A DIFFERENT show of people-power was staged last March 25 at the Quirino Grandstand when the clergy and religious, pro-life groups, and the Church as a whole gathered to call for the abolition of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.
During the Mass, attended by some 200,000 to 300,000 people, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales called for respect for life and the junking of the RH bill. Cardinal Rosales said that despite the bill’s avowals of “responsible parenthood” and “sexual responsibility,” its bias for contraception and “safe sex” is very evident, so that it is hardly expected to foster authentic responsibility and discipline, two virtues, he said, that the people and the nation need. He added that people’s indifference to life, if not their utter disrespect of it, could lead to moral decay.
The Cardinal said life should be defended from conception: “Kapag hindi pinahalagahan ang buhay na iyan sa alinman o saan mang yugto ng buhay ng tao, (sanggol, fetus, matanda, malakas, o mahina) hinding-hindi igagalang ang buhay ng sinuman—at diyan kapag wala ng halaga o walang pagpapahalaga, wala ng magtatanggol sa buhay.”
The Cardinal’s remarks are a re-expression of what the Varsitarian has said in its last editorial (“RH Bill: Deadly, Anti-Constitution”). Despite its claim to being a lawful measure by its invocation of supposed constitutional principles and state policies, the RH bill is mum on the most important constitutional principle and state policy that should apply on any measure that seeks to regulate births, curb population growth, and introduce sex education—that 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. 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.” (Section 12, Article 2) If one pits all of the questionable provisions of the bill against this proviso, one will recognize how the bill is in fact an attack on the 1987 Constitution that had been overwhelmingly ratified by nearly 80 percent of the population! One will agree with the Varsitarian that it is “deadly,” “anti-life,” “anti-family,” and “anti-constitution.” One will recognize that the RH bill is an attack on human dignity and the Filipino nation!
Oh, but contraception is not abortion, the RH bill proponents maintain. But only the truly dense cannot see through their smokescreen, their lie. In the first place, the bill makes a blanket approbation of all contraceptives, which it wants to be declared as “essential” medicines. Some of these contraceptives are technically abortifacients, even physicians admit that. Moreover, the bill compels medical workers to provide services to women suffering post-abortion complications, which is a condonation of abortion and violates the penal statutes on the crime. Much as mercy and compassion should be extended to women suffering from complications arising out of abortion, wouldn’t a law that forces medical practitioners to extend services to them, regardless of established ethical medical protocols, encourage other women to commit abortion, which is a criminal act? In short, doesn’t the RH bill in fact abet criminality?
Meanwhile, UST, maintaining its Catholic nature and character, released a statement last March 24 opposing the RH bill, saying it violates conscience and tramples upon religious freedom.” It said that any government-sponsored responsible parenthood program should be motivated by an “option for life and not against it. Backing the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ stand, UST said natural family planning was the better option as it is “not only pro-life but also pro-poor and pro-women, since it does not endanger people’s health.”
UST is specifically opposing provisions in the consolidated RH bill or House Bill No. 4244, such as Section 9 which names contraceptives as essential medicines, Section 18 demanding all employers to include contraceptives in their employee’s economic package, and Section 22 that prohibits any person from “malicious engagement in disinformation about the intent or provision of this act.”
“This would mean that the purchase of contraceptives shall be the burden of all tax-paying Filipinos, even those who, in conscience, are pro-life,” UST said in its statement. “This is a violation of the freedom of religion, of freedom of conscience, and of freedom of expression.”
As much as how the mainstream media generally biased for the RH bill portray the rally and UST’s stand, both events evinced a growing awareness in the Church and society at large of the demonic ends of the bill, its utter disregard of life. Despite secularism and the pro-choice mentality of many Filipinos, it’s good to know that there are still Catholics and other Filipinos who belive in the sanctity of life and the right to life of both the born and the unborn.
Moreover, Filipinos are beginning to see the dark social-engineering dimensions of the bill. Contrary to what the authors of the bill have been trumpeting, the RH bill is not pro-poor. If it is, then there will be no need for the more than a billion of pesos that is planned to be spent during its initial phase. Filipinos are beginning to realize that the money for it would be better used to address directly the education, food and health needs of the poor. After all, the poor need food, clothing and shelter, not condoms and contaceptives. Filipinos are beginning to see that the RH bill authors and supporters are really Stalinist legislators who see the poor as sex-starved rabbits and blame the poor for their poverty.
In fact, family planning and population control were enshrined in the Marcos Constitution of 1973. Despite the widespread implementation of the draconian birth control law, poverty persisted, denying any correlation between population and poverty. On the contrary, the Philippine economy collapsed, which should show that poverty is caused, not by overpopulation (no such thing), but by corruption, mismanagement, and monopolistic and oligopolistic practices.
Now, Congress, backed by academics from the University of the Philippines (self-proclaimed leftist and nationalist) and Ateneo de Manila University (self-proclaimed democratic liberal and nationalist), both elitist and bourgeois institutions, want population control back! Their concourse should show that Statism exists, whether in the left or the right, and that Stalinists and fascists aren’t so strange bedfellows. In fact, for all practical purposes they’re cozy intimates. And from their act of consummation would issue the monstrous offspring—the RH bill, nothing less than the spawn of Statism.