Philippine Reproductive Health Bill

Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal has placed a petition into circulation that condemns the Reproductive Health bill (RH) being considered by the Philippine national government. This action comes after a similar petition was put into motion in Manila by church officials.  The goal is 1 million signatures from Cebu province against that bill.

The bill is surrounded by rumors that it legalizes abortion in the Philippines or that will lead to legalized abortion.  This is false, the bill does not legalize abortion.  The bill provides for education and access to .  Conservatives claim this will lead to abortion.  But that has not been the case in other countries such as Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Paraguay and Ireland.  All of which provide for contraceptive use but abortion is still not legal.

The bill’s sponsor believes that the bill will reduce abortion by reducing unwanted pregnancy. The bill is intended to put control of reproductive health in the national government rather than local government.

The bill covers these areas and affirms that abortion is illegal:

(1) Information and access to natural and modern family planning
(2) Maternal, infant and child health and nutrition
(3) Promotion of breast feeding
(4) Prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications
(5) Adolescent and youth health
(6) Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, HIV/AIDS and STDs
(7) Elimination of violence against women
(8) Counseling on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health
(9) Treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers
(10) Male involvement and participation in RH
(11) Prevention and treatment of infertility
(12) RH education for the youth.

Proponents of the bill site the UN’s position that population control is essential to reducing poverty.  This is, of course, obvious.  If a family has 8 children instead of two, there will be less cost to support that family.

This is not my country.  I am an outsider looking in My purpose is to learn about the culture.  I know a Filipina that doesn’t care for the church because of the wealth of the priest and the constant talk of politics during mass.  She says “that politics do not belong in the church.”  She is only one person but I’m certain her feelings are felt by many others.  Of course, not by all others.  In the US the conservatives tend to want to tell the rest of the country how they should live.  It appears this is not limited to the US.


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Filed under: Cebuanos and ReligionPhilippine Government

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