What the RH Bill is not

MANILA, Philippines - The Reproductive Health Bill is not what it purports to be. It is not about reproductive health rights. It is not about women's maternal health. It is not about preventing infant mortality. It is not about responsible parenthood. Nor is it about poverty alleviation.

The RH Bill is in fact a tyranny of half-truths. This Bill, which has gone through so many permutations and attempts to be passed, is a melange of obfuscations and inadequate information.

Efforts to ram it down our throats through apparently tainted media coverage, through surveys that ask leading questions, and through taking advantage of general ignorance of the substance of the bill, not to mention apathy of fence-sitters, is perhaps the reason why it is vaunted that the RH Bill is the best thing that could ever happen to the Filipino family and nation.

Let's start by considering the premise on which this bill rests. An early title of the bill said "Reproductive Health and Population Development Act," which in its present "consolidated form" now has been revised to include "Responsible Parenthood" in the title, hijacking this very proper term to dissimulate and thus appear to indeed be for everyone's good! Its view of development is very narrow, averring that the Philippines is overpopulated, and only by lowering the birth and fertility rates will this country finally burst out of its mire, and alleluia! We become a first world country!

In the first place, the Malthusian (and its other manifestations) population argument has already been shot to pieces, with most of the developed world in fact facing a demographic winter, threatening the prospects of these economies over the long term. Picking up a quotation from an article by former Secretary of Finance Roberto de Ocampo, he said that according to some researches, "in order for a culture to maintain itself for more than 25 years, there must be a fertility rate of 2.11 children per family. With anything less, the culture will decline. Historically, no culture has ever reversed a 1.9 fertility rate." Is this what we want for the Philippines?

Regarding its claim to provide the "right to complete information" particularly about contraceptive options: the advocates completely forget to inform women about the health risks of hormonal contraceptives. The World Health Organization itself has classified these as bringing about the risks of cancer, particularly breast cancer, in their WHO/IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) Report wherein it was found that hormonal contraceptives do cause cancer. At least, let the women know the risks!

It's the same with other contraceptive devices, such as the condom. It has been found that these do not prevent pregnancy from occurring, nor has it been proven that it protects against AIDS. Moreover, failure of contraception eventually leads to abortion, which while it is claimed that the bill has taken note of the fact that abortion is illegal, the effect of failed contraceptions is an implicit support of abortion.

Another obfuscatory provision hidden in the bill are the punitive sanctions that are, if truth be told, attempts to curtail the Filipino's civil liberties: obligatory requirements for medical health practitioners to actively promote artificial birth control without regard for their consciential rights, for example, if they in conscience cannot do it themselves, they are obliged to refer to someone else who don't have the same misgivings. And hey, there are even sanctions for "criticizing" the bill (if passed).

The bill, while pretending to be for the benefit of the Filipino and the family, overreaches itself. Why is it taking over areas best left to the decision of the Filipino married couple, such as whether they want to have children or not, such as their right to educate their children on matters related to sex and morality. The State should govern, and not meddle in the Filipino individual's decision.

A key principle in corporate governance is that the Board should govern, and let Management take care of the micro aspects of business.

Another hidden provision is to consider contraceptives as "essential medicines," which effectively means that there is no need for bidding nor for COA restrictions. As far as I know, no other medicine has been declared "essential"...(and I do have a quarrel with calling contraceptives as "medicine" because pregnancy is not a disease!) This provision thus leads to the use of tax money on what many citizens consider offensive to their beliefs - is this not a devious way of allocating money which have been paid into the government's coffers by a majority of Christian taxpayers?

Let me repeat. The RH bill is not about reproductive health. It is not about giving women a choice. It is not about poverty alleviation. It is not about the Filipino and his family. It is about state control.

merci.suleik@gmail.com

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific
    First China air force drills in 'far offshore' Pacific

    China's air force has carried out its first ever military drill over the western Pacific Ocean, state media said, highlighting Beijing's growing military reach. Several aircraft from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) on Monday flew over the ocean via the Bashi Channel, which runs between Taiwan and the Philippines, the official Xinhua news agency said. "This is the first time that the PLA Air Force conducted such drills in an airspace far offshore from Chinese coastlines," Xinhua cited …

  • Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow
    Shorter hours for rail lines tomorrow

    The Metro Rail Transit (MRT), Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) will have shorter hours tomorrow for the replacement of defective railroad tracks during the Holy Week. …

  • Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers
    Noy increases allowances for cops, soldiers

    President Aquino has signed a joint congressional resolution raising the daily subsistence allowance for both members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP). Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino signed last March 27 the merged Joint Resolution 2 of the Senate and Joint Resolution 26 of the House of Representatives. Speaking to reporters, Lacierda yesterday said the daily allowances of police officers and soldiers were raised from P90 …

  • Oil firms raise gas prices today
    Oil firms raise gas prices today

    This year’s Holy Week break will be accompanied by an increase in local pump prices after oil companies announced yesterday a P1.10 per liter hike for gasoline and P0.60 per liter for diesel effective today. “Phoenix Petroleum Philippines will increase the prices of gasoline by P1.10 per liter and diesel by P0.60 per liter effective 6 a.m. of March 31, 2015 to reflect the movements in the prices of refined petroleum products in the international market,” said Phoenix Petroleum, an independent …

  • DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah
    DFA denies dropping Phl claim to Sabah

    The Philippines has never offered to drop its Sabah claim in exchange for Malaysia’s support for Manila’s arbitration case against China over the West Philippine Sea issue, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said yesterday. “In the context of our friendly bilateral relations, our two countries have been for years exchanging ways on how to address the issue of the extended continental shelf (ECS) in the South China Sea,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in explaining the DFA’s …

  • Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury
    Pagcor remits record high P5 B to national treasury

    The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has remitted P5 billion in cash dividends to the National Treasury, fully settling all its arrears incurred in the last several years. Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat Jr. said with this year’s remittance, the state-owned gaming firm has fully settled all remaining arrears in cash dividends that were incurred by the previous administration since 2005. Pagcor’s cash dividends to the National Treasury under its …

  • Maysak moves closer to Phl
    Maysak moves closer to Phl

    The typhoon with international name Maysak slightly accelerated as it moved closer to the Philippines yesterday, threatening to dump rains over eastern Luzon this weekend, the state weather bureau said. Rene Paciente, senior weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said Maysak was spotted at 2,175 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 1 p.m. yesterday. Paciente said based on their latest forecast, Maysak is likely to affect …

  • Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany
    Phl gets P2-B climate projects from Germany

    The Philippines is getting 41 million euros or around P2 billion from the International Climate Initiative (ICI) of Germany that will fund 10 bilateral projects to address the impact of climate change. Climate Change Commission (CCC) vice chairman Lucille Sering yesterday met with Norbert Gorissen – head of the International Climate Finance of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety – to discuss the projects, some of which will be …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options