From Ed Sorreta of Pro-Life Philippines
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Answers to common questions on the RH bill
Q& A on the Reproductive Health Bill 4244
From Ed Sorreta of Pro-Life Philippines
From Ed Sorreta of Pro-Life Philippines
1. Will the RH bill adversely affect my family?
The bill provides: “SEC. 16. Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education. - … shall be taught by adequately trained teachers in formal and non-formal education system starting from Grade Five up to Fourth Year High School…to both public and private schools…and shall include, but not limited to, the following topics: … i. Family planning methods; and j. Proscription and hazards of abortion.” In other words, our elemntary and HS children will be taught contraceptives, condoms and abortion!
If these topics should be taught, let the parents take the responsibilty because they know the temperament and maturity of their children, which a classroom setting does not consider. Moreover, these should be taught in the context of Christian values. Therefore, the government should educate the parents instead of bypassing them and going directly to their children. Section Art. XV, Sec. 3 (1) provides: “The State shall defend: The right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood…” This right and duty of parents is usurped by government by teaching the use of contraceptives and Safe Sex to our children inspite of many Catholic parents’ objection since these are against the teachings of the Catholic Church.
2. Does the RH bill force people to use contraceptives and/or legalize abortion?
No, it does not penalize people for not using contraceptives. However, it forces some sectors of society to submit to provisions that may be against their faith and parental rights. This is answered in nos. 1, 9a, 9c, 9d, and 10.
In addition, the bill does not legalize abortion, but it is silent on the abortifacient effect of contraceptives and IUDs.
3. The proponents of the RH Bill claim that 11 women a day die of pregnancy. Will the RH Bill reduce this number?
According to the Philippine Health Statistics, there were 9,000 deaths from vehicular accidents. Should we then discourage or ban vehicular travel? In the same light, the government should look into the causes of women dying from childbirth, which can vary from lack of pregnancy health care service, including competent service providers, to insuficient medical supplies. The government should focus its resources to improving these, instead of preventing pregnancy.
4. Fifty (51%) of women want access to contraceptives which the RH Bill guarantees.
Contraceptives are readily available and the DOH has been distributing contraceptives and condoms costing government is billions of pesos through the years. Inspite of this, they want to legislate the compulsory purchase of these items by gov’t hospitals. It is really big business (see no. 10).
Also, surveys cannot be the only basis for giving services and/or products to Filipinos. For example, if majority of Filipinos want to have guns for self-defense due to increasing crime rate, should the government then issue them guns?
5. Does the Caholic Church impose her beliefs on its congregation and even to non-Catholics who believe otherwise?
Sex by God’s design must always be open to life. This is not mere Catholic teaching but a natural law that applies to all men of whatever race or religious conviction. It is for this reason that Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Humanae Vitae said: “Of such laws the Church was not the author, nor consequently can she be their arbiter; she is only their depositary and their interpreter, without ever being able to declare to be licit that which is not so by reason of its intimate and unchangeable opposition to the true good of man.” In other words, she merely proclaims the truth regarding the openness to life of the marital act and the immorality of violating this natural law. Whether a couple (Catholic or not) listens to her and abides by this principle is not for the Church to interfere. That is why priests do not ask couples if they are using contraceptives or condoms before giving them communion. Neither does she prevent government from implementing its population program nor does she excomunicate the manufacturers and distributors of contraceptives and condoms. It is between them and God. And God who knows what is in their hearts is the only One who can judge them with compassion. However, if the Church should stop from speaking out these basic truths because times are changing, she would renege on her pastoral responsibility to her flock.
6. How certain are we that openness to life of sex is a natural law that applies to all men?
Violation of natural laws brings inevitable consequences. When contraceptives became legal in the US in 1960, this facilitated the Sexual Revolution of the 60s and 70s. Sexual promiscuity became prevalent. In 1968, Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Humanae Vitae warned of the devastating effects of this kind of behavior. Today, we are witnessing these consequences in society.
a) Infidelity and Moral Decline – i) Prevalence of single parents; ii) Only two countries in world remain without divorce (the Philippines and Malta); iii) 50% of civil marriages and 33% of Church marriages in the U.S. end in divorce; iv) In the Phils., 3 out of 10 marriages end in separation;
b) Loss of respect for women – i) Physical violence against women; ii) Rape; iii) Pornography
c) Abuse of Power by elected leaders – i) Election fraud; ii) Political killings; iii) Political dynasties; iv) Graft and corruption; v) Legislative agenda through the RH Bill and other anti-family life bills
d) Unlimited Dominion over his own body – i) Abortion became legal in the US in 1973; ii) Abortion is legal in many countries, including staunchly Catholic countries like Mexico, Spain and Portugal; iii) Same sex marriage iv) Suicide; v) Euthanasia
Other consequences that the pope did not mention are:
a) The spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and HIV-AIDS. In 1960, there were only 5 known STDs. Today, there are more than 20 STDs, and 8 kinds of the HIV-AIDS. Since its discovery in 1981, 28M people have already died of AIDS and 5 people/min. continue to die. Over 40M people are now infected with the HIV/AIDS virus.
b) 100 countries, mostly rich countries, are on the brink of a demographic collapse. Their women have an average of less than the replacement fertility rate of 2 babies/woman. Inspite of the financial incentives they offer to women to have more babies, they continue to avoid pregnancy. The contraceptive mentality has set into their culture. Consequently, their population is aging and they depend of foreign workers to prop up their economies. One great source for these skilled and talented workers is the Phils., yet the RH bill wants to reduce our population instead of giving education to our people and preparing them for this unprecendented demand for human resources.
7. Should every sex act, then, end in pregnancy?
Of course not, because bringing a child to life demands responsibility. For this reason, a woman is only fertile one day throughout her cycle. Signs and symptons that tell her she is fertile accompany this day. With this knowledge, she and her husband may decide to have sex in order to conceive. If they are postponing pregnancy for some grave reason, this is the time to abstain. All other days outside this window of fertility are available to them to enjoy their conjugal act. This is the essence of responsible parenthood, which the Church teaches to engaged couples.
Contraceptives and condoms make a woman available for sex anytime. Consequently, any good thing that is enjoyed without restraint loses its value.
8. Do contraceptives and condoms give women the right to choose whether to become pregnant or not?
Women never lose that right since they are the ones who get pregnant. That is why she can and should say no to her husband when the time is not right. This is real woman empowerment. And if he respects her, he will wait a few days. This is good in making a couple matured and responsible because they learn to discipline themselves instead of simply giving in to their natural desires.
9. What other constitutional rights does the bill violate?
a) The RH bill will require: i) All schools (including Catholic schools) to teach artificial family planning methods to HS students; ii) Employers to give their employees reproductive health services; iii) Health care service providers to give contraceptives and perform vasecotmy or ligation. This is a violation of Art. III, Sec. 5 of our Constitution that states: “…The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed.”
b) No contraceptive is 100%. There is a 7% failure rate. This means there is a slim chance that fertilization may occur. However, the pill renders the uterus inhospitable to the fertilzed egg, which is unable to attach itself to the uterine lining. It is therefore ejected out of the body. This is the meaning of ‘abortifacient’ effect, or chemical abortion. It is a gross violation of Art. II, Sec. 12 of our Constitution, which states: “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception…”
c) The RH Bill will allow a person to undergo vasectomy or ligation without the consent of the spouse. This is a violation of Art. XV, Sec. 2 of our Constitution that states: “Marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State.”
d) The bill will also allow abused and/or pregnant minors to seek reproductive health service without parental consent. This violates our parental right provided in Art. II, Sec. 12 of our constitution: “…The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.”
e) The bill will penalize any person who maliciously engages in disinformation about the intent or provisions of the bill. It violates Art. III, Sec. 4 of our Constitution, which provides that “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press...”
10. How much money will the bill spend if implemented?
The proponents of the RH Bill are asking an initial funding of P3B! Part of this is for the purchase contraceptive drugs and devices to be given to the poor. The bill will also require in Sec. 10 that “products and supplies for modern family planning methods shall be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national and local hospitals and other government health units.” This is big business for pharmaceutical companies whose purchase of its products will be required by law! It is clearly a misappropriation of taxpayer’s money when the billions of pesos they intend to spend could be used for other priorities like education, MRT or NFA subsidy.
11. Is it true that the bill carries penalties of fines and imprisonement for any violation?
Yes. Sec. 29 of the bill provides: “Any violation of this Act or commission of the foregoing prohibited acts shall be penalized by imprisonment ranging from one (1) month to six (6) months or a fine of Ten Thousand (P 10,000.00) to Fifty Thousand Pesos (P 50,000.00)…”. This bill brings us back to the martial law years by the use of force or threats to make people do things against their will or faith.
12. Who are the authors of this bill?
Ninety four (94) congressmen co-authored this bill. They are: Abance-Fuentes, Daisy; Aglipay, Emmeline Y.; Albano Rodolfo B.; Alcover Jr., Pastor M.; Alvarez, Antonio Chaves; Amante-Matba, Ma. Angelica M.; Arquiza, Godofredo V.; Arroyo Jr., Ignacio; Bag-ao, Kaka J.; Baguilat Jr., Teddy Brawner; Banal, Jorge “Bolet”; Bataoil, Leopoldo Nalupa; Batocabe, Rodel M.; Bello, Walden; Belmonte Jr., Vicente Florendo; Biazon, Rodolfo G.; Binay, Mar-len Abigail S.; Bravo Jr., Narciso Recio; Briones, Nicanor M.; Cagas IV, Marc Douglas; Cajayon, Mary Mitzi Lim; Casiño, Teddy A.; Castelo, Winston “Winnie”; Catamco, Nancy Alaan; Celeste,Jesus “Boying” F.; Ceriles, Aurora Enerio; Cojuangco, Enrique Murphy; Cojuangco, Kimi S.; Colmenares, Neri; Datumanong, Simeon A.; De Jesus, Emerenciana; Diaz, Antonio; Duavit, Joel Roy; Dy,Napoleon; Eriguel M.D., Eufranio C.; Escudero IIII, Salvador; Estrella,Robert; Fariñas,Rodolfo Castro; Ferrer, Jeffrey Padilla; Ferriol, Abigail C.; Flores, Jr., Florencio Tadiar; Fua, Orlando Bongcawel; Garin, Jannette L.; Garin, Sharon S.; Go, Arnujlfo Fegarido; Go, Ana Cristina Siquian; Haresco, Teodorico; Ilagan, Luzviminda; Jaafar, Nur Gaspar; Jalosjos, Seth F.; Jalosjos Jr., Romeo; Joson, Josefina Manuel; Kho, David L.; Lacson-Noel, Josephine Veronique; Lagman, Edcel C.; Leonen-Pizarro, Catalina; Lopez, Carol Jayne B.; Loyola, Roy Maulanin; Marcoleta, Rodante D.; Mariano, Rafael V.; Mendoza, Raymond Democrito C.; Obillo, Reena Concepcion G.; Ocampo, Rosenda Ann; Ortega, Emmanuel R.; Ortega, Victor Francisco Campos; Padilla, Carlos Mapili; Paez, Cresente C.; Palatino, Raymond V.; Palmones, Angelo B.; Pangandaman, Mohammed Hussein P.; Pangandaman, Solaiman; Panotes, Elmer Ellaga; Pichay, Philip Arreza; Ping-ay Jose; Quibranza-Dimaporo, Imelda; Radaza, Arturo Ompad; Remulla, Jesus Crispin Catibayan; Rivera, Michael Angelo C.; Sahidulla, Nur-Anan; Sambar, Mark Aeron H.; Serna, Bai Sandra A.; Singson, Ronald V.; Singson Jr., Eric Gacula; Suarez, Danilo Etorma; Syjuco, Augusto; Tinio, Antonio L.; Tomawis, Acmad; Treñas, Jerry Perez; Tupas, Jr., Niel Causing; Vergara, Bernardo Mangaoang; Villafuerte, Luis Robredo; Yap, Susan A.; Yu, Victor Jo; Zubiri III, Jose F.
13. What can we do?
Know the truth. Spread the truth, for only the truth can set us free. Make your sentiments known to your congressmen so they will vote for what is morally right. Be vigilant against changing the family provisions of our constitution. Any system of government is only as good as the people who run it. If the Filipino family produces children lacking in moral foundation, no system will ever make our country better. The family is where the battle should be fought. It is where the war will be won. God bless us all.