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The Reproductive Health Bill, Again…

{ Tags: , , \ May31 }

This Sunday’s gospel reading was about being salt of the earth and light of the world. It is providential that the Bishop of San Pablo required all the priests of the diocese to read the Pastoral Letter of the CBCP regarding the Reproductive Health Bill (now called Responsible Parenthood Bill). I say “providential” because the reading of the Bill actually gives a concrete perspective whereby to understand the saying about Christ’s disciples being salt and light.

I read the pastoral letter offering some comments here and there. Since the Beijing Conference held in 1995, I became interested in the question of reproductive health. I was campus minister in a University where most of the students were female so my office had to come up with relevant content to perk up our liturgical activities. I remember that during the first Friday of August, 1995, I came up with a First Friday paraliturgical rite based on Mulieris Dignitatem and on August 15 of the same year, a Mass with the theme “The Assumption: God’s Gift to Woman”. But it was during that year when I became aware of how certain words and phrases can be used to hide an agenda that isn’t pro-life or pro-woman.

The same catch phrases about “women’s health” and “reproductive health” and “sexual health” are used or at least assumed in the Reproductive Health Bill that some of our legislators have been advocating these past years. The first time I had the chance to read the Reproductive Health Bill was between 2000-2004. I was Director of Religious Education at Colegio San Agustin then, and it was also the time when I discovered that population control was an extension of the program of Hitler to decimate non-Arians known as “eugenics”. Margaret Sanger was the name associated with the so-called Planned Parenthood.

The media has been good at presenting the Church’s rejection of the RH Bill as a question of Catholic idiosyncracy that is why the CBCP had to present its objections in a way that would reflect even the beliefs of other religions and that of every man of good will. There are two principles that the letter insists on: the gift of life and the rights and duties of parenthood. While the principle of subsidiarity is not explicitly invoked, the initial citation of the Philippine Constitution regarding the State’s duty to protect the family’s rights as an autonomous institution of human life and its avowed respect of religious freedom is sufficient in underlining the deficiency of the RH Bill in this regard.

Personally, I think that the argument that the RH Bill goes against religious freedom is the strongest argument against it. People already know that there is no population explosion in the Philippines, but congestion in urban centers. Second, there is no necessity for the Bill since anyone can procure contraceptives anytime anywhere, anyway. Our government spends more on non-essentials (like giving millions as gifts to its favorites) than on women’s health care, and health care in general, and so on and so forth. So why the concern for this Reproductive Health Bill? Given that the reasons adduced for the Bill are non-existent or are not the real concern of our leaders, what need is there for the Reproductive Health Bill?

Anyhoo… I have written about the Reproductive Health Bill in this blog twice before:

Below are related articles I found on the web…

Related Articles on the Web

Originally posted 2011-02-06 22:28:01. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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