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Philippine Reproductive Health Bill

Philippine Reproductive Health Bill

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Published by Dr. Liza Manalo
There are more legitimate and more effective ways of promoting responsible parenthood. The use of artificial methods of family planning is not completely effective in preventing fertilization or the formation of the zygote. Hence, some artificial contraceptives are actually abortifacient. At the same time. these cannot totally protect users from sexually transmitted diseases. These may also harm the body in numerous ways. In the natural order, human life is a gift that is so great and so full of possibilities that everyone should value it. Man is not the absolute owner of life; he is but its steward. However, man has the right to self-determination, making his choices based on the good and the truth, always in keeping with Natural Moral Law.
There are more legitimate and more effective ways of promoting responsible parenthood. The use of artificial methods of family planning is not completely effective in preventing fertilization or the formation of the zygote. Hence, some artificial contraceptives are actually abortifacient. At the same time. these cannot totally protect users from sexually transmitted diseases. These may also harm the body in numerous ways. In the natural order, human life is a gift that is so great and so full of possibilities that everyone should value it. Man is not the absolute owner of life; he is but its steward. However, man has the right to self-determination, making his choices based on the good and the truth, always in keeping with Natural Moral Law.

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Published by: Dr. Liza Manalo on Jan 09, 2009
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06/18/2013

 
The Philippine Reproductive Health Bill-Where Do You Stand?
Knowing the details of the proposed law is essential in having a healthy debateon the issue. Here are the pertinent details of the proposed bill, which was introducedduring a session of the current Congress by
 
Honorable Edcel C. Lagman, Janette L.Garin, Narcio D. SantiagoIII, Mark Llandro Mendoza, Ana Teresa Hontiveros-Baraqueland Elandro Jesus F. Madrona, and provides as follows:
Guiding Principles
. – This Act declares the following as basic guiding principles:a. In the promotion of reproductive health, there should be no bias for either modern or natural methods of family planning;b. Reproductive health goes beyond a demographic target because it is principally abouthealth and rights;c. Gender equality and women empowerment are central elements of reproductivehealth and population development;d. Effective reproductive health care services must be given primacy to ensure the birthand care of healthy children and to promote responsible parenting;e. The limited resources of the country cannot be suffered to, be spread so thinly toservice a burgeoning multitude that makes the allocations grossly inadequate andeffectively meaningless;f. Freedom of informed choice, which is central to the exercise of any right, must be fullyguaranteed by the State like the right itself;g. Free and full access to relevant, adequate and correct information on reproductivehealth and human sexuality guided by qualified State workers and professional privatepractitioners;h. Reproductive health, including the promotion of breastfeeding, must be the jointconcern of the National Government and Local Government Units (LGUs);i. Protection and promotion of gender equality, women empowerment and human rights,including reproductive health rights, are imperative; j. Development is a multi-faceted process that calls for the coordination and integrationof policies, plans, programs and projects that seek to uplift the quality of life of thepeople, more particularly the poor, the needy and the marginalized;k. Active participation by and thorough consultation with concerned non-governmentorganizations (NGOs), people’s organizations (Pos) and communities are imperative toensure that basic policies, plans, programs and projects address the priority needs of stakeholders;
 
l. Respect for, protection and fulfillment of reproductive health rights seek to promote notonly the rights and welfare of adult individuals and couples but those of adolescents’ andchildren’s as well; andm. The government shall ensure that women seeking care for post-abortioncomplications shall be treated and counseled in a humane, non-judgmental andcompassionate manner.
Contraceptives as Essential Medicines
. Hormonal contraceptives, intrauterinedevices, injectables and other allied reproductive health products and supplies shall beconsidered under the category of essential medicines and supplies which shall form partof the National Drug Formulary and the same shall be included in the regular purchaseof essential medicines and supplies of all national and local hospitals and other government health units.
Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health Education
. Reproductive HealthEducation in an age-appropriate manner shall be taught by adequately trained teachersstarting from Grade 5 up to Fourth Year High School. The implementation of Reproductive Health Education shall commence at the start of the school year one year following the effectivity of this Act. The POPCOM, in coordination with the Department of Education, shall formulate the Reproductive Health Education curriculum, which shall becommon to both public and private schools and shall include related population anddevelopment concepts in addition to the following subjects and standards:Reproductive health and sexual rights; Reproductive health care and services; Attitudes,beliefs and values on sexual development, sexual behavior and sexual health;Proscription and hazards of abortion and management of post-abortion complications;Responsible parenthood; Use and application of natural and modern family planningmethods to promote reproductive health, achieve desired family size and preventunwanted, unplanned and mistimed pregnancies; Abstinence before marriage;Prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other, STIs/STDs, prostate cancer, breastcancer, cervical cancer and other gynecological disorders; Responsible sexuality; andMaternal, pre-natal and post-natal education, care and services.
Additional Duty of Family Planning 0ffice
. – Each local Family Planning Office shallfurnish for free instructions and information on family planning, responsible parenthood,breastfeeding and infant nutrition to all applicants for marriage license.
Certificate of Compliance
. – No marriage license shall be issued by the Local CivilRegistrar unless the applicants present a Certificate of Compliance issued for free by thelocal Family Planning Office certifying that they had duly received adequate instructionsand information on family planning, responsible parenthood, breastfeeding and infantnutrition.
Ideal Family Size
. – The State shall assist couples, parents and individuals to achievetheir desired family size within the context of responsible parenthood for sustainabledevelopment and encourage them to have two children as the ideal family size. Attainingthe ideal family size is neither mandatory nor compulsory. No punitive action shall beimposed on parents having more than two children.
 
COMMENTARIESCATHOLIC CHURCH POSITION
The Catholic Church has been very vocal in disagreeing with the proposed bill and in theprocess of obtaining peoples signatures to block the passage of the bill in Congress.They are in the belief that passage of the proposed bill will give children proper knowledge and training in Reproductive Health which would surely contribute to morecases of abortion. While the proposed bill endeavor to consider the present worldproblem of population growth, they believe that this should not be remedied through theintroduction of the bill as natural use of birth control can still be considered the bestapproach to population control without resorting to abortion or blocking human right tolife.
DOCTORS’ POSITION
DR. MARIA FIDELIS MANALO, MSc.Bioethics Lecturer Hospice and Palliative Care, Department of Community & Family MedicineFar Eastern University-NRMF Medical Center Fairview, Quezon City, PhilippinesThough I am very much for educating the public regarding maternal care, prenatalcare and postnatal care, and I would definitely want to see a decrease in maternalmorbidity and mortality, I believe there are better ways of doing it. The end does not justify the means. There are more legitimate and more effective ways of promotingresponsible parenthood. The use of artificial methods of family planning is notcompletely effective in preventing fertilization or the formation of the zygote. Hence,some artificial contraceptives are actually abortifacient. At the same time. these cannottotally protect users from sexually transmitted diseases. These may also harm the bodyin numerous ways. In the natural order, human life is a gift that is so great and so full of possibilities that everyone should value it. Man is not the absolute owner of life; he is butits steward. However, man has the right to self-determination, making his choices basedon the good and the truth, always in keeping with Natural Moral Law. This means thatneither the State nor society nor any individual has the right to dictate to anyone on howto practice responsible parenthood, especially if the options go against their conscienceand/or religious beliefs and convictions. With regards to sex education, children havedifferent levels of emotional maturity and sex education is proper of parents. In order toprevent unwarranted curiosity and correct the misconceptions, sex should never beconsidered taboo, but should be discussed by the parents with the children withdelicateness and sensitivity.
 
The bill wants to uplift the quality of life of the people, to increase the share of eachFilipino in the nation’s resources, and to eliminate poverty. However, the solution topoverty is development and not population control. Without many people realizing it, theInternational Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the United Nations PopulationFund (UNFPA) are usually behind the promotion of these RH bills around the world.These are leading advocates of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. Whatthey do include the 5 As (Access, Adolescents, Advocacy, AIDS/HIV and Abortion.)There are traces of eugenics in these and may actually be anti-poor rather than pro-poor. The reproductive health bill does not actually solve the problem; it may actuallycause more predicaments. Since the contraceptive mentality (I can’t have or I don’t wantthis child) is already there, if the contraceptives fail, people may just consider having anabortion.

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Merce R Quijano liked this
im lookinf for the Meaning of the RH Bill, but i cant still find it :)
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hi ap]

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