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Sticking It to the RH/Abortion Bill December 3, 2009

Posted by Maddog in HB 5043, Politics and Law, Prolife Issues, Religion and Social Issues.
Tags: , , , ,

Just when things are looking bleak, the Lord sends some light to guide and inspire us.

The past few days have brought good news for those fighting to defend life. I was certainly happy to find these following gems in the news.

First we have the following piece by Roberto de Ocampo entitled Kill ‘Bill’? (http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20091127-238839/Kill-Bill):

… one would think that I should be an obvious supporter of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill. I am not. I have serious misgivings about it.

First, I find it unnecessary. If as the supporters have time and again emphasized, the major shortcoming of our current population management program is the need for more widespread education and information, then I submit that the government presently has the breadth and depth of institutional capability to do this with the voluntary cooperation of the private sector, including the Church. If the observation is that the government has not done this well enough, this can be redressed with a good combination of political will and leadership and a better budget allocation, not a bill. True, the Church will promote only natural family planning methods. So be it. That’s the role and position of the Church. The state’s role is to help expand the public’s knowledge of choices, not limit it.

This leads me to my second serious misgiving, namely, the present draft bill contains punitive provisions that are tantamount to an affront to civil liberties and smack of religious persecution. Just read the section mandating private sector employees and private health practitioners to actively promote artificial birth control methods and distribute devices whether or not their conscience and religious convictions agree with the practice. Combine that with the section imposing penalties of imprisonment or fines or both if they don’t follow or are deemed guilty of “perceived violations” and tell me that the bill does not encroach on basic civil rights. Tell me that the bill does not unfairly force a person into a moral dilemma, a State-induced struggle of conscience. This is not education, it’s coercion. This is not choice, it’s threat.

. . .

Finally, I find it truly disingenuous for anyone to proceed on the premise that the poor are to blame for the nation’s poverty. This seems to be one of the bill’s underlying economic philosophies—i.e., we could be such a richer nation if the poor would do something better than just go forth and multiply. Pardon me, but in the context of our income-distribution challenged society, the poor are often the victims, not the problem. And let’s not forget that it’s the poor, not the wealthy, whose acknowledged sacrifices as overseas workers are propping up this struggling economy. If a major concern of the bill is to help reduce poverty, then I cannot believe that the bill’s proponents and supporters are unaware of the many other major factors that are the root causes of poverty (poor governance, corruption, severely unequal distribution of wealth, low productivity, unattractive investment policies, etc.) and, of course, the many other alternatives that can be brought to bear to address them (giving up pork barrel, reforming land reform, raising tax collection efficiency, curtailing dynastic politics, etc.)

I am not the only one impressed by De Ocampo’s courageous stand. John-D Borra praises De Ocampo in his blog post, It Takes Courage to Choose Life (http://johndborra.blogspot.com/2009/12/it-takes-courage-to-choose-life.html).

More good stuff: Tony F. Roxas, in Masterpiece in Sophism (http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/home/perspective/19110-masterpiece-in-sophism.html), which appeared in Business Mirror, debunks three myths regarding “reproductive health” (RH). These are: 1) That RH education is a human right; 2) That RH education is one way to help alleviate poverty; 3) That RH education gives women the right to exercise their freedom of informed choice.

Roxas first notes that the right to life is the highest human right, and therefore any “rights” that are contrary to it are essentially not rights at all — including RH education that promotes abortifacient contraceptives or a contraceptive/abortion mentality. He writes:

…any so­-called rights that do the very opposite—weakening and not supporting the right to life; corrupting and poisoning the tender minds of children with a contraceptive culture and not enriching their rational life; and endangering or destroying the right to life and not protecting and strengthening it—are rights only in name but not in reality. Such “rights” do not have any moral existence!

Therefore, any and all provisions of RH Bill 5043 and all similar provisions found in all bills on sex education and all other related bills containing such nonexistent rights, because they are naturally unjust per se, are absolutely null and void ab initio, and can never be enacted validly into any just law!

Tackling the second RH myth, Roxas shows how poverty is not caused by “overpopulation” but rather by non-productivity.

Consequently, if any foreign or local interests sincerely want to help solve our poverty problems, they can best do so by helping provide skills, training, education and livelihood projects which will surely uplift the economic conditions of the poor, and not insist on flooding poor families with pills and condoms which only result in the end in damage to the mother’s health and/or the slaying of the unborn. To paraphrase what one writer once wisely said, productivity, not pills, condoms or abortions, will end poverty!

As for “exercising freedom of informed choice”, here is what Roxas has to say:

In conclusion, RH Bill 5043 denies Filipino women the right to exercise authentic freedom of choice because it only wants them to exercise negative freedom, the absence of restraint, without the corresponding positive freedom, the ability to choose correctly, because the truth about the dangers these contraceptives bring to the life and health of possible users is hidden from them.

In short, this RH bill wants our Filipino women to exercise the “freedom” of misinformed choice!

These are good arguments that have been stated before in various ways, and it seems that more people beginning to see the light. I take heart, for example, in this bit of news from Business Mirror:

Gibo’s wife withdraws support for RH bill

SAYING that it has been “defanged and is now toothless” the legislator-wife of former defense secretary Gilbert  Teodoro, the administration bet in the 2010 presidential elections, has withdrawn her support for the controversial reproductive-health bill.

In pulling out her support for House Bill 5043, Lakas-Kampi-CMD Rep. Nikki Prieto Teodoro of Tarlac said the measure does not directly address the problem of poverty in the country, where about 5,000 Filipinos are born daily, most of them ending up poor.

“I don’t want to give poor Filipinos, especially children, the false hope that this bill will solve the problem of poverty because it does not. I’d rather spend our meager resources in directly feeding the poor, clothing the naked, giving shelter to the poor and educating them so they grow up productive and independent,” said Teodoro.

. . .

She said the people should be told that it takes more than population control to reduce poverty and spark socio-economic development in the Philippines.

“Population growth is not a problem if resources are available and well-managed to cope with the additional people requiring public services, employment, housing and so on,” said Teodoro.

But Teodoro said majority of maternal deaths are caused by the lack of proper medical facilities and care. She said the reproductive-health bill does not address this lack of basic health-care services, and will allow the problem to persist while it wastes funds on abortifacients and other ineffective reproductive-health measures.

Way to go! This is certainly refreshing news!

Enough time and effort has been wasted on this useless and deadly bill. It’s time we kill HB 5043 — for good. When the elections come next year, be sure NOT to vote Edcel C. Lagman, Janettte L. Garin, Narciso D. Santiago III, Mark Llandro Mendoza, Ana Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel, Elandro Jesus F. Madrona, and the other supporters of the RH/Abortion Bill. They may be running for different offices this time around, so remember those nefarious names!



1. Maddog - January 27, 2010

Poll thumbs down reproductive bill

NINETY-two percent of Metro Manila residents have rejected the controversial Reproductive Health bill pending in the House of Representatives, former Environment Secretary Joselito Atienza said Friday.

The results of the Filipino Family Survey, conducted by HB&A International-ARO Research Group with 500 respondents from Dec. 2 to 9, showed that Filipinos “overwhelmingly” gave the RH bill, authored by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, a thumbs down, Atienza said.

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