It’s a noisy Interwho out there for the Reproductive Health Bill. Emails making false assertions about the bill have been making the rounds, and bloggers have been exchanging words—some polite, others harsh—discussing the bill’s viability and constitutionality. It’s time add one more voice to that noise: mine.
I support the Reproductive Health Bill, a proposed law that aims to promote both natural and modern family planning methods and make them readily available to the citizenry. In addition, the bill wants to promote maternal and child nutrition, adolescent and youth health, as well as other related causes. It is a timely piece of legislation, created at a time when our population has burgeoned beyond control and our coffers have dried up beyond comprehension.
Representative Edcel Lagman pointed out the coverage of the RH Bill as follows:
- Information and access to natural and modern family planning
- Maternal, infant and child health and nutrition
- Promotion of breast feeding
- Prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications
- Adolescent and youth health
- Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, HIV/AIDS and STDs
- Elimination of violence against women
- Counseling on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health
- Treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers
- Male involvement and participation in RH
- Prevention and treatment of infertility and
- RH education for the youth.
In a nutshell, the bill wants to up the anty on reproductive health, teach communities more about reproductive health, and promote different aspects of reproductive health in the hopes of fostering a better society. Its goals are tooffer better access to knowledge about both natural and modern family planning methods to help couples decide which one to adopt based on their principles, beliefs, and needs; educate the youth about reproductive health; and allow for access to remedies for varied disorders of the reproductive tract, among others. The bill effectively and directly addresses many of the conundrums the country faces today.
The Roman Catholic Church is perhaps the single staunchest objector of this bill, primarily because they have a qualm or two about the fact that it endorses “modern” or artificial birth control methods (i.e. prophylactics), which the Church prohibits its members from using. This opposition makes it all the more difficult for lawmakers to pass this bill, seeing as how many legislators are afraid to strike the ire of the Catholic Church, whose endorsement in elections is considered a precious—some would say priceless—asset.
It is absurd that the Catholic Church has chosen to meddle in the affairs of the State, and even more absurd that Congress has allowed itself to be bullied into thinking twice about passing a logical piece of legislation. In a republic such as ours, no document should be considered more important to government than the Constitution. Legislation should be passed to satisfy its demands first and foremost.
The Reproductive Health Bill is something we need, and legislators should not allow its passing into law to be stifled by the political power of the Catholic Church. I urge our lawmakers to work to pass this bill, whether or not it pisses off anything or anyone. In addition, I would like to urge my countrymen to rally behind this bill with the hope of a better future for our children in mind.