After a decade of long battle, the Philippines’ legislature approved the most controversial House Bill No. 96 authored by Rep. Edcel Lagman, also known as Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2010 which was approved by the legislative body last December 17, 2012, a landmark piece of legislation that will allow the government to provide basic funding for sex education and contraceptives.
Actually, this was introduced more than 10 years ago, but this has stayed so long in the legislature because of strong opposition from the Catholic Church and its allies in government. There are six bills pertaining to reproductive health and/or population management that have been filed for deliberation in both the House of Representatives and the Senate for the 15th Congress.
Many thought that the bill would never pass, because the country has been divided in its stand; the church, particularly the Roman Catholics are too strong and are very emphatic in their opposition about the said issue. However, pro RH bill supporters have expressed and fought for their thoughts and have found an ally in President Noynoy Aquino, who took office as President of the Philippine Republic in 2010. The Reproductive Health Bill will have its wide implications for improving the health and lives of women throughout the country. After researching about this bill, I have learned about the many advantages that will help the Filipinos especially the youth in uplifting their social and moral values. Contrary to what other people believed, I also support the pro RH Bill because from my point of view, it provides many advantages. I would like to raise my opinion on the following issues which I have researched extensively regarding the RH Bill:
The RH Bill is anti-life – It is, in fact, pro-quality life, because it will ensure that all births are planned and wanted by their parents. The bill is not against the birth of children and does not advocate that couples stop having children. Rather, it only aims to help them achieve their fertility goals – to have the number and proper spacing of children that they desire. The RH Bill is biased for modern methods – Since it makes available all possible family planning methods – including the natural family planning method preferred by the Catholic Church, it actually “democratizes” family planning. The RH Bill legalizes abortion – Abortion is illegal, criminal and punishable by law. There is absolutely no provision in the RH Bill about the legalization of abortion. The RH Bill endorses abortifacients – All contraceptive pills and intrauterine conceptive devices (IUDs) are not abortifacients and will not induce abortions.
These are meant to suppress ovulation, which stops fertilization and the formation of a fetus. Contraceptives kill – Medical risks connected with contraceptives are infinitely lower than the risks of an actual pregnancy. The risk of dying from maternal causes is 1 in 100. The risk of dying from IUDs is 1 in 10 million; vasectomy, 1 in 1 million; birth-control pills, 1 in 200,000; – Sex education promotes the correct sexual values condoms, absolutely zero. Sexuality Education will promote promiscuity – Studies on countries where sex education is part of the curriculum have found it beneficial in that it actually delays sexual relations and encourages abstinence before marriage. Multiple sex partners are also avoided, therefore, the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases will be prevented. The RH Bill will promote a contraceptive mentality – Contraceptives will prevent unplanned pregnancies, but couples who want children will not stop just because contraceptives are widely available. The RH Bill claims to be panacea to poverty – The Bill simply recognizes the correlation between a large population and poverty. Family planning and reproductive health will help reduce poverty.
The Bill will lead to a demographic winter – Research has shown that a demographic winter is not possible in at least another 100 years. The Bill has been accused of violating Art. II, Sec. 12 of the Philippine Constitution, when in fact it actually supports it. As required by that specific provision, the Bill offers resources that may help parents, particularly to the majority who regard discussing sex at home as taboo, educate their children about sexuality and reproductive health. The RH Bill is unconstitutional – The Bill has been accused of violating Art. II, Sec. 12 of the Philippine Constitution, when it fact it actually supports it. As required by that specific provision, the Bill offers resources that may help parents, particularly to the majority who regard discussing sex at home as taboo, educate their children about sexuality and reproductive health. The passage of the RH Bill will mean a national, rights-based, comprehensive and integrated approach to reproductive health for the Filipino nations. The RH Bill will help curb maternal mortality and morbidity.
The RH Bill will give greater access to reproductive health information and services The RH Bill will ensure an adequate number of skilled health providers to assist births in every local government unit. Early pregnancies can be prevented through mandatory and age-appropriate reproductive health education from Grade 5-4th Year High School. The reproductive bill aims to control massive increase in population in the country and reduces its effects to the people. Due to irresponsible family planning being practiced by most Filipinos, it contributes a lot to population explosion then triggers the shortages in the needs of the people. One of the best solutions the government is trying to impose is the RH bill that provides benefits to the people including the unborn. The government can easily give and satisfy the needs of the people and promote their welfare through it. Indeed, as a high school student, I truly believe that the RH Bill is pro-life, pro-poor, pro-women, pro-youth, pro-informed choices.