Tag Archives: RH Bill

Should the Church fear Reproductive Health?

The debate in Congress on the proposed RH (Responsible Parenthood) bill is heating up in both houses, with the Catholic Church weighing in heavily dictating its dogma on legislators.

The question to be asked: Should the Church fear reproductive health?

As a practicing Catholic and an education professional, I am dismayed that the Church in the Philippines is operating as if we were in the Middle Ages when debate and discussion were an affront to the institution.

RH, the economy and critical lessons from our ASEAN neighbors

Debates on the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill have become increasingly heated in recent months. In a nutshell, anti-RH votes are impelled by a combination of conservative moral doctrine and realpolitik considerations. RH advocates study, with deepening concern, our worsening economic performance and the crushing poverty throughout the archipelago.

While all politics may ultimately be local, there is still much to be gained by examining what has worked for our Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) neighbors with smaller family sizes and lower incidences of poverty.

Whither the RH bill?

Here in Asia’s “oldest” democracy, traditional power blocs steadfastly oppose one another, often with breathtaking virulence. Tragically, it is the poor who tend to suffer most — unwilling pawns in power plays that affect their personal future and that of the entire country. For well over a decade, the struggle to pass an effective reproductive health (RH) bill has remained a source of bitter legislative contention.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) hold over the Senate and the House cannot be underestimated, considering that 2013 and 2016 already loom brightly in our not-too-distant political future. Still, some opponents of the RH bill appear to have dispensed with empiricism altogether, opting instead for legalistic (the RH bill is redundant), demographic (“winter” is well-nigh imminent), and moralistic (contraception is murder) hairsplitting. But in terms of our national well-being and the needless suffering of the poor, it is useful to examine what experts say.

Murder for life

Last week, Rizalito David, a former senatorial candidate of the anti-RH Kapatiran party, assaulted Kenneth Keng, a member of the pro-RH Filipino Freethinkers. The incident happened in the Batasan during plenary debates on the RH Bill.

Below is the victim’s account:

“It started with a brief exchange about how the RH Bill was part of America’s imperialist plot. David spoke loudly so that Keng would hear his accusation: those who didn’t agree that the Kissinger Population Report was imperialist was “bobo” (stupid). Keng replied that he has read the report and that he didn’t think it was stupid. David replied, “Like I said, bobo.” Keng ignored the comment and continued to record the hearing.

It’s about sex?

“Sex without love is an empty experience, but, as empty experiences go, it’s one of the best.” – Woody Allen

Archbishop Oscar Cruz wrote an editorial arguing that the Reproductive Health Bill is a misnomer and that it should be renamed Sex Bill 4244. Because all he could see in the bill was sex, sex, and more sex. Or as he puts it, “Take away the dear trimmings and endearing niceties from the Bill and this is its fundamental tripod: Sex. Safe Sex. Sexual Methods.”
Well, yes Archbishop, if you put it that way, the RH Bill is indeed about sex. But there’s really nothing wrong with sex…unless you find sex filthy.

Toys “R” not for us

“If God had intended us not to masturbate he would’ve made our arms shorter” – George Carlin

Two congressmen have not allowed the raging controversies of the day to distract them from serving their El Shaddai constituents. I’m talking about the two Buhay party-list representatives, Irwin Tieng and Mariano Michael Velarde Jr., co-authors of House Bill 4509: “An act penalizing the distribution, possession with intent to distribute and production of any device for the physical stimulation of human genitals for anything of pecuniary value and providing penalties for violations thereof.”