I seek to help the nation in eradicating poverty and overpopulation and I believe, aside from education, it is also an antidote to the problem matters occurring in the country. That is what you call changing the world.Image

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