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Get Real: The Facts vs. Myths on Population, Family Planning, and Reproductive Health

Get Real: The Facts vs. Myths on Population, Family Planning, and Reproductive Health

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Do you know the real, accurate facts behind population growth, reproductive health and contraception? There are a lot of myths going around, and a lot of incorrect assumptions derived from them. Everyone deserves access to the right information. Mulat Pinoy presents you with Get Real: The Facts vs. Myths on Population, Family Planning, and Reproductive Health, a comprehensive paper with cited facts and figures.
Do you know the real, accurate facts behind population growth, reproductive health and contraception? There are a lot of myths going around, and a lot of incorrect assumptions derived from them. Everyone deserves access to the right information. Mulat Pinoy presents you with Get Real: The Facts vs. Myths on Population, Family Planning, and Reproductive Health, a comprehensive paper with cited facts and figures.

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Published by: Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network on Feb 18, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/27/2012

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.ph
 
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1
Get Real: The Facts vs. Myths on Population, Family Planning, and Reproductive Health
Myth #1: Contraceptives cause abortion. Life begins at fertilization, so contraceptives kill children.
(pp.2-3)
 
FACT: Contraceptives DO NOT cause abortion. Research has shown that the use of contraceptives prevents upto 112 million abortions each year and reduces abortion by 85%
.
Myth #2: Contraceptives are dangerous to health and cause cancer.
(pp. 4-5)
 
FACT: Contraceptives DO NOT cause cancer, have been proven safe worldwide, and even lower cancer risk.
Myth #3:
Mandatory sex education and contraceptives will destroy the family, compromise morality, increase promiscuity and promote HIV infections.(p. 6) FACT: Age-appropriate sex education and contraceptive provisions will support informed choice and lower thetransmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Myth #4: Family Planning using artificial methods is against Filipino culture.
(p. 7)
 
FACT: National surveys show that a majority of Filipinos believe that family planning using modern and artificial methods is important. Many of them prefer smaller family sizes.
Myth #5: Natural family planning (NFP) is the most effective and safe family planning method, is free, and isthe only program that should be supported by the government.
(pp. 8-9)
 
FACT: Both NFP and modern methods are needed to effectively and safely address maternal health, family  planning, and sustainable development.
Myth #6: There is no link between population and poverty. Corruption is the sole cause of poverty.
(pp. 10-13)
 
FACT: There are strong, proven links between poverty, rapid population growth, and large, unplanned family sizes.
Myth #7: The Philippines has enough resources to meet a larger population.
(pp. 14-17)
 
FACT: The Philippines will not develop sustainably unless it slows its rapidly growing population.
Myth #8: Highly populated countries like India and China are successful because of their large populations,
while other countries are experiencing a “demographic winter.”
(pp. 18-20)
 
FACT: India and China have been trying to reduce population growth and family sizes for decades, and their growth is due to the improving productivity of their citizens. The Philippines is 100 years away from a
“demographic winter,” 
and even with lowered population growth and fertility rates, will already reach 160 million in 2060. Without this, the Philippines may have an unsustainable population of 240 million people.
Myth #9: Family planning through modern contraceptives is against the Philippine Constitution.
(p. 21)
 
FACT: The Philippine Constitution and Philippine commitments to International Agreements allow family  planning and the use of modern methods.
Myth #10:
Islam, Christianity and other major religions forbid contraception.(pp. 22-26) FACT: Islam, most Christian denominations, and other major religions allow couples to use modern and natural methods to plan their families. The governments of Catholic countries have accepted family planning policieswith State provision of modern and natural family planning methods.
 
 
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.ph
 
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Myth #1: Contraceptives cause abortion. Life begins at fertilization, so contraceptives kill children.
FACT: The use of contraceptives prevents 112 million abortions each year and can reduce abortion by 85%
.
 
Modern
 
contraception averts over 112 million abortions
in the developing world each year
1
, and conforms tomajority of country experiences where increased contraceptive use lowers induced abortions. (
See Figure 5
)
Figure 5:
World and Country case studies: contraception and abortion inverse relationship
South Korea and RussiaInitially, rapid fertility decline in South Korea was accompanied by increases in both contraceptive use and abortion; overtime, abortion rates turned downward while contraceptive use continued to climb.
Note: 
Abortion rates are expressed per 1,000 women of reproductive age, contraceptive prevalence per 100 marriedwomen of reproductive age and TFRs per 10 women.
Source: 
Marston C and Cleland J, Relationships betweencontraception and abortion: a review of the evidence,
International Family Planning Perspectives,
2003, 29(1):6-13.
Source: Westoff C., 2003
1
Singh S, Juarez F, Cabigon J, Ball H, Hussain R and Nadeau J. (2006). Unintended Pregnancy and Induced Abortion in the Philippines: Causesand Consequences. New York: Guttmacher Institute.
 
 
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3
 
The use of 
contraceptives can reduce abortion rates by 85%.
2
 
o
 
In Nigeria and the Philippines, abortion is banned, and strong conservative religious and cultural traditionswould seem to militate against women resorting to abortion.
Yet, the abortion rate in both countries isestimated to be 25 per 1,000 women of reproductive age
slightly higher than the U.S. rate
.
3
 
 
The Catholic institutional position is based on the notion that life begins when the egg and sperm unite. It is basedon the mistaken idea that this is a "moment," when in fact conception is a process.
4
 
 
In the Roman Catholic tradition, there is no uniformity regarding when ensoulment occurs, or personhood begins.
o
 
The Vatican’s declaration on abortion
5
states that personhood has been equated theologically with themoment the Creator endows the fetus with a human soul, but that moment is not and cannot be known.
o
 
There is no consistency of position within the Church regarding when the fetus is endowed with a soul.
 
Thomas Aquinas held that it was most likely at 40 days for males and 80 days for females.
 
Augustine held that ensoulment was not possible prior to the presence of fully formed human body.
 
The idea of immediate ensoulment at conception was not considered.
o
 
When the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was declared in 1854, care was taken to note that the ideathat Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin on her should not lead to the assumption that othersreceived a soul at conception.
 
Referring to the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the
CatholicEncyclopedia
 
says, “The term
conception
does not mean the
active
or
generative
conception by herparents.Her body was formed in the womb of themother,and thefatherhad the usual share in its formation. The question does not concern the immaculateness of the generative activity of herparents. Neither does it concern the passive conception absolutely and simply which, according to the order of nature,precedes the infusion of the rationalsoul.Thepersonis truly conceived when thesouliscreated
and infused into the body.”
6
 
o
 
Modern inquiries on ensoulment combine scientific knowledge about embryology with theology.
 
Medicine, science, and law definitions of personhood vary; there is no scientific consensus on when itoccurs during pregnancy, and
there is no medical or scientific definition that holds that personhoodexists at conception.
 
Contemporary Catholic theologian, Fr. Norman Ford, argues that
ensoulment requires “that only one
embryo proper and human individual has been formed and begins to exist. The formation of an ontologicalindividual with a truly human nature and rational ensoulment must coincide
.”
7
It is an embryological factthat in cases of identical twins the division of embryonic tissue giving rise to twins does not occur until 13to 14 days after conception. Implantation occurs between 9 and 12 days post conception, so anycontraceptive that acts during the implantation stage cannot be consider to cause and abortion, as noindividual person yet exists.
2
3
Ibid.
 
4
Interview. Archbishop Rembert Weakland. February 2011.
5
Bovens, Luc. Journal of Medical Ethics, 2006;32:355-356
6
Fr. Norman Ford. 
“When Did I Begin?” 
Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1988.

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