The Reproductive Health Bill has been on the news for quite some time now. There have been too many controversies and started many debates regarding its moral and economic implications. At first, I wanted to support the bill because I thought that the cause of poverty in the Philippines is caused by overpopulation. However, reading some of the articles about reproductive health bill made me realized that there is something wrong about the bill. The bill tells us that “we” have the choice to conceive a child or not. But whoever said that we have the authority to determine whom we want to conceive. It is only God who has the power to create, give, and destroy life. Definitely, I believe that if the bill would be approved, chance are men and women would have sex as long as they want because anyway, contraceptives are now readily available and widely distributed. It would degrade the true essence of sexual intercourse which is a sign of intimate love between the couple and a way to procreate, “create” life. I was surprised to know that there were some people, who are supporting the bill, who said that RH Bill promotes gender equality. The latest SWS survey indicated that seven of every 10 respondents do favor the reproductive health bill and The Pulse Asia survey showed that 69 percent of Filipinos favor the Reproductive Health (RH) bill. I’m sorry to say it, but the Reproductive Health Bill will become a law. Suppose that in fact, HB 5043 was unanimously approved at the House of Representatives when Members voted today on Third and Final Reading. Consider further that when transmitted to the Senate, it was likewise approved through a counterpart Senate bill and that in a subsequent bicameral conference; this 14th Congress would in fact have approved the bill for Pinoys’s final signature and approval. We have a new law. What would the days be after today when the law would have been firmly erected to govern the lives of families, married couples, parents, women, children, adults? What will schools, churches, hospitals do? What will be the evolving new moral order? These are some of the questions that will emerge if the bill has been passed. Truly, contraceptive pills will flood the market to the extent that perhaps, young girls can buy them at the nearest sari-sari store in much the same way that young boys can buy every kind of condom from every nearby outlet that perhaps, even cigarette vendors may have to sell condoms as they sell candies and cigarettes in the streets. Pharmaceuticals will produce millions of contraceptive pills per day as they would sell like hot potato. Industries into the sale of silicone or rubber as a raw material will experience a boom. Beauty parlors might even have to sell condoms; pills as well if not in fact have services for IUDS, whatever. By making condoms or pills very much available from every outlet, students in high school will have little to worry about getting into teen-age or pre-marital sex since the law has opened the door wide open for so-called ‘freedom of choice’. This simply means that children have the right over their bodies and this literally enough includes that right to have an abortion in case they somehow get pregnant and they know their parents would not approve of it. Young boys feel safe and therefore think they can engage in teen-age sex with anyone in the opposite sex comforted with the thought that in using condoms, they don’t have to get the girls impregnated.
The Bill would just pave the way to decrease the number of newborn babies and eventually diminishing the number of the working age group. Thus, giving rise to another dilemma.
A whole compendium of literature has already been documented proving how this contemporary social orientation has destroyed the homes, families, marriages, youth, children, women, parents. Are we here to let this happen to our own national domain? The first five years after the law is erected, futuristic wise, will tell just how bad we have gone with the RH bill enacted into law. I believe that the Bill is trying to generate more problems—problems related to morality and economics. I think the legislators would have to think of another solution to family planning that would not involve "killing a child" and permitting men and women to freely have sex for the sake of pleasure and not for procreation.
Newspapers, radio, television… RH bill is on the news for quite some time. It has been an argument for people against that bill, and for those who pursue that that bill be implemented. But, before I state my side on whether I am PRO or against RH Bill, let me first give you a glimpse on what RH Bill is really all about: The Reproductive Health Bill and Population Development Act of 2008, (RH Bill) seeks government funding for population management programs that would provide reproductive health education and would give access to both natural and artificial family planning methods to all Filipinos. According to the House of Representatives by Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Ladman, primary author of the bill, central to the RH bill is “the exercise of freedom of informed choice by women and couples on what method of family planning they want to adopt”. Coverage of RH Bill: 1. Information and access to natural and modern family planning. 2. Maternal, infant and child health and nutrition. 3. Promotion of breast feeding. 4. Prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications. 5. Adolescent and youth health. 6. Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, HIV/AIDS and STDs. 7. Elimination of violence against women. 8. Counseling on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health. 9. Treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers. 10. Male involvement and participation in Reproductive Health. 11. Prevention and treatment of infertility. 12. Reproductive Health education for the youth. So given that glimpse of what RH bill is all about, we have seen that it has the purpose
of educating the Filipinos about family planning. It does not promote abortion; counseling will be given to the people and all other stuff about family planning. For me, family planning might sound to be
the answer for our greatest problem in our country, which is Poverty due to
OVERPOPULATION. But, if we just analyze deeper, it will never be the answer, as OVERPOPULATON is not the problem in the first place. SO, MY SIDE??? I AM AGAINST IT.. Why? for that main reason, OVERPOPULATION is still not our main problem. So, what is our main problem, for me?.. simply CORRUPTION! If the government will just be honest in their work, then I don’t think our BELOVED COUNTRY will still a third world country. And…. RH bill is not the answer. It is not a bill that will answer to every BIGGER and more SERIOUS problem we have. They say that it will help, but as I can see it…if it might help.. the result will just be seen on the long run term…. maybe on the next 20 years??? Ooh..that is just so long time for us to wait…the government, and FILIPINOS, should be focusing on what we need as of the moment. SO.. if we are just NOT corrupt on our own way, and of course THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, then this country will boom on its fullest potential. LASTLY, I am PRO-life, using condoms is also another way of impeding LIFE…
Disputes that cloud the Reproductive Health Bill with controversy are continuing. In fact, each side, the pros and the cons, had bombarded the media with negative propagandas in order to discredit the claim of the other. The confused public is trapped in between, not knowing what side to take. Who wouldn’t be confused if the main issue on hand is about morality? Although the RH Bill deals with various issues, it seemed that the issue of morality of the family planning methods and sex education had taken the spotlight. For the people behind the anti-RH Bill campaign which is led by the Catholic Church, the provisions of the bill especially the ones which encourage the use of contraceptives are not in line with the moral beliefs and teachings of Catholicism. For them, the use of contraceptives is anti-life in the sense that these are disguised form of abortion. Abortion is the killing of the implanted fertilized egg that is expected to grow into a fetus that will soon be born as a baby. In addition, it is said that the teachings of the Bible declares that people should “go and multiply” and not to restrict the children a family could have. Indeed, everyone agrees that abortion is morally and legally wrong. In fact, punitive punishment awaits those who practice abortion. However, contraception can’t be easily coined as a form of abortion. Isn’t it that the basic reason why the use of contraceptives is encouraged is to prevent the occurrence of unwanted pregnancies that could eventually lead to abortion? To shed light on things, contraception is merely the prevention of fertilization of the human egg. It can be done either by killing the sperms or by preventing the ovulation of the egg. In either ways, the meeting of the egg and sperm will be prevented leading to the prevention of having a fertilized egg. If there is no fertilized egg, there is no unwanted pregnancy. If there is no unwanted pregnancy, there is no reason for people to consider practicing abortion. Families and couples alike can plan their life. Having a planned life would mean that there would be a sustainable and happy family that awaits those children who will soon be born. Children will be wanted and won’t be
blamed for the miseries of poverty. What is the use of multiplying if the children would eventually suffer and die because of poverty? Isn’t it better to know that the child that will be born is assured to grow and enjoy life at the fullest? Moreover, the Reproductive Health Bill is also concerned with sex education wherein students will be taught the basics about reproductive health as early as they reach Grade 5. For the critics of the RH bill it is not right to suggest teaching about sex on students since it will only liberate them more. The fear of developing the students into “sex maniacs” also alarms them. Aside from that, children are expected to learn sex-related matters from their parents and not from their teachers. However, it is better to open the eyes of the youth regarding these matters as early as possible than to leave them not knowing what to do. If the students will remain uneducated regarding these matters, their curiosity will be intensified which could provoke them to indulge into these activities earlier and unguided. The age of teenagers that indulge in premarital sex and get unwanted pregnancies are getting younger and younger. In fact, there are reported cases that children as early as 12-13 years old indulge in premarital sex. The situation demands for an urgent action. By educating students regarding reproductive health, the dangers and consequences associated with the indulgence in sex, sex-related diseases, natural and artificial means of family planning and moral values as well, the students will gain a powerful tool to battle the uncertainties that they face making them more equipped to make sound decisions for their future. In addition, the teachers are no strangers to students because they serve as their second parents. The training and knowledge they have of reproductive health matters in addition to the trust of their students makes the teachers fully capable to deliver the requirements of the said course. In addition, the RH Bill is not only concerned with the family planning and sex education issue. It also tries to address matters regarding adolescent and youth health, treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers as well as AIDS, and elimination of violence against women. However, no matter how good the provisions of the Reproductive Health Bill are, it would remain useless if important matters won’t be addressed. First and foremost, the oppositions and contradictions that discredit it pose a large threat on its proper implementation. If the government as well as the proponents of the bill won’t be able to do anything to alleviate the tension and gain cooperation from the critics, the bill will continue to go on encountering serious bottlenecks. As history suggest, oppositions does not do any good. Second, the people should want to change in order to have change. If people still go on their old ways and does not adopt the new way of life suggested by the bill, there won’t be any change at all and the same old problems will still be there. Lastly, proper implementation is needed. The government must not only have a plan of action but it must also put this plan into action with the absence of any HOCUS POCUS in order for the bill to completely serve its intended purpose which is the welfare of the Filipinos.
Population growth is one of the thousand dilemmas that the world—not only the Philippines is facing. This is the main reason why experts, not to mention scientists around the globe created contraceptives or birth control methods in order to prevent this very sharp increase in world populace. Moreover, people who have growing concerns over the health of families, both parents and children, around the world also see that these contraceptives are ways to prevent certain sickness. Here in the Philippines, the legislative body has proposed the Reproductive Health Bill (RHB) which promotes the use of birth control methods that have been tried and tested by experts worldwide. In this country where there is an overwhelming number of inhabitants, it is really undeniable that families who belong in the lower level of the society are those who have lots of children and are unable to provide the basic needs or necessities of the whole family particularly food and shelter. It is true that the Catholic Church advocates an alternative way of promoting population control but it excludes the use of contraceptives which is directly in contrast with what the Government proposes through the Reproductive Health Bill. The Catholic Church believes that the best way to control the population growth is for couples or families to practice natural birth control methods like abstinence, which according to them is in accordance with what is written in the Bible. However, nowadays, people especially here in the Philippines, do not have the enough discipline that the Church requires. As an individual having a freedom of thought and speech, I want to say that I am in favor of the Reproductive Health Bill because logically speaking, RHB is pushed through by the Philippine government because it is safe, effective, and easy to use. Having agreed to using contraceptives does not mean that I am also in favor of abortion. I do not agree with what the church is trying to say that the use of these birth control methods is a form of abortion since there is no life that will be destroyed in using contraceptives. Lastly, I would like to point out that the Reproductive Health Bill is not proposed to destroy life; rather the bill is advocated in order to improve the living condition of Filipinos since we will be able to learn discipline and to be responsible citizens of this country. Moreover, RHB is designed to make Filipino parents be able to support the needs of their family by building a household that they can really support. The Reproductive Health Bill should be seen as another step to modernisation and a way to renounce the old- fashioned ways which were proven to be unhealthy and ineffective.