I cannot say anything on the issue of reproductive health in the Philippine setting that hasn’t already been said, so I’d rather not add any more noise to the shouting match.
I will, however, espouse my position on the topic once more: I believe that while a thriving population is a priceless resource, a population that is burgeoning beyond control is not. I believe that the Philippines needs a sustainable and government-supported reproductive health program.
The Catholic Church certainly has its own stand, and they are entitled to it. For me, the issue is not so much about the CBCP’s stand on the matter of reproductive health as about how they espouse it.
The CBCP should be saying, “This is our firm stance on reproductive health: we believe that artificial contraception is violative of the sacredness of marriage, and we would like to remind the faithful to use natural contraceptive methods instead.”
Instead, they are saying, “WHROOAAAAR, WE ARE THE HOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH! WE ABSOLUTELY OBJECT TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH! YOU HAVE THE OBLIGATION TO LISTEN TO US, AND FIRE AND BRIMSTONE TO YOU IF YOU DON’T! CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE! EXCOMMUNICATION! PHWOOOAR!”
Will you people please sit down and behave yourselves. Your threats of excommunication and civil disobedience are pathetic more than anything else, and are but grim signs of your panic. Be civil participants of society. If our lawmakers should decide to push through with reproductive health, do not raise a fit and cry foul. Accept the fact that you stopped running this country centuries ago, move on, and continue tending to your flock.
Finally, will we please stop using faith-based arguments in the RH debate. Such arguments have no place in crafting laws for a secular democratic country, regardless of whether they make sense. Stop using the terms “morality” and “family values”, as if any one religion or belief has a monopoly on the definition of virtue.
If the CBCP can manage to be respectful for a change, and if we can begin to discuss the merits of reproductive health on the right grounds, we will make much more progress than if we keep bickering and screaming over one another in a perpetual shouting match, while the wail of the baby born to the teenage mother remains drowned in the noise.