This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
1) 2) 3) 4) Population bogey: a scapegoat – Sonny Coloma, Business World Unhealthy reproductive bill – Atty. Augusto Bundang, Business World Reckless and irresponsible -- Atty. Jo Imbong, CBCP No place for reproductive health bill in our law – Sen. Francisco Tatad, International Right to Life Federation 5) It's Satan's Semen, Stupid - Minyong Ordoñez 6) Crucial questions on the RH bill – Atty. Jose Sison, Philippine Star 7) No! to the Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008 - Advocacy Center 8) Should You Support Reproductive Health Bill No. 5043? Take this Simple Test to Find Out – Couples for Christ Foundation For Family and Life 9) What’s Wrong with the Reproductive Health Bill – Sen. Francisco Tatad 10) Contraceptives harmful to women’s health – Dr. Bernardo Villegas 11) Oversimplication of Economists – Dr. Bernardo Villegas 12) Spending Billions for Birth Control Pills? – Fr. Cecilio Magsino 13) Philippines Threatened By a 2-Child Policy – Genevieve Pollock, Zenit News Agency 14) 12 Reasons Why We Oppose HB5043 – Alliance for the Family Foundation (ALFI) 15) Artificial Birth Control is Fascist – The Varsitarian 16) The Filipino Front in the Culture War – Rosa Linda Valenzona 17) The Smoldering Poker – Amelia H.C. Ylagan, Business World 18) Misconceptions and Clarifications on Issues Related to Humanae Vitae and the Reproductive "Health" Bill in Philippine Congress – Fr. Gregory D. Gaston, STD. Avenues 19) CEAP Statement (representing 1,256 Catholic schools including Ateneo, La Salle, UST, San Beda) 20) Just Asking – Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz 21) Statement on Reproductive Health Bill 5043 – Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, Ateneo 22) Falsehoods in the Lagman Bill – Emil Jurado, Manila Standard 23) What you can do to stop the Reproductive Health Act – Alliance for the Family Foundation (ALFI) Annex (separate sheet) 1) Text of Reproductive Health Bill 2) Church Teaching on Contraception and Abortion: John Paul II, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Archbishop Angel LagdameoArchbishop Charles Chaput: Fighting Abortion is not a matter of religious opinion, but of defending babies’ human rights 3) The Vindication of Humanae Vitae by Mary Eberstadt, First Things August/September 2008 November 10, 2008 1
Population Bogey: a scapegoat
By Sonny Coloma in Business World, 3 October 2008. Sonny Coloma was Head of Presidential Management Staff (PMS) under Corazon Aquino and Deputy Executive Secretary in the Office of the President (OP); Undersecretary, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC); and Undersecretary, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). He also served in the administration of President J. Estrada as DOTC Undersecretary. He writes a weekly column, “Vector”, for Business World, the Philippines’ leading business daily newspaper. In the fifties and up to the time martial rule was imposed by a dictatorial President, the communist bogey was the favorite justification for witch-hunting against advocates of progressive thought who were accused of "destabilizing" the government and "threatening our democratic way of life." Today, the communist bogey has been replaced by a new scapegoat: the population bogey. House Bill 5043, otherwise known as the Population and Reproductive Health Bill, is now being debated. Even if the bill has not been passed it has been reported that about P 2 billion has been appropriated to fund the purchase and provision of contraceptives that will be distributed in health centers nationwide. I first became aware of the population bogey when, as a freshman in UP, I read the winning piece for the Philippine Collegian editorship written by Antonio Tagamolila. (Government soldiers in the coutnryside killed Tony Tagamolila in the early seventies, not long after his stint as Collegian editor.) His lead sentence was quite memorable: “The ghost of the Parson Malthus once more stalks the land.” Thomas Malthus was a Protestant minister who warned about the potentially catastrophic consequences of “geometric” (or “exponential”) population growth far outstripping “arithmetic” growth in food production. This view found resonance in the Club of Rome’s exposition on the Limits to Growth in the mid-seventies. But such gloom-and-doom scenarios have not materialized. Advances in technology have greatly enhanced human productivity. The market economy has created such an abundance of wealth that, even if not equitably distributed, has forestalled the dire predictions on the supposed detrimental effects of the law of diminishing marginal returns. Poverty cannot be totally blamed on the poor themselves: it is more clearly the outcome of human greed and bad governance. In the Real Wealth of Nations, Riane Eisler points out that it is dominator economic systems that “artificially create and perpetuate scarcity – and with this, pain and fear.” Such systems have spawned “heavy investment in armaments, lack of investment in meeting human needs, ruthless exploitation of nature, and waste of natural and human resources from wars and other forms of violence.”
In our country, the Catholic Church has often been blamed by politicians for the continuing high population growth rate. I recall that during the Ramos regime, Cardinal Sin mobilized a huge rally in Luneta to counteract the high-profile birth control program of the Department of Health that was then headed by flamboyant Secretary (later Senator) Juan Flavier. During my two stints in government, I have realized why every secretary of health is bound to support the use of contraceptives in population control programs. Almost the entire DOH budget (up to 80%) is allocated for personnel salaries and administrative expenses. Only official development assistance from such sources as the US Agency for International Development (USAID) makes it possible for the DOH to pursue meaningful pubic health programs. I am opposed to HB 5043 even if I favor planned parenthood through natural methods. My opposition stems from the fact that, historically, the open tolerance of the use of contraceptives has produced more harmful effects than the good that its advocates have vowed to promote. A culture of contraception is, essentially, an anti-life –not a pro-choice—culture. It is also anti-family. Contrary to expectations, the percentage of out-of wedlock births has increased dramatically since oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, were approved for sale in 1960. In the US, out-of-wedlock births have increased from 6% to about 35%. In Europe, about half of the children in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway are born to unmarried mothers. These figures give rise to the query: since birth control pills prevent pregnancy, shouldn’t the out-of-wedlock pregnancy rates have gone down? Not so, because of the operation of the law of unintended consequences. Since contraception has become legitimate, then childbearing can take place outside marriage. Hence, there has been a big increase in the out-ofwedlock pregnancies – and births – and of abortions as well. With few exceptions, abortions always happen outside of marriage. Another consequence of the onset of the culture of contraception is the spiral in the incidence of divorce and a corresponding decline of marriage as an institution. Let the authors of the House Bill explain and justify to the people the rationale in terms of the foregoing challenges: the likely increase in unwanted pregnancies and criminal abortions, out-of-wedlock births, and the decline of marriage. Let them file a divorce law to complete their menu for the new Filipino lifestyle. But let the silent majority of those who are opposed to abortion and the decline of the family as an institution also speak up. (…) Not surprisingly, none of the presidential wannabees for 2010 has spoken in favor of HB 5043, which still needs a Senate counterpart measure that is yet to be reported out and debated on the floor.
Catholics should come out in the open and ask their senators, congressmen, and political leaders to declare where they stand on this issue.
Unhealthy reproductive bill
By Atty. Augusto Bundang, Business World, 11 October and 17 October 2008. Atty. Augusto R. Bundang is a Partner and Head of the Litigation Departmen of SapaloVelez Bundang and Bulilan Law Offices. He is a holder of a Bachelor of Arts Degree, major in Economics and Bachelor of Laws Degree from the Ateneo de Manila University. He has been engaged in active general litigation, licensing, corporate and intellectual property practice for more than fifteen (15) years and a columnist of a leading national newspaper, Business World. The "conscience" theme has never left local advertisements. The story line in many television ads about a woman talking to her inner voice or conscience in deciding what better soap or product to buy for her family never fails to amuse us for decades. The conscience advises the woman what product is good for her family and what will be beneficial to her in the long run. It teaches her to distinguish right from wrong. Her conscience guides her and warns her to act only in accordance with her own standards of right and wrong. I guess the current debate on House Bill 5043, or the “Reproductive Health Bill,“ involves at the very least an exercise of conscience as well. I tried to read through its provisions, attempting somehow though probably failing at times to momentarily set aside tenets that have been taught to me as a Roman Catholic. Well my conscience did not stop pricking me as I look at its contents. For a bill that unavoidably deals on moral issues, more specifically gender equality, responsible parenthood, family planning and abortion, it miserably failed to include in its declaration of policy and guiding principles any reference to our “Almighty God,” which point is clearly so emphasized in the preamble of our Constitution. The bill is nothing but ambitious as it seeks to envelop at the same time in such a short single initiative a handful of differing and complicated subjects revolving around population, women’s rights, health promotion, gender equality and human rights. Empirically such a hodgepodge bill will undoubtedly lead to more explanations and oversight confusion in the future. “The simpler, the better” should be the rule. The bill for all its good intentions made sweeping assumptions in an effort to push for what is referred to as “responsible parenthood.” Section 5 of the bill makes the Commission on Population (Popcom) the central planning and implementing body for the reproductive health policy. With Popcom at the helm, the bill apparently highlights the view that curbing the population is its main thrust. In its guiding principles (Section 3 (e)), the bill mentions “the limited resources of the country” affected by a “burgeoning multitude” that results in grossly inadequate and meaningless allocations. In effect, it perceives population in the country a “problem” that must be solved as it depletes its resources. But isn’t manpower the most
important resource a country can ever have? Isn’t labor, more so an intelligent and productive one, the key to enhancing and maximizing resources, thus making resources bountiful and limitless rather than limited? Have our representatives failed to see the obvious by ignoring the continuing calls of developed countries for millions of migrants to work in their businesses and efforts to replace their graying population? The bill’s proponents if they truly believe in its importance, should work on other arguments and cease harping on the population growth. This type of reasoning has been shown to be false, misleading, obsolete, and very far from reality. Increasingly, Section 10 of the bill treats contraception as “essential medicines.” Categorizing contraceptives as such would imply that conception, which contraceptives seek to present, is a disease that requires medicines. Under Section 12 of the bill mandatory reproductive health education shall begin from Grade 3 up fourth year high school or for six continuous years from the time child is 11 years old up to the time he or she reaches 17 years of age. What will that make of them? Sex specialists or adventurists perhaps? Section 17 on the mandatory inclusions of free delivery by employers of a reasonable quantity of reproductive health care services, supplies and devices to all their workers under the collective bargaining agreement, is another awkward scheme to allow government to irregularly and unduly interfere in the relationship between employers and their employees and to violate the employer’s free exercise of religion. Freedom to exercise one’s religion is also infringed under Section 21 which considers as criminals the act of any health care service provider, whether public or private, to refuse to perform voluntary ligation and vasectomy and other legal and medically safe reproductive health care services. In the end, notwithstanding the long arguments raised by the bill’s proponents, they all would have to contend with their own conscience and examine themselves if indeed, the bill’s provision to which they adhere do not get entangled with their moral judgment. I’m not even talking of religion here. For conscience, is in a way above reason and discussion. It operates without the influence of any teaching ideology, or tradition, and comes as an automatic command whether to the young or to the old, the educated or the uneducated. It warns and it judges. Part II Last Sunday was another day of sermon criticizing House Bill 5043 or the Reproductive Health Bill. The priest who was giving a discourse on the subject kept exhorting on how the bill would violate the laws of men and of God. The problem, though, is, like some who would condemn the bill outright, the clergyman did not point out the specific provisions of the bill that he found objectionable. By coming up with sweeping statements and conclusions without laying the predicate, so to speak, he may have succeeded in convincing the devout churchgoers to disagree with the bill, but he definitely failed to make them informed and critical faithful followers who can ably defend their position when confronted by those who support the bill.
Through this and last week’s columns, we hope to assist those who wish to know more about the bill and some of its damaging provisions. Stupid is as stupid does. That’s how Section 17 or the penal provision of the bill really is. It may be likened to the state-sponsored persecution by the Romans of the Christians for simply exercising their rights religious belief. It criminalizes acts that are morally right and fosters state initiatives that would infringe the Bill of Rights. Penalties imposed by the bill range from one month to six months imprisonment or a fine of P10,000.00 to P50,000.00. Violators are also civilly liable to the so-called “offended party” upon the discretion of the court. Under Section 17, regardless of their moral and ethical convictions, public and private health care service providers cannot knowingly withhold or impede the dissemination of information regarding programs and services on reproductive health., including the right to informed choice and access to a full range of medically-safe and effective family planning methods. They also can neither fail to provide reproductive health care services nor refuse to extend the same on account of the patient’s civil status, gender or sexual orientation, age, religion, personal circumstances, and nature of work. Worse, they cannot refuse to provide such services to a DSWD-certified abused minor or abused pregnant minor on whose case no parental consent is necessary. True, Section 17, also mentions “that all conscientious objections of health care service providers based on religious grounds shall be respected”. But then, why is the said proviso inserted only in one of Section 17’s subparagraph s and not crafted separately so as to apply to all paragraphs of the section? And yes, why is it that conscientious objections based on religious grounds are the only ones respected? What if the objections emanate from moral, logical or philosophical underpinnings? Will they be disregarded? One thing that well need to be reminded about this bill is the inevitable fact that all money to be utilized to provide those reproductive health and family planning services (many of which we cannot stomach) as well as to “urgently” promote them (Section 19 so says) will come from our very own pockets. Taxpayers money, we call it. We, the taxpayers, will foot the “bill” even if we find the bill repulsive and even if we know that our money would be put to better use with the building of well equipped hospitals and health centers. If this is not dumb, I don’t know what is. Our definite way of ending this long and costly argument on Bill 5043 is for President Arroyo to finally and resolutely make a pronouncement that she will not support it and will veto it if and when it reaches Malacañang. The President may have compromised her principles on many issues, but this is one situation I hope where she will neither back down nor surrender her values for the sake of her own redemption, political or otherwise. Remember, Madam President, we are not the only ones watching you. He too is ---- always.
Reckless and irresponsible
By Jo Imbong. Jo Imbong, a lawyer, is the executive secretary of the Legal office of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines and consultant to the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life. http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/talkofthetown/view/20080816-155092/Churchreply-to-reproductive-health-bill-facts-fallacies REP. EDCEL LAGMAN, THE PRINCIPAL AUTHOR OF THE proposed Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008 asserts, among others, that the bill is neither antilife nor antifamily, that contraceptives are not life-threatening and that the bill does not impose a two-child policy. Prolife? To value human life is to respect and protect life in all its seasons. "Human life begins at fertilization." (Records of the Constitutional Commission, Vol. IV, Sept. 18, 1986, pp. 761, 801) hence, "the State shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception." (Constitution, Article II, Section 12). Lagman said in a House hearing that the bill would protect human life "from implantation." By that token, the zygote not yet in the mother's womb is not protected. Pills and the IUD hinder implantation of the embryo in the uterus, thereby precipitating the embryo's destruction. That is abortion. And yet, "every child ... needs appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child). Not life-threatening? Records are rife of perforation of the uterus and serious pelvic infections in women with IUDs that public midwives have refused to extract. The Mayo Foundation found that oral contraceptives are associated with an increase risk of breast cancer. DepoProvera increases a woman's risk for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Oral contraceptives containing cyproterone increase risk of deep venous blood clots. Levonorgestrel is banned in this country as the Bureau of Food and Drugs found it to be abortifacient. Life-threatening ectopic pregnancies occur in mothers long after undergoing tubal ligation, particularly those sterilized before age 30. Contraceptives as essential medicines? Contraceptives do not treat any medical condition. Fertility is not a disease. It attests to health! The bill targets "the poor, needy and marginalized." This is most unkind to them whose real needs are jobs, skills, education, lucrative opportunities, nutrition, and essential medicines for anemia, tuberculosis, infections and childhood diseases. Remember, every citizen has the right to health (Art. II, Sec.15), hence, the State has a duty to protect the citizens against dangerous substances (Constitution, Art. XVI, Sec.9), and protect women in their maternal function (Art. XIII,Sec. 14).
Family friendly? The "encouragement" to have two children is manipulation both brazen and subtle. It can set the stage for a stronger application of the recommendation through legislative amendments. Spouses have a basic, original, intrinsic and inviolable right "to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood" (Art. XV, Sec. 3 ). This includes their right to progeny. The bill mocks parents with fine and imprisonment in refusing to expose their children to mandatory "age-appropriate" reproductive health education starting Grade 5 outside the loving confines of home and family. Vulnerable and malleable, our children will be taught "adolescent reproductive health" and "the full range of information on family planning methods, services and facilities" for six years. This is child abuse of the highest order. And yet, "every child has the right to be brought up in an atmosphere of morality and rectitude for the enrichment and strengthening of his character." (Child and Youth Welfare Code) The ... care and nurtur[ance] of the child reside first in the parents (Article II, Sec. 12, Constitution), whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder. (Brantley v. Surles, 718 F. 2d. 1354,1358-59) The State did not create the family, and "the child is not a creature of the State." (Pierce vs. Society of Sisters, 268, U.S. 510, 535.) That is the law of nature, and no human institution has authority to amend it. Quality of life? The bill wants to "uplift the quality of life of the people." Population control started in 1976 "to increase the share of each Filipino in the fruits of economic progress." In other words -- to eliminate poverty. Has it? The General Appropriations Act of 2008 earmarks an enormous amount for "family planning and reproductive health services," including contraceptives. For the Department of Health it is P3.19 billion; for Popcom -- P386.5 million, quite apart from funds for other agencies of government and local government units for the same programs. Add $2.4 million from the United Nations Population Fund for population and development and reproductive health for 2008, plus $2.2 million for 2009. Today's average family has three children compared with seven in the '70s. But the billions of pesos spent have not reduced poverty or benefited the poor. If Congress passes this bill, it wagers the future of the country. Citizens have a right to resist misplaced and irresponsible exercise of authority because the good of the people is the supreme law. Salus populi est suprema lex. The path of irresponsible legislation is a dreadful path: If an act is made legal, it will be perceived as moral. If an act is perceived as moral, it will become a norm. If it is observed by all as a norm, then it is too late. By then, you will have changed the culture. That is not simply reckless. It is the ultimate breach of public trust.
No place for the RH bill in our law
By Francisco S. Tatad. Former Sen. Francisco S. Tatad represents the Asia-Pacific on the Governing Boards of the International Right to Life Federation, Cincinnati, Ohio and the World Youth Alliance, New York, NY. THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH bill in the House of Representatives is being presented as a health bill and an antipoverty bill at the same time. It is neither. It is not what its authors say it is; it is everything they say it is not. It is an ideological attack on human life, the family, and our social and cultural values. The bill rests on a flawed premise; it is unnecessary, unconstitutional, oppressive of religious belief and destructive of public morals and family values. Its enactment into law will only deepen the already frightening ignorance about the real issues. It should be rejected. 1. Flawed premise Our population growth rate (National Statistics Office) is 2.04 percent, total fertility rate (TFR) is 3.02. The CIA World Factbook has lower figures -- growth rate, 1.728 percent; TFR, 3.00. Our population density is 277 per square km. GDP per capita (PPP) is $3,400. Fifty other countries have a much lower density, yet their per capita is also much lower. Thirty-six countries are more densely populated, yet their GDP per capita is also much higher. Are the few then always richer, the many always poorer? Not at all. Our median age is 23 years. In 139 other countries it is as high as 45.5 years (Monaco). This means a Filipino has more productive years ahead of him than his counterpart in the rich countries where the graying and dying population is no longer being replaced because of negative birth rates. Our long-term future is bright, because of a vibrant and dynamic population. 2. Unnecessary Women who say they should be free to contracept (regardless of what the moral law or science says) are not being prevented from doing so, as witness the 50-percent contraceptive prevalence rate. It is a free market. But as we are not a welfare state, taxpayers have no duty to provide the contraceptives to try and cure pregnancy, which is not a disease. The State's duty is to protect women from real diseases. At least 80 women die every day from heart diseases, 63 from vascular diseases, 51 from cancer, 45 from pneumonia, 23 from tuberculosis, 22 from diabetes; 16 from lower chronic respiratory diseases. Why are our lawmakers not demanding free medicines and services for all those afflicted?
Indeed, maternal death could be brought down to zero just by providing adequate basic and emergency obstetrics-care facilities and skilled medical services to women. The local officials of Gattaran, Cagayan and Sorsogon City have shown this. Why do our lawmakers insist on stuffing our women with contraceptives and abortifacients instead? In 2005, the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization concluded that oral contraceptives cause breast, liver and cervical cancer. Shouldn't our lawmakers demand that contraceptives be banned or at least labeled as "cancer-causing," or "dangerous to women's health"? Why do they want them classified as "essential medicines" instead? 3. Unconstitutional a.) The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Yet the bill seems to assume we are a centrally planned economy or a totalitarian State, which controls the private lives of its citizens. Truth is, there are certain activities of man as man where the individual is completely autonomous from the State. Just as the State may not tell a politician or a journalist how or when to think, write or speak, it may not enter the bedroom and tell married couples how or when to practice marital love. b.) Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution says: "The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government." The use of "sanctity" makes State obedience to God's laws not only a solemn teaching of the Church, but also an express constitutional mandate. Now, when the State binds itself to "equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception," it necessarily binds itself not to do anything to prevent even one married woman from conceiving. A state-funded contraceptive program is an abomination. 4. Oppressive of religious belief The bill seeks to tell the Catholic majority not to listen to the Church and to listen to antiCatholic politicians instead. It seeks to establish a program which Catholic taxpayers will fund in order to attack a doctrine of their faith. Is there a worse despotism? Would the same people do the same thing to the followers of Islam or some politically active religious pressure group? The pro-RH lobby claims surveys have shown that most Catholic women want to use contraception, regardless of what the Church says about it. It is a desperate attempt to show that right or wrong can now be reduced to what you like or dislike. The truth is never the result of surveys. Contraception is wrong not because the Church has banned it; the Church has banned it because it is wrong. No amount of surveys can change that.
5. Destructive of public morals The bill seeks to impose a hedonistic sex-oriented lifestyle that aims to reduce the conjugal act to a mere exchange of physical sensations between two individuals and marriage to a purely contraceptive partnership. Not only is it hedonistic, it is above all eugenicist. It seeks to eliminate the poor and the "socially unfit." While it neither mandates a two-child family nor legalizes abortion, it prepares the ground for both. In 1974, the US National Security Study Memorandum 200, titled "Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for US Security and Overseas Interests," launched the twochild family as a global population policy to be achieved by 2000. But "no country has reduced its population growth without resorting to abortion," said that document. Now you know what's next, and where it's all coming from. Comments to http://franciscotatad.blogspot.com)
It's Satan's Semen, Stupid
By Minyong Ordoñez. Minyong Ordoñez is a retired chairman of the Paris-based Publicis Communications Group. He is a free-lance journalist and member of the Manila Overseas Press Club. In the Birth Control Bill the devil is in the details. In Humanae Vitae God is in the details. That's why Catholic men and women who follow the teachings of the Magisterium of the Church are up in arms against the Birth Control Bill. In essence the bill puts on the chopping block two fundamental rights, human and divine: the dignity of women and the sanctity of life. The title of the Birth Control Bill is an oxymoron: "Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008." KILL BILL The bill is unequivocal about its true intent: the extermination of a living fetus in the womb of a mother through aborticide using abortifacients in order to reduce birthrate. The oxymoron: How the hell can health result when killing is an integral part of the birth- control plan? How can development happen when the scheme is premised on the predestined failure of a future member of the population and therefore exterminated at fetal stage? This is technocracy of absolute skepticism.
The Bill is surreptitiously anti-democracy, because it violates the right to live. Let's say if tobe-butchered creatures, a fetus and a piglet can express their true sentiments on their imminent deaths, the fetus will say, "You can't kill me. When I grow up I want to be the first incorruptible congressman in the Philippines." And the piglet will say, "Great! It's OK to kill me on my fifth month. My ambition is to be the most succulent melt-in-the-mouth lechon de leche available in La Loma." The fetus has rights. The piglet has none. WOMAN AS VICTIM Central to birth-control managers is their clever idea labeled as: The Woman with "Unwanted Pregnancy." Who decides whether the pregnancy is unwanted or not? Herself? Birth-control managers? Dark-alley abortionists? Critics of Humanae Vitae? Indifferentist demographers and social engineers at IMF World Bank who incentivize their loans to poor nations by tacking on birth-control funding? It can't be the Francis of Assisi type of priest. Or the Mother Teresa type of nun. Or the God who is in the hearts of men. It must be the devil disguised as a do-gooder. Since a huge inventory of condoms (the modern version of onanism), abortifacients, inclusive of easy access to invasive birth-control technologies such as intrauterine device, ligation, sterilization, etc. are well funded, surely the educational campaign directed to the "woman with unwanted pregnancy" will be slanted in favor of aborticide using abortifacients. The much ridiculed but Church-approved rhythm method, sex abstinence and celibacy, has a poor chance, because to most birth-control managers those methods are prone to failure, medieval and a big killjoy. Abortifacients are safer and more effective. Safer for the killer. Fatal to the fetus. Isn't it satanic? The real villain here is Satan's semen ejaculated by heartless rapists, brutish abusers, happygo-lucky fornicators, jilting boyfriends, two-timing husbands, slippery lotharios, predatory DOMs and other closet perverts. It makes more sense for the government to go after ejaculators of Satan's semen than to warp a woman's good conscience. Unwanted pregnancy does not belong to our mainstream life. It's an oversimplification and overexaggeration. Unwanted pregnancy is usually self-corrective through the innate capacity of a woman to feel compunction, to learn from her mistake. WOMAN AS LOVE The concept of unwanted pregnancy is a slur on authentic feminism. Consider the Filipina. Her spiritual, intellectual, physiological and physical make-up contravenes the rejection of a baby (or fetus) in her womb. To verify, let congressmen ask their grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters if their natural instinct is to commit aborticide because pregnancy is hazardous, money is short and raising their children sucks. If the answer is yes, there goes the honorable congressman, a rotting fetus cadaver in a garbage
pile. If no, there goes a congressman going great guns and aspiring to be the next Speaker of the House. Consider maternal instincts: to breastfeed, to hug, to cradle, to change diapers, to bathe, to sing a lullaby. Consider her miraculous milk. Even by the law of physiology a mother's womb is an authentic and truthful organ for nurturing life, not a vehicle for death. Genetic! ANTI-CHRISTIANITY The Birth Control Bill attacks our Christian culture. Our woman culture cannot regard the Filipina as a utilitarian object, a machine for retooling social engineering as Herod, Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot did. For centuries Catholicism nurtured a culture of respect, admiration, honor and love for the Filipina. This lofty woman positioning has roots going back to Sacred Scripture when God chose a humble woman, Virgin Mary of Nazareth, to be the mother of Jesus Christ. The Magnificat is God's ultimate honor accorded to feminism. Our regard for womanhood is holistic. Body and soul. Mind and heart. Mystery and reality. Mortality on earth. Immortality in the after-life. She is worth all the blessings and commitments only the sacrament of matrimony can give on the day when she's the most beautiful bride in the world: "to have and to hold, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in pain till death do us part." MOTHERHOOD AS AGAPE Motherhood is her crowning glory. Motherhood. This is the earthly spirit of Agape. It means high truths of love, care, sacrifice, bliss, peace and joy directed to others specially children. Even the greatest painters of the Renaissance marvel at this unselfish kind of love. Botticelli, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael painted awe-inspiring mother and child Madonnas. The task of fatherhood is for all men to safeguard and nurture motherhood. Primordial! Family. The basic cell that is formative for children is family. To acquire virtues and values for excellent constituent of his country, and spiritual values as heirs of God's kingdom. Procreation. The miracle and mystery of life creation whereby a mother in a unitive act with her husband and God as author of life. A logical reason why Filipino parents instinctively call their children gifts from God. POPE SWIMS AGAINST THE CURRENT With confidence and courage, Pope Paul VI in 1968 promulgated Humanae Vitae, the encyclical on the transmission of life, condemning aborticide for birth control. In spite of contrarian opinions inside and outside the Vatican circles. The good Pope swam against the current of practical materialism. He chose the biblical and truth-based route. He used his ex cathedra power, "the bind and loose power" given by Christ to St. Peter and his successors. Today the widespread social malaise encouraged by state-crafted immoral law vindicates Pope Paul VI's promulgation of Humanae Vitae. Fidelity to the Church is fidelity to Christ. For Catholics, the bottom line is obedience to the teachings of the Magisterium. A difficult thing to do for those who disagree with the supreme
pontiff and vicar of Christ on earth. Without humility, obedience is impossible. To be humble a Catholic should always strive to be in a state of grace, by means of daily prayers, frequent confession and communion. Accepting God's will in the spirit of Agape. Fr. James B. Reuter's favorite advice is, "God draws straight with crooked lines." Hilaire Belloc, the Catholic historian who wrote books on the major role of Christianity in building Western civilization, says, "Without authority, there is no life." THE PILL AS MOTHER EVIL The Pill entered the scene in the sixties and it became the icon of the much touted Sexual Revolution. My old and witty golfer friend laughs at the term Sexual Revolution. He calls it irresponsible fucking! Hahahaha! The Pill turned out to be a "mother evil" whose multiplier effects disabled the moral compass of glitzy lifestyle in modernistic centers of the world. Multiplier effects such as the increase in numbers of divorced couples, broken homes, loveless children, unwed mothers, teen suicides, child abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and drug addiction among others. Empirical data abound in the files of city police blotters, vice-squad arrests, city morgue forensic files, psychiatric asylums, post-trauma rehab centers, psychiatric couches and of course the cemetery. Our late and beloved Pope John Paul II called the Pill's domino effect a "culture of death." ENLIGHTENED SELF-CONFIDENCE To bring life of a human being into this world is not a pure science technocracy, nor political governance. The miracle and mystery of faith is involved, therefore life creation is supernatural and God-caused. Consequently the taking of life is not for man to decide. Only God the author/creator of life can define the purpose and integrity of death. We simply cannot play God. The Church is the duly appointed (Tu es petrus) interpreter/teacher of the word of God. Catholics, whether congressmen or constituents, are duty bound to continuously enrich and deepen their understanding of the fundamentals of faith so that they can be competent in judging morality issues that crop up as civilization marches on. On the controversial points of birth control the following books will be helpful in combining faith with reason in evaluating the Birth Control Bill, which raises issues on the Sanctity of Life and Dignity of Women, issues that will affect our future as a Christian and democratic society: Brave New Family by G.K. CHESTERTON Edited by Alvaro de Silva. Published by Ignatius Press, San Francisco The God Who Loves You by PETER KREEFT Published by Ignatius Press, San Francisco The Essential Pope Benedict XVI edited by JOHN THORNTON and SUSAN VARENE
Harper San Francisco The Vindication of Humanae Vitae by MARY EBERSTADT Copyright © First Things (August/September 2008)
NO! To The Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008
Written by Advocacy Center 1. The HB relies on the International Standard of Human Rights rather than the Constitution. Comment: Are we giving foreign countries power to change our laws? 2. The HB blames underdevelopment on overpopulation. Comment: The real causes of poverty and underdevelopment are graft and corruption, bad governance, and uneven distribution of wealth not overpopulation. 3. The HB promotes universal access to modern contraceptives even for children (age 0-12) without parental consent. Comment: This destroys parent's rights over their children. 4. The HB will promote sex education for children and adolescents empowering them with informed choice and sexual rights encouraging them to be promiscuous. Comment: Children should be taught the values of abstinence, chastity, and self discipline. 5. The HB will classify contraceptives as "essential medicines". Comment: The poor need real medicines not deadly contraceptives. 6. The HB binds all including Businesses, Hospitals, Orphanages, Schools, and NGOs, to supply contraceptives to their employees. Violation of this law incurs punishment of P50, 000 fine and/or imprisonment of 1 year or both. Comment: a. There is no freedom of conscience. b. There is no parental control of children.
CFC-FFL Ad: Should You Support Reprodutive Health Bill No. 5043? Take this Simple Test to Find Out
This can be accessed here: http://www.cfcffl.org/prolife/articles/cfcffl_ad_hb5043_20080923.htm
CFC FI AND ALL ITS MINISTRIES STAND ALONGSIDE THE PHILIPPINE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN OPPOSING THE CURRENT PHILIPPINE CONGRESSIONAL HOUSEBILL NO. 5043 CFCFFL AD of September 23, 2008 on HB 5043 1. As employers, do you agree to be compelled to provide free reproductive health care services, supplies, devices and surgical procedures (including vasectomy and ligation) to your employees, and be subjected to both imprisonment and/or a fine, for every time that you fail to comply? Section 17 states that employers shall provide for free delivery of reproductive health care services, supplies and devices to all workers more particularly women workers. (read the Definition of Reproductive Health and Rights Section 4, paragraph g, Section 21, Paragraph c and Section 22 on Penalties) 2. As health care service providers, do you agree that you should be subjected to imprisonment and/or a fine, if you fail to provide reproductive health care services such as giving information on family planning methods and providing services like ligation and vasectomy, regardless of the patient's civil status, gender, religion or age? (Read Section 21 on Prohibited Acts, Letter a, Paragraph 1 to 5 and Section 22 on Penalties) 3. As a spouse, do you agree that your husband or wife can undergo a litigation or vasectomy without your consent or knowledge? (Read Section 21 on Prohibited Acts, Letter a, Paragraph 2) 4. As parents, do you agree that children from age 10 to 17 should be taught their sexual rights and the means to have a satisfying and "safe" sex life as part of their school curriculum? Reproductive Health Education will be mandatory from Grade 5 to the end of High School (See Section 12 on Reproductive Health Education and Section 4 Definition of Family Planning and Productive Health, Paragraph b,c and d) 5. Do you agree that you should be subjected to imprisonment and/or pay a fine, for expressing an opinion against any provision of this law, if such expression of opinion is interpreted as constituting "malicious disinformation"? (See Section 21 on Prohibited Acts, Paragraph f and Section 22 on Penalties) If you answered No to any of the questions above, then you are not for Reproductive Health Bill No. 5043. Read the bill. You will find more objectionable provisions such as losing our parental authority over a minor child who was raped and found pregnant (Section 21, a, no.3), reclassifying contraceptives as essential medicines (Section 10) and appropriating limited government funds to reproductive services instead of basic services (Section 23).
Protect our families. Protect our children. Dump Reproductive Health Bill No. 5043. For more information on how you can oppose the Reproductive Health Bill, go to http://www.cfcffl.org
Crucial questions on the RH bill
A LAW EACH DAY (Keeps Trouble Away) By Jose C. Sison Philippine Star Friday, October 31, 2008 House Bill 5043 or The Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development Act of 2008 (RH bill) is being propagated in mass media as promoting programs that will benefit women's reproductive health by offering to millions of poor women the right to choose between natural and artificial birth control methods and by providing access to artificial contraceptives. According to the proponents and their mass media supporters, this a right choice offered by the bill to women who most need the information for family planning. In pushing for the bill they even attack the Catholic Church for blocking it by using religion to dictate national policy and for depriving the faithful of their free will. The power to choose freely however must be exercised for the common good. It does not give man the right to choose and commit something wrong. In blocking the bill, the Church is just trying to point out what is wrong with it. Ironically, it is the bill itself that prevents the exercise of the free will by employing coercive methods in limiting the family size. It imposes imprisonment and or fine or both on those who would violate or refuse to carry out its program on providing access to the artificial methods of birth control. Actually, it is not the lawmakers sponsoring the bill but an NGO called the Philippine Legislative Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) that is responsible for drafting it. PLCPD is a foundation housed in Congress that lobbies and acts on behalf of, and enormously funded by foreign interest groups and foreign governments out to promote through coercion and deception a population control program that is anti-life and anti-family. From 1998, this kind of bills has been introduced in both Houses of Congress and lately has penetrated our legislative system down to the local level. Over the years because of objections, the versions have changed so that various provisions have been disguised under seemingly good intentions but ultimately have dire consequences on individuals, the family and society. The bill uses such terms as "women's rights", "right to health", reproductive rights", "reproductive education", "fertility regulation", "family planning" "satisfying and safe sex" so that people may eventually accept these terms to mean something good. Its very title "Reproductive Health" is a misnomer because in the UN language the term is taken to mean universal access to abortion, while Population Development is a euphemism for Population Control. Its proponents and supporters have even redefined the word "conception" or the start
of life in order to prove that some artificial contraceptives to be offered by the government are not abortifacients. But whether abortifacients or not, the plain truth is that in every country where contraceptives became widely available, abortions increased because women still get pregnant unexpectedly. When they acquire the mentality that a new birth is unwanted, they turn to abortion as a back up for contraceptive failure. The best example here is USA where 54% of women who had an abortion were using contraceptives when they became pregnant and where one in three women has had at least one abortion in their lifetime. This unfortunate US situation is best described by its Supreme Court which said that: "In some critical respects abortion is of the same character as the decision to use contraception. For two decades of economic and social development, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail" (Planned Paren Contraceptives made available at the expense of the government and for the benefit of pharmaceutical companies are also the causes of many diseases and infirmities rather than reproductive health. Dr Carl Djerassi himself who developed the contraceptive pill in 1960 found its "adverse effect on virtually every organ system of the human body, interfering as it does with the normal functioning of the woman's vitally important reproductive system". It also results in lower bodily resistance to infection, hepatic adenoma that could cause death through abdominal bleeding, nervousness and excessive irritability. IUD causes leukemia, pelvic infection, uterine perforation and ectopic pregnancy. Depoprovera is already banned in the US because they cause bone cancer and congenital malformation of babies. Tubal ligation causes severe bleeding, pelvic infection and ectopic pregnancy. Vasectomy results in hemorrhage and infections, greater risks of thyroid disorders, diabetes an The social consequences are direr. Due to pill use excessive irritability results, leading to child abuse and wife battery. Women's status is lowered and couples split up due to women's feeling of being used as sex objects to satisfy their husbands' sex drives. In the US, more than 50% of marriages where couples use contraceptives end up in divorce. The RH bill does not even spare our children. In the name of reproductive health, sex education is required to be given to children from Grade 5 to fourth year high school to insure "safe and satisfying sex". It is contended that such kind of education is a legitimate interest of the State that should be balanced with the primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the children. But as shown again by experiences in other countries sex education in schools has only promoted promiscuity resulting in unwanted teenage pregnancies. This contention is thus erroneous. In Portland, Maine, USA where schools have adopted sex education in their curriculum, recent news came out reporting that the State School Board voted to provide birth control to their school children because several middle school girls (ages 11-13) have been found to be sexually active. Hence there is also a soaring incidence of STDs among the youth as found the World Health Organization.
The questions that every Filipino, Catholic or non-Catholic, particularly the 14 Ateneo Professors, should therefore ask in connection with this bill, are: Shall we allow our people to suffer all those physically, morally and socially harmful experiences of people in those countries that use artificial contraceptives? Is it ok to expose the life of helpless unborn to danger simply because men have redefined the meaning of the start of life? Is it ok to have a safe and satisfying sex life even outside of marriage for as long as we use artificial contraceptives to prevent the natural consequences of the act? Is it ok to disobey our parents provided we are within the bounds of human legislation? WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILL? By Francisco S. Tatad Amid the domestic fallout of skyrocketing food and oil prices world-wide and a tottering international financial system, some lawmakers have embarked on a high-profile campaign to ram through a population control-driven bill that threatens the sanctity of human life, family life and marriage, without regard to their honored place in our Constitution and our Christian culture. The population has many problems. But population is not itself the problem. Assuming there are problems associated with population growth, the reproductive health bill does not provide any answers. I hope the following will help put this bill to rest and allow the nation to devote its time, energy and resources to its real and more pressing problems. 1. THE BILL IS BASED ON A FLAWED PREMISE. There is no “population explosion” and the country is not overpopulated. The population growth rate and the total fertility rate (TFR) have declined. The National Statistics Office puts the growth rate at 2.04 %, the TFR at 3.02. However, the CIA World Factbook (2008), for one, puts the growth rate at 1.728%, the TFR at 3.00. Whatever the real numbers are, at least one million Filipinos leave the country for foreign jobs every year. There are at least 12 million Filipinos now living and working abroad. The country has a population density of 277 Filipinos per square km, with a GDP per capita (purchasing power parity) of $,3400. The Central African Republic has a population density of 6.5 and a GDP per capita (PPP) of $700. At least 50 countries have a much lower population density than that of the Philippines, yet their GDP per capita is also much lower. Fact: the few are not always richer. On the other hand, at least 36 countries have a much higher population density than that of the Philippines, yet their GDP per capita is also much higher. Macau has 18,428 people per square km and a GDP per capita of $28,400; Monaco has 16,754 people per square km, with a per capita income of $30,000; Hong Kong has 6,407 per square km, and a per capita
income of $42,000; and Singapore has 6,489 per square km., and a per capita income of $49,700. Fact: the many are not always poorer. The most critical statistic has to do with the age structure of the population. Worldwide, the median age is 27.4 years. In the Philippines, it is 23 years. In at least 139 countries it is higher than 23; in 73 others, lower. All the developed countries are on the high side. Monaco has the highest (45.5 years), followed by Japan (43.8), Germany (43.4), Italy (42.9), Sweden (41.3), Spain (40.7), Switzerland (40.7), Holland (40), United Kingdom (39.9), France (39.2), Singapore (38.4), Russia (38.3), United States (36.7), South Korea (36.4). In China, the world’s fastest growing economy, it is 33.6. This means a Filipino has more years to be productive than his counterpart in the developed world, where the population is graying and dying, without adequate replacement because of negative birth rates. Those who understand this well will tend to be more confident of the future; they will see the need to invest more extensively in the development of this resource. 2. THE BILL IS TOTALLY UNNECESSARY Except for the purported objective of treating fertility and preventing abortion, which (if government is serious) may be immediately addressed by secondary health policy, the things the bill wants to do are already being done, whether legally or not. Officially-sponsored contraception and sterilization are ongoing with foreign and local funding, even without a legal mandate. Punishable abortions go unpunished. Certain things that are lawful and necessary (like promotion of breast-feeding, infant and child health and nutrition) can be done easily without legislation. Some truly repugnant things (like mandatory sex education for young children, inclusion of contraceptives and abortifacients in the National Drug Formulary as essential medicines, and making a family planning compliance certificate from the civil registrar a requirement for marriage) should not be legislated at all. There is free access to information on contraception. No law bars anyone from using contraceptives of their choice, it is a free market. You don’t need the government for it. Consumers however must pay for their own, as they pay for everything else. The Philippines is not a welfare state, nobody gets a free lunch. If the government has the money, it should spend it to save women from killer-diseases, not on trying to cure pregnancy, which is not a disease. At least 80 women are said to die from heart diseases everyday; 63 from vascular diseases; 51 from cancer; 45 from pneumonia; 23 from tuberculosis; 22 from diabetes; 16 from lower chronic respiratory diseases. This is where the State should provide, if it could, free medicine and medical services.
Now, out of every 100,000 live births, some 107 women are said to die from complications during childbirth. This is 107 too many. But the local executives of Gattaran, Cagayan and Sorsogon City have shown that maternal death during childbirth could be brought down to zero simply by providing women with adequate basic and emergency obstetric care facilities and skilled medical services. Not contraceptives. On July 29, 2005, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that after a thorough review of the published scientific literature, it was concluded that oral contraceptives are carcinogenic to humans ---they cause breast, liver and cervical cancer. In light of that, the government should probably ban the carcinogens or at least label them as “cancer-causing,” or “dangerous to women’s health.” But some legislators, some of them doctors too, still want to distribute them as “essential medicines” to our women. Why? 3. THE BILL ASSUMES THAT THE STATE IS OMNIPOTENT. IT SEEKS TO CONFER UPON THE STATE A RIGHT AND AUTHORITY IT DOES NOT, AND CAN NEVER, POSSESS. No one questions the right of the State to levy taxes, to expropriate private property for public use, to conscript able-bodied young men for its defense. But the State may not enter the family bedroom and tell married couples how to practice marital love. For while it is a citizen who casts his vote, pays his taxes and fights for his flag, it is a man who embraces his wife and fathers her child. There are certain areas, certain activities of man as man where every individual is accountable only to God, and completely autonomous from the State. These are sacred and inviolate areas where the State may not intrude. Allow the State to invade our innermost private lives, and it will just be a matter of time before we are told we can no longer breathe unless the State allows it. 4. THE BILL IS PATENTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL. a) Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution provides: “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.” “Sanctity”---the state of being holy---is an attribute of God. God is not outside our lives; the very first words of the Constitution proclaim it: “We, the sovereign Filipino People, imploring the aid of Almighty God…” Obedience to God’s laws, therefore, is not only a solemn teaching of the Church, but also an express constitutional mandate. The government cannot be party to a program that seeks to prevent one married woman from conceiving, without making a mockery of that mandate. That is the necessary implication of
the State’s duty to “equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.” b). Article XV recognizes “marriage as an inviolable social institution,” and “the foundation of the family.” Which, in turn, the State recognizes as “the foundation of the nation.” Section 3 (1) of the same Article binds the State to defend “the right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood.” Clearly, this does not allow the State to tell members of any faith ---in this case the Catholic faith---not to listen to what their Church teaches on faith and morals, or responsible parenthood, but to listen to the politicians and the population controllers instead. But this is precisely what the bill seeks to do. 5. THE BILL IS DESTRUCTIVE OF PUBLIC MORALS AND FAMILY VALUES. It seeks to legislate a hedonistic sex-oriented lifestyle whose aim is to assure couples and everybody else of “a safe and satisfying sex life” (the other term for contraceptive sex), instead of a mutually fulfilling conjugal life, and ultimately change time-honored Filipino values about human life, family life, marriage, in favor of the most destructive counter-values that are wreaking havoc on the morals of many consumerist societies. 6. THE BILL IS PARTICULARLY UNJUST TO CATHOLIC TAXPAYERS, WHO CONSTITUTE THE MAJORITY, AND WHO WILL BE MADE TO BEAR THE COST OF THE PROGRAM THAT WILL ULTIMATELY ATTACK A CONSTANTLY HELD DOCTRINE OF THEIR FAITH. The same objection would hold even if the affected party were a religious minority. In fact, it should be interesting to find out whether any legislator will dare propose any legislation that is doctrinally and morally offensive to Islam or to any politically active local religious group. 7. THE BILL IS NOT WHAT ITS AUTHORS SAY IT IS. IT IS EVERYTHING THEY SAY IT IS NOT. Not only is it hedonistic, it is above all eugenicist. It seeks to eliminate the poor and the “socially unfit” while paying lip service to their cause. While it neither mandates a two-child family nor legalizes abortion, it prepares the ground for both. Its declared objective of population reduction conforms to the global population policy launched by U.S. National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200 in 1974, under the title IMPLICATIONS OF WORLDWIDE POPULATION GROWTH FOR U.S. SECURITY AND OVERSEAS INTERESTS. It targeted the Philippines, along with India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia and Columbia.
NSSM 200, also known as The Kissinger Report, called for a two-child family worldwide by the year 2000, using universal contraception and abortion. “No country has reduced its population growth without resorting to abortion,” the Report said. In 1974, NSSM 200 estimated thirty million abortions worldwide. The annual rate has doubled since. 8. ENACTMENT OF THE BILL WILL ONLY DEEPEN THE IGNORANCE ABOUT THE ISSUES INVOLVED. Some defenders of the bill claim that nine out of ten women (who must be Catholic) want to contracept, regardless of what the Church teaches about it. Sad, but if the claim is correct, then nine out of ten “Catholic” women need to be instructed more deeply on the doctrines of their faith and on the harmful effects of contraceptives and abortifacients. Not everything an individual wants is good or right; the truth is never the result of opinion surveys. Contraception is wrong not because the Church has banned it; the Church has banned it because it is wrong. No amount of surveys can change that. The authors of the bill suggest that Catholics need not follow what the bishops are saying because Humanae Vitae, Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical on the regulation of birth, is not an infallible document. This is an unfortunate conclusion from an incomplete premise. Church teaching on contraception did not begin with Paul VI. Onan’s case (Gen 38:8-10) is absolute proof; Pius XI and Pius XII pronounced on it before Humanae Vitae, appealing to Scripture, to the Fathers of the Church, and to tradition. While Humanae Vitae was not infallibly proposed, its teaching has been held definitively by all Catholic bishops. It meets the criteria set forth by Vatican II for an infallible exercise of the ordinary magisterium of the bishops throughout the world. As the theologian Russell Shaw points out, the Church has always taught contraception to be gravely sinful; she has never taught that it is good, permissible, or even only venially sinful. 9. THE NATURAL REGULATION OF CONCEPTIONS DOES NOT OFFEND THE CONSTITUTION OR THE RELIGIOUS BELIEF OF ANY COUPLE; IT IS IN FULL ACCORD WITH THE DEMANDS OF RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD, AND IS NOT CONTRACEPTION AT ALL. NO LAW IS NEEDED FOR THE STATE TO SUPPORT IT. The Billings Method, which takes advantage of the fertility rhythm of the human body, has been attested by the WHO to be 99% effective. But as there is no money in it, no industry has promoted it like the various contraceptives and abortifacients. State support for it could spell the difference. (Former Senator Francisco S. Tatad represents Asia-Pacific on the Governing Boards of International Right to Life Federation, Cincinnati, Ohio, and World Youth Alliance, New York, NY.)
Contraceptives harmful to women’s health
By Bernardo M. Villegas, September 26, 2008 http://www.mb.com.ph/issues/2008/09/26/OPED20080926136282.html Those who are advocating the passing of the Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippine Congress are guilty of gross misrepresentation. They maintain that the bill is intended to promote the health of women. That claim could not be farther from the truth. There are abundant scientific and medical evidences that the so-called "modern methods" of family planning, such as birth control pills, intrauterine device (IUD), barrier methods (condoms/diaphragms) and ligation can have harmful effects to millions of women all over the world. In a most enlightening paper by Dr. Angelita Miguel-Aguirre, M.D., Fellow and Diplomate of the Philippine College of Physicians and Chairperson of the Committee on Ethics of the Makati Medical Society, the ill effects of contraceptives on women’s health are very well documented. Unfortunately, these harmful consequences of contraceptives are hidden by the promoters of birth control, especially from unsuspecting poor women who have no access to the information that experts like Dr. Miguel-Aguirre provide to the public. Even worse, there are advertising and marketing campaigns funded by the anti-life people (such as those appearing in some local TV channels) that present contraceptives as "essential medicines," peddling outright lies that pills and contraceptives can cure cervical cancer and other female diseases. What does an expert like Dr. Miguel-Aguirre say about birth control pills? According to her, on top of numerous studies showing the carcinogenic properties of birth control pills since the development of the synthetic estrogens in 1938 by Sir Edward Charles Dodds, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced last July 29, 2005 that "after a thorough review of the published scientific literature, it has concluded that combined estrogen-progestogen oral contraceptives (and combined estrogen-progestogen menopausal therapy) are carcinogenic to humans (Group 1 category, which is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans). Prior to this announcement, a respected journalist from Columbia University, Barbara Seaman, after years of research, published several books exposing estrogen’s detrimental effect on the health of women. Notable among these books are the "The Doctor’s Case Against the Pill," and "The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women. Exploding the Estrogen Myth." Barbara Seaman is a co-founder of the National Women’s Health Network, a women’s advocacy group in Washington D.C., that refused money from the drug industry as part of
its charter. There are numerous adverse effects of the pill on women that have been equally well documented. They are breast cancer, cervical cancer, liver cancer, premature hypertension and coronary artery disease leading to heart attacks and strokes, thromboembolism/pulmonary embolism. Other negative side effects are decreased libido, infertility, leg cramps, gallstone formation, nausea, and bloatedness. Although some women may notice improvement in their complexion, others may develop acne by using the pill. It is claimed to reduce the risk for ovarian cancer. But evidently this is outweighed by its numerous risks for more common forms of cancer. Unfortunately, the side effects most frequently communicated to potential users, in order to qualify for "informed choice," are simple headaches, increased weight or increased appetite or other minor ailments. The top three causes of mortality in the Philippines are 1) diseases of the heart; 2) diseases of the vascular system; and 3) malignant neoplasm. With the aggressive promotion of the contraceptive pill, many of the casualties of these diseases will be women who will be suffering from the adverse effects of synthetic estrogen as is already happening in developed countries. It must be pointed out that next to lung cancer, breast cancer is the most common cause of malignancy in our country and only 5 to 10 percent of those women with breast cancer have a genetic predisposition. There are studies in Indonesia (Bustan Contraception 1993) which show that the risk of breast cancer among Indonesian women is 210 percent for those who started taking the pill at age 22 and below; 70 percent risk for women age 22 to 26 and 60 percent risk for women age 27 and up. Another contraceptive being promoted by the population control advocates is the intrauterine device or the IUD. The IUD is not a contraceptive. As categorically stated by Dr. Jerome Lejeune, the late expert on Fundamental Genetics of the University of Paris, "the IUD acts primarily by preventing the embryo from implanting – not by preventing conception. It is, therefore, an abortifacient, not a contraceptive." A textbook entitled "The Reproductive System, Principle of Anatomy and Physiology," by Tortora and Grabowski provides a succinct description of the IUD: "IUDs cause changes in the uterine lining that prevent implantation of the fertilized ovum." The effect is known to both the promoters and manufacturers of IUDs. Because of the high incidence of litigations resulting from the adverse effects suffered by women in the US, prospective users have to sign a seven-page document before the device is inserted in the US Because an abortion actually takes place here, there is also the psychological trauma that can cause long-term depression symptoms among women who have
undergone abortion. The barrier methods – condoms and diaphragms – have the highest rate of failures among birth control methods, varying from 4 to 30 percent, depending on the age group surveyed. These are the causes of most of the so-called unwanted pregnancies which generally end up with abortion. These devices also contribute to increased incidence of sexually transmitted disease/infection (STD/STI). The widespread use of condoms in Thailand ironically has led to an explosion in the number of women infected with HIV. Because condoms encourage promiscuity, they also indirectly contribute to the spread of the Human Papiloma virus (HPV), which is the major cause of cervical cancer. Barrier methods are ineffective since shedding occurs from widespread areas of the perineum. HPV causes warts anywhere on the skin and mucous membranes. The adverse effect of tubal ligation are also well known. They are hemorrhage and bleeding; increased risk of heavy menses in the long term; increased future gynecological rate of surgery, including hysterectomy; adverse anesthesia effects; and post-tubal ligation syndrome. There are so many health risks that accompany the use of artificial contraceptives or abortifacient devices that they far outweigh the dangers of pregnancy and childbirth to a woman’s health. It would be wiser for the Government to invest instead in basic obstetric care and emergency obstetric care equipment and services and provide skilled medical staff to the childbirth centers. The bill, if it is at all to be considered for final legislation, should focus on how to make available to all poor women the basic obstetric care and emergency obstetric care that can significantly cut down the number of women dying in childbirth. The focus should be on maternal health, not on preventing maternity. For comments, my e-mail address is email@example.com.
Oversimplification of economists
By Bernardo Villegas, September 15, 2008 http://www.mb.com.ph/issues/2008/09/15/BSNS20080915135175.html Economists have been notorious for oversimplification. There are those who equate the growth of GDP with total human development. Fortunately, the increasing popularity of the Human Development Index has opened the eyes of many--both economists and non-economists--that a rapid growth of GDP may lead to more human misery if it is not accompanied with a more equitable distribution of income and wealth and increasing access to education and health among the masses. This tendency to oversimplification among my colleagues in the economics profession has reared its ugly head once again as some leading economists (and business executives) have given their unqualified support to the Consolidated Reproductive Health Bill (CHRB) in the House of Representatives.
I am not sure if these economists have read completely the Bill which goes much beyond correlating poverty with the size of the Filipino family. Even prescinding from the very debatable contention that slowing down population growth will lead to higher per capita income, these economists supporting the entire CRHB are unwittingly or intentionally overlooking the other dangerous features of the Bill. A British NGO, the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, has come out with a position paper prepared by the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute that scrutinized all the provisions of the CHRB. It is wise for all thinking Filipinos to seriously consider the warnings contained in the position paper entitled Commentary on the Philippine Consolidated Reproductive Health Bill. The position paper points out that the CHRB is overtly about state intervention into people’s private lives by strongly promoting contraception and its enforced provision, state run sex education with the potential of undermining parental influence, and denying conscientious objection. A critical subtext of the bill is that it has the strong potential to lay the ground for state sanctioned abortion, even though it appears to uphold the current illegal (and unconstitutional) status of abortion. It is pretty naive for the economists supporting the bill to ignore the well-known fact that the language of "reproductive rights" is becoming pervasive at national and international levels. Proponents of widespread access to abortion on demand seldom talk about abortion per se because it is confrontational and likely to receive a negative response from anyone with a well-formed conscience. Rather pro-abortion people talk about reproductive rights, informed choice, sexual health and planned parenthood. By coopting these terms they act subversively to gradually soften resistance to their concepts and slowly work towards their goal of legalizing abortion. Communities who unwittingly accept such concepts, which are usually coupled to incremental legislative changes, eventually find themselves cornered into acquiescence on abortion. Other subtexts of the CHRB include targeting the poor for population control, thus bordering dangerously on eugenics, i.e. selective purification of a population based on social classes. It also promotes reproductive technology, which involves the routine destruction of human embryos. Finally, it is fundamentally unjust that the State, in its promotion of its secular population control ideals, will be using the financial resources of the primarily religious community whose faith teaches clear opposition to those ideals. The Bill proposes a heavy handed approach to dissenters, and elements of the Bill appear to be totalitarian. For example, the Bill makes it an offence punishable by 6 months imprisonment and/or a fine of P50,000 to "maliciously engage in disinformation about the intent or provisions of this Act." Intent is very difficult to prove, and if some were to argue that certain intent was apparent within the Bill, it would not be difficult for its proponents to seek prosecution for an alleged act of disinformation. The restrictions of free speech that would result from this very vague provision are more reminiscent of totalitarian States. The Bill declares as essential medicines "hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other allied reproductive health products and supplies." Not only is the last phrase open to the widest interpretation, but the idea that contraceptives are essential medicines is fundamentally flawed. Contraceptives (some with abortifacient effects) do not treat any medical condition. To construe them as medicines is simply dishonest.
The Bill forces all health care providers, public and private, to provide reproductive health care services. In the list of prohibited activities, to which are attached significant penalties, only one category permits conscientious objection. It is, therefore, possible that some health care professionals could be forced to act contrary to their consciences, either by direct participation in acts they deem immoral, or by indirect participation in referral to those who will carry out the acts. Such a restriction of the freedom of conscience is contradictory to internationally agreed human rights, contrary to agreed ethical principles and contrary to any decent and fair treatment of health care professionals in a democratic society. The way that matters of conscience are dealt with in this Bill would be more at home in a totalitarian State. These are only a few of the dangerous features of the CHRB which are hidden in the Trojan Horse of population control in the name of addressing mass poverty. I wish that the economists and business executives endorsing the Bill would reflect more profoundly on the implications of such a law on the workings of a truly democratic society. Not only are certain constitutional provisions being threatened. Such fundamental human rights as the right to free speech and the right to privacy will be under serious attack if the Bill is passed. I already foresee leading constitutional lawyers questioning the constitutionality of the Bill if and when it is passed. I hope the members of the House of the Representatives, who can see the common good of the Philippines more holistically than some narrow-minded economists, will reject the Bill in the Plenary. I also hope that members of the Senate are able to see the big picture and prevent another constitutional crisis from happening. Our legislators have more important things to do than to pass a Bill that is patently a threat to our democratic beliefs.
Spending billions for birth control?
By Fr. Cecilio Magsino Philippine Daily Inquirer, 10/28/2008 http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/letterstotheeditor/view/20081028168807/Spending-billions-for-birth-control The proponents of the Reproductive Health Bill want the national government to buy birth control pills and make them available to the public for free or for a nominal price. I wonder if anyone has done the numbers. The advertisements for birth control pills say the woman has to take the pills once a day without fail for 28 days. If the woman fails to do this, the pills will not be effective. I’ve researched on the Internet to find out how much these pills cost. The cheapest pills sell at roughly P30 a tablet. Since a woman has to take 28 pills a month, this means she and her family will have to shell out P840 every month for the pills. That’s just for one woman. The Philippines has a population of 86 million. Assume that half of that are women, so you get 43 million women. Of these women, assume that one-third or 33 percent are in their child-bearing years. So you have 14 million women who need pills 28 days every month. Multiply 14 million by P840, that’s P11.760 billion every month. Multiply
that by 12 months in a year and that would amount to P141.120 billion that the government has to spend every year to provide these women with birth control pills. The national budget is P1.4 trillion. So we are thinking of spending 10 percent of our national budget on pills. Can we not think of a better way to use the P141 billion? What about spending it to create more livelihood and jobs so that there will be fewer poor people? I can just imagine a poor mother coming out of the health center with a pack of pills she got for free. Knowing that it sells for P840, she might find it wiser to sell the pack to another woman for P500 to buy food for her starving children. FR. CECILIO L. MAGSINO, assistant chaplain, Woodrose School, Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa City
Philippines Threatened By a 2-Child Policy
Population Control Bill Enters Plenary Debate By Genevieve Pollock WASHINGTON, D.C., SEPT. 21, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Filipino-Americans are joining with Catholics from their native country to fight proposed legislation that would promote contraception and limit family size, while punishing conscientious objectors. The newly consolidated Reproductive Health Bill of 2005, renamed "An Act Providing for a National Policy on Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development, and for Other Purposes," was put on the floor of Congress last week to begin plenary debates, reported the Washington-based Filipino Family Fund. At the close of the week, the debates were temporarily suspended, but are due to resume soon. Pro-life groups are holding vigils outside of the House of Representatives in order to closely monitor the proceedings of the bill. After the original reproductive health bill's failure to pass in 2005, the new Congress reconvened, introduced three new bills, consolidated them into the current proposal, and put the new bill through the Committee on Population without due process in May of 2008. The Philippine Legislator Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) has worked with International Planned Parenthood and the U.N. Population Fund in the creation of this legislation that aims to depopulate the country through all possible means and decrease HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. The U.N. fund has appropriated $26 million to the Philippines for this purpose.
This bill would mandate an "ideal family size," setting the stage for a proposed Two-Child Policy. It foresees stiff penalties that include up to six months imprisonment and heavy fines for those who do not comply with the proposed reproductive health care agenda. According to the bill, these penalties could even apply to any person "who maliciously engages in disinformation about the intent or provisions of this act." Provisions of the bill call for a network of doctors, population officers in every province, and a national curriculum that will teach secular sex education to fifth graders. Silencing parents Eileen Macapanas Cosby, president of the Filipino Family Fund, told ZENIT that "freedom of speech is at stake. Parents will not be able to object. Health care workers will be forced to refer against their conscience. Employers will have to provide family planning services." "International Planned Parenthood has sold false presuppositions that access to contraception will alleviate poverty, and decrease the number of abortions. Many who do not have an understanding of Catholic social teachings have bought this," explained Cosby. "Precisely because the country is Catholic, [Planned Parenthood] has targeted the Philippines." Cosby noted the affirmation of Archbishop Pacino Aniceto, chairman of the episcopal commission on family and life, who stated "If you are Catholic, you should behave like a Catholic. Otherwise you are not what you profess." Filipino bishops are sponsoring an advocacy movement against the passage of the bill. They note that a contraception bill with necessarily include abortion. Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Lingayen-Dagupan affirmed on his blog, "It is not hard to see that the title of the bill alone says many words yet its open-ended phrase ‘for other purposes' suggests its hardly realized humungous price tag and grave moral costs." Rest of Asia Filipino Catholics plan to gather 1 million signatures against the reproductive health bill to present to Congress. Father Melvin Castro, secretariat of the Pro-life Office of the bishops' conference reported that he had collected 100,000 signatures of constituents by last week. The Filipino Family Fund is urging people to sign the petition on their Web site. "We have to defend the Church now or the rest of Asia will be at stake," said Cosby. In return for the foreign funding promised by Planned Parenthood and the United Nations, the Philippines will be losing moral ground, Cosby told ZENIT. Our stance is to remain vigilant now, as the debates are set to resume soon, she added.
"The truth of the matter is, that the bill will lead to the implementation of an immoral policy -- a proposed synthetic artificial contraceptives eventually designed to ruin health as it slants the idea of responsible parenthood to issues of depopulation, which proponents claim will result to progress among underdeveloped countries like ours," Archbishop Cruz wrote on his blog. "After all, no human act, no legislative bill, no executive function, no judicial work is over and above morality. "Morality is neither irrelevant in politics, not indifferent in a secular society. Irrespective of the race, color and creed of those concerned, the moment individuals fool around with private morals, the moment the government disregards public morals, then the families and country are in big trouble respectively. This is the standing lesson of history."
12 Reasons Why We Oppose HB5043
By Alliance for the Family Foundation, October 31, 2008 http://alfi.org.ph/home/index.php/2008/10/12-reasons-why-we-oppose-hb5043/ 1.HB 5043 is based on a flawed data on population growth rates and fertility levels. It ignores the negative impact on the economy and society of an ageing population, as experienced in many developed countries. If we spend out scare resources towards birth control, we would be promoting the undesirable outcome of depopulation. RP’s Population Growth Rate has declined since the Year 2000 Census of 2.36%. The correct PGR is lower. UN states it at 1.8%, whilst the NCSO reports 1.94% for its 20052010 projection. RP’s Total Fertility Rate is not 3.5. It is 2.6 ( based on UN) or 3.2 ( based on NSO). In a few decades, fertility rate will be at replacement level of 2.1, and may even continue its downward slope, leading to race extinction. 2.HB 5043 places an overwhelming emphasis on contraception at the expense of all other values, including medical care for the sick and the dying. Top 10 causes of Morbidity/Death in the Philippines lists Pneumonia, Bronchitis, Diarrhea, Influenza and Hypertension as the highest ranking causes of death among women. There is a distortion of human values if we prioritize the prevention of procreation over saving lives. The WHO has also concluded that HORMONAL CONTRACEPTIVES CAUSE CANCER, Warning Level1, according to the International Alliance for Research in Cancer. 3.HB 5043 promotes abortion. These HORMONAL CONTRACEPTIVES ACT AS ABORTIFACIENTS. They do not prevent ovulation 100%of the time and thus, fertilization can still occur. When the fertilized ovum is prevented from implanting in the uterus because of the effect of the pill, this ovum is expelled. This is plain and simple abortion. ( Note: Research shows that ovulation still occurs during pill use in 6 out of 210 menstrual cycles, hence, there remains a grave risk of the abortion of undetected pregnancies that may still be occurring,)
4.It is not true that widespread use of contraceptives will reduce illegal abortions. In every single country where contraceptives became widely available, abortions increased because of the contraceptive mindset being promoted in society. This bill, in effect, promotes abortion. 5.HB 5043, with its 2-child ideal ( Section 12) and “free ligation” ( Section 6.g), will result in social stigma and discrimination against large families. The ideal family size is what parents responsibly decide. This is not to be mandated nor encouraged by the State. 6.HB 5043 legislates “reproductive health and sexuality education” or mandatory sex education of the youth ( Section 12). There is no evidence of success in responsible sexual behavior as a result of sex education in classrooms. . In the US, teenage pregnancies and cases of STDs continues to climb yearly despite sex education in classrooms. Teaching youth about abstinence and, at the same time, discussion birth control as an acceptable option, is a mixed message with serious consequences 7.HB 5043 forces all health care service providers, including private doctors, nurses, clinics and hospitals, to make referrals for the provision of abortifacient drugs and devices ( Section 16.a.4.). Refusal will be punished by fine and/or imprisonment. This is a violation of a person’s freedom of conscience. 8.HB5043 forces every employer to provide abortifacient contraceptives ( Section 13), even if this will result in the deaths of Filipino children not yet born. It infringes on the individual’s freedom of conscience and religion. 9.HB 5043 provides that any person who publicly or even privately disagrees with its premises, conclusion or implementation is subject to fine or imprisonment ( Section 16.d.). This would include any future campaign to repeal it. As written, this also applies to parents instructing their children. NO exception is made for ethical or religious reasons. 10.HB 5043 has as one of its Guiding Principles that unmarried couples, including children of reproductive age ( Sections 3.1, and Section 3.j.) will receive contraception education ( Section 3.d) and a full range of contraceptive drugs and devices ( Section 3.j.). No provision is made for parental consent, or even notification, in the case of children. 11. HB 5043 violates the Constitutional safeguards for life and family ( Article II, Sections 12 & 13, Article XV, Sections 1 & 13.) It allows anyone to avail of RH services like vasectomy or ligation without the consent of the spouse, thereby creating artificial conflicts between spouses. Similarly, an abused minor( e.g. raped victim) may also avail of some of these contraceptives, i.e. “morning-after-Pill” without the consent of parents.. 12.Poverty is not caused nor aggravated by overpopulation, but by the wrong economic policies, poor governance and systemic corruption. Numerous economic studies have shown that there is no correlation between population and poverty.
Artificial Birth Control is Fascist
By The Varsitarian, Official Student Publication of the University of Santo Tomas http://www.varsitarian.net/editorial_opinion/editorial/artificial_birth_control_is_fascist WHO’S afraid of God? In a world barnacled by crass materialism, individualism, and hedonism, it cannot be the cabal of Filipino legislators who are again mounting a calculated overthrow of the natural law governing mankind by forcing on the people a contraceptive-prone family planning program ostensibly to control overpopulation. This in effect, was the message of Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, to some 15, 000 pro-life advocates during a Mass at the UST grandstand. Although the prayer rally was to protest Congress’s efforts to pass a slew of bills that would again legitimize population control, the gathering was also held to mark the 40th anniversary of the late Pope Paul VI’s famous encyclical, Humanae Vitae. Let there be no mistaking the bills of Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, as well as the several local ordinances seeking to implement family planning. Despite their sugarcoated names, they are not pro-women or even mildly “pro-choice.” They are actually population-control measures seeking to control fertility. They are essentially motivated by the greatest hoax of the 20th century: that the world is overpopulated and that high population is anti-growth, anti-progress. In short, they basically blame the poor for the poverty of the world. The less the poor breed, the better to stem poverty. Therefore, the bills are not only anti-life since they seek to stop women from pregnancy and giving births through a host of questionable means — birth-control pills, abortifacients like the IUD, and ligation; they are also anti-poor. In short, Lagman’s and Garin’s bills are antihumanist. “Human life is God-given and God-gifted,” Lagdameo said. “Each and every child born is a gift from God given to his parents and to the whole family. The pro-active attitude toward children must not be seen in the light of them being a hinder to economy or a burden to one’s family but in the hope that they are the future’s hope of the nation toward development.” Paradoxically, the proposed legislations reinforce what the Church and pro-lifers have been saying all along – that the causes of poverty are poor public policy planning and management, the corruption, shortsightedness and incompetence of our leaders. Trying to escape the blame, our leaders crucify the poor for their poverty.
What is also insidious about the bills is their violation of the privacy of couples, their meddling with couples on determining the size of their families. But Lagman et al say their proposed laws are “pro-choice” in that they leave it to couples to decide whether or not to control their births and by what means. What they don’t say is that their proposed measures are “statist” and even “fascist.” Since their bills seek to make family planning a state program, necessarily state funds would have to be used for fertility control. The poor as always wouldn’t have the choice on how to use funds. In the history of population control, has there been an instance when the program is liberally interpreted and applied? Look at the experience of the one-child policy in China. Look at the experience of India where women were ligated without their consent. Look at our own experience during martial law when population control was enshrined in the 1973 Constitution. Come to think of it, our martial law experience should belie Lagman et al’s thesis that curbing the population would boost economic growth. We had population control during the long period of military dictatorship but the country’s economy collapsed because of the depredations of the conjugal dictatorship. Ergo, poverty is not caused by “overpopulation” but by corruption and mismanagement. Now, former health secretary Alfredo Romualdez is calling for “zero” population growth! How did he arrive at such a calculation? His science is as voodoo as the claim of pro-choice and pro-abortion people that there are nearly 500,000 abortions a year in the Philippines so it would be better to legalize abortion. On both statistical and moral bases, the claim is egregious! But you have to give it to them for sheer gumption. Their claim is as brazen as that of Romualdez, whose clan used to be part of the conjugal dictatorship. In essence, the letter and spirit of the bills in Congress are but cheap shots to incriminate the poor as glaring specimens of human frailty and recklessness who have failed to restrain their animal lust, thus contributing to population explosion. And the Church allegedly abets such poor behavior by opposing population control! Considering all the distortion engineered by population extremists and our twisted leaders, it is well to reflect on what Paul VI declares in Humana Vitae: “No one can, without being grossly unfair, make Divine Providence responsible for what clearly seems to be the result of misguided governmental policies, of an insufficient sense of social justice, of a selfish accumulation of material goods, and finally of a culpable failure to undertake those initiatives and responsibilities which would raise the standard of living of peoples and their children.”
Responsible parenting, as some legislators mistakenly equate with reproductive health permutations, solely rests on the innate human faculty of self-discipline, the greatest form of human restraint mandated by God and whose faithful observance “confers upon parents a deeper and more effective influence in the education of their children” for inculcating in them the right sense of values toward achieving a “serene and harmonious use of their mental and physical powers.” Perhaps, the cabal of modern-day Herods, as Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales suggested, should reorient themselves on the moral turpitude and secular pride that sent Lucifer tumbling down the cesspool of perpetual damnation.
The Filipino front in the culture wars
By Rosa Linda Valenzona. Rosa Linda Valenzona is currently General Manager of the Ayala Multi-purpose Cooperative in Manila. She is a former lecturer in economics at the University of the Philippines and a former Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, Department of Social Welfare and Development. She is also a consultant to Pontifical Council on the Family. http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/the_filipino_front_in_the_culture_wars/ The heavyweights of the global reproductive health agenda are making an all-out bid to displace the church as the conscience of the Philippines. An outsider who tuned into the debate that is raging in the Philippines over what’s politely known as reproductive health could be forgiven for thinking that contraception is banned this largely Catholic nation and that the legions of light are engaged in a fight against the forces of religious repression for the freedom to take a pill or use a condom. This is so far from the truth it is laughable. Access to contraceptives is already unrestricted in the Philippines. The government family planning service, which has been in place since the 1970s, has an infrastructure of workers all the way down to the grassroots. The private sector is equally active; the International Planned Parenthood Federation supports two federations of NGOs providing various types of family planning services: Family Planning Organizations of the Philippines, and PNGOC (Philippine NGO Council), the latter with 97 member groups. Sex education is also an integral part of the high school curriculum. So what is the purpose of House Bill 5043, which is entitled “An Act Providing for a National Policy on Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development”? Raul del Mar, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, has described it as pushing an open door. If so, what makes it so objectionable to the church and those legislators and members of the public who are pushing from the other side? The answer is, coercion. The contraceptive-driven fertility decline program of HB 5043 may be the most coercive ever designed outside China. It obliges the government to provide free
contraceptive services and products; it establishes an “ideal” family size, setting the stage for a proposed two-child policy; it imposes a national sex education curriculum at fifth grade level. Couples would be denied a civil marriage license unless they present a “certificate of compliance” from a family planning office certifying that they have been adequately instructed in family planning and “responsible parenthood”. If before, quota-driven programs have led to gross human rights violations, this time around this bill could easily penalize with fines and jail sentences workers who will be unable to meet their quota. Employers who refuse to provide reproductive health care services to their employees will likewise be subject to penalties. Worse, it curtails freedom of speech, since any person who dares to talk against the program will also be subject to jail sentence and fines. This program turns the Philippines into a veritable police state with the government using police powers to interfere in the personal affairs of its citizens. It will surely drive a wedge between couples since a health worker must provide sterilization services even in the absence of spousal permission -- or incur a penalty; and likewise between parents and children, since the latter can have access to reproductive health services without parental consent. In a generation or two, the six years of value-free sex education the bill mandates for school children will surely create sexually active adolescents.
Railroading and foreign influence Naturally this legislation, which has a history stretching back more than a decade, has been sold to legislators and the public as something demanded by international human rights codes and a long overdue step for the betterment of families and the nation. But the high-handed tactics of its promoters indicate its true character. The debate which is raging both in and out of Congress was sparked when two House Committees — Health and Population, and Family Relations — denied church and profamily groups a chance to submit their position papers during the committee hearings, in contravention of the Constitution. This railroading of the bill’s approval at the comittee level was meant to fast track the submission of the committee report needed so that the bill could be put on the calendar for plenary debate. In response, church groups organized a big rally celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Catholic “charter” on human life, Humanae Vitae, and launched an educational campaign to encourage civil opposition to the bill. In the House, Congressman del Mar revealed departures from the established procedure in the handling of HB 5043. There were actually four reproductive health bills referred to two House committees. A first hearing on three bills took place on April 29 this year. By the second hearing on May 21, however, the committee chairman announced they would now consider “the substitute bill” (replacing all four bills) and, in the blink of an eye, the
committees approved it. Usually a technical working group is convened to painstakingly put together the substitute bill. The question is, where did the substitute bill come from? Former Senator Francisco S. Tatad, an incisive commentator, sources HB 5043 to the Philippine Legislative Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) — an NGO with offices in the same building as the House of Representatives. Although purporting to be an NGO counting many Philippine lawmakers among its membership, PLCPD is essentially a foreign body. A popular columnist, Jose Sison, reports that PLCPD’s 2008 lobbying fund of two billion pesos comes from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, IPPF and UNFPA the latter two both well known for their global agenda to legalize abortion. PLCPD’s website shows the many programs it has implemented over the years in the name of alleviating poverty – sweet deals awarded to legislators who are PLCPD members? The world over is dotted with similar NGOs initiated by UNFPA to pursue its agenda to legalize abortion. Many who are in the know resent the role of PLCPD and are angry over this violation of their national sovereignty. All over the Philippines local governments are passing their own versions of the Reproductive Health Bill: Quezon City, Aurora Province, Olongapo City, Sorsogon, Antipolo City... To no-one’s surprise, it appears that HB 5043 and these local ordinances are using one single template and in some parts are word for word the same. It leaves one without any doubt that the long arm of PLCPD reaches throughout the country.
Victory is not assured Co-sponsored by 113 of the 238 members of the House of Representatives, the bill was only eight votes shy of making it past its second reading when urgent Budget hearings forced that debate to be postponed. No less than three billion pesos (US$62.2 million) has been appropriated for reproductive health programs in the government’s 2009 Budget. However, victory is by no means guaranteed when Congress reconvenes on November 10. The 22 congressmen who have signalled their desire to intervene during the debate cut across partisan groupings; del Mar, the first of them, belongs to the same party as the bill’s principal author, Edsel Lagman. At last count the 238 congressmen appeared evenly spread between the pro, con and neutral positions, making the situation very fluid. The latest impeachment proceedings filed against President Arroyo will very likely cause further delay, and perhaps further dilution of support. President Arroyo, by the way, has affirmed support for natural family planning methods. However, seven members of cabinet and heads of other government agencies have expressed their full support for this bill. When church leaders conferred with her on the bill she airily responded that the matter is now up to the debate in Congress. Last month she addressed the UN General Assembly meeting on the Millenium Development Goals, a UN program that considers lower population growth as an important development goal.
A culture war, in Asia Article II, Section 12 of the 1986 Philippine Constitution states: “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.” Under this article, and in spite of 80 per cent of the population being Catholic, a pluralism of family plannning practice has prevailed. Although the church continuously condemns artificial contraception and sterilization as evil, it has never coerced anyone into obeying these moral norms nor has it called for the closure of family planning clinics or the banning of modern contraceptives. In fact, everyone feels entitled to criticize the church for its alleged antedeluvian views on contraception. This freedom is also evident in the fact that around half of married women use some form of birth control, with 35 per cent using “modern methods” (the pill, IUD, condom, sterilisation...) and 14 per cent natural family planning and other “traditional” methods. Congressman del Mar concludes that the real agenda of the Reproductive Health Bill is to push the contraceptive program as a direct attack against a predominantly Catholic nation and, in particular, the Catholic Church’s absolute rejection of abortion. The church is well aware that in UN language the term “reproductive health” includes abortion and lays the ground for its legalization. In spite of the fact that population growth is now down to 1.81 per cent and fertility is down to 2.8 children per woman, the educated middle class strongly supports the bill on the false premise that Philippine population growth needs to slow further in order to solve the poverty problem. These promises were made forty years ago to a host of countries — India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines included. Today, even the much-touted economic miracle in many Asian countries is unable to hide the fact that poverty remains a huge problem. House Bill 5043 also proclaims that it is championing the cause of women a claim that is discordant for many grassroots women who have been victimized by the bad side effects of modern contraceptives. Behind this lofty proclamation is actually the imposition of the feminist ideology that surfaced during the UN Population Conference in Cairo and later in the International Women’s Conference in Beijing a sexual “freedom” that places women on the same footing as men in sexual matters. However, recent history has shown us how this brand of “gender equality” has played a key role in the secularization of many societies in the West. Can there be any doubt that there is a culture war waged against the church and that the Philippines is one of the battlefields?
The smoldering poker
By Amelia H.C. Ylagan, Business World, October 27, 2008 http://www.bworldonline.com/BW102708/content.php?id=141 Thomas Aquinas never had sex, so how was he to know about sex and its pleasures? He was once tempted by a woman "so lovely but shameless...a very viper in human form...sent to corrupt him with wanton words and touches." Thomas attacked her with a smoldering poker (a real one, from the fireplace, one Thomist writer jokes) as he cried out to God to grant him the "gift of constant virginity." When he was barely five, Thomas’s parents sent him to a Benedictine monastery as their "offering" of one of their (seven) sons to the religious life, as was expected of middle-income families in Italy in the early 13th century. His immersion in the pious life was interrupted only by baccalaureate education at the University of Naples, where he excelled in philosophy and law. After the university, he went back to the monastery, but decided to shift to the Dominican order, much to the disappointment of his family, who thought the mendicant Dominicans below the more prestigious contemplative Benedictines. Thomas’s brothers were the ones who sent the prostitute to tempt him, in their effort to dissuade him totally from the religious life, lest he shame their middle-class pride by begging in the streets like the Dominicans did. But thanks to that smoldering poker at hand, Thomas banished all carnal desires forever in his life, and dedicated his mind, body, and soul totally to the pursuit of knowledge for the greater glory of God. Tom�s of the little town of Aquino, in Napoli, has become among three or four of the most influential thinkers in the history not merely of Christianity but of Western thought in general, as most theologians and philosophers, regardless of religion, acknowledge. He bequeathed to us all the timeless Summa Theologica and some 80 other treatises on God and the moral life of Man. Thomas Aquinas believed in Reason and its manifestations in Natural Law, augmented ultimately by Faith, as the road map to that Eternity which is the end goal of Man’s existence. He espoused the concept of a Prime Mover, a God who created everything as Good according to Eternal Law and set all to motion according to Natural Law. In the exercise of free will (even before the fall of Adam and Eve) Man devised for himself Moral Laws, adding but not subtracting empirical refinements to Natural Law in the instinctive struggle to keep the patterns necessary for the perpetuation of Good. In the light of Natural Law, Aquinas knew much about human sexuality. "What is the purpose of sex — what is its essence?" he asks. Reason gives three answers to Aquinas, which he in turn proffers to us: first, for procreation — to perpetuate the pattern of life in the universe; second, as a language, or medium — for the manifestation of the bond of human love; and third, for pleasure — for pleasure is a legitimate enjoyment of the goods of Creation, much like one enjoys the beauty of nature or the arts.
"The exceeding pleasure experienced in the sexual act, so long as it is in harmony with reason, does not destroy the balance of virtue," St. Thomas says in the Summa Theologica. This may sound pretty liberating for some prudish religious purists. However, St. Thomas warns of the caveat that all three motivations for sex must be present in the mind, hearts, and bodies of consenting adults for the act to be truly in synch with Natural and Divine Laws. And so must smoldering pokers be doused by the harsh realities of living a true Christian life, in this day when a crowded world seems to think we do not need more babies to feed through the uncertain years ahead. Contraception and abortion are being legitimized by many governments, claiming the urgent need to allocate rapidly depleting natural and other resources more equitably to address the inconvenient truth of a dying world. In the Philippines, almost half of 91 million Filipinos are hungry or near-hungry. At the 14th Congress of the House of Representatives, House Bill 5043 was presented, providing for a national policy on reproductive health, responsible parenthood, and population development, among other related reproductive and population issues. The Catholic religious hierarchy, speaking to the 72% Catholics in the country, flatly said no to HB 5043, in keeping with the very clear message of Vatican II and Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae, against artificial birth control. Moral and religious arguments have raged back and forth, with signatures being solicited, mostly against HB 5043, by prolife groups. The pro-choice faction of Filipinos, like those in the rest of the world, are for women’s rights to "choose their own destinies" as to bearing children or not, utilizing modern contraceptive aids, or abortion in extreme cases. But will allowing artificial birth control really give more freedom to women? Though St. Thomas was not exactly a women’s rights advocate (he had practically zero dealings with women in his 40 years in the monastery), he was sensitive to the role of women as "helpmate" and not "helper" in procreation, where Man would deposit his seed and Woman would nurture new life in the natural maintenance of order in the universe. Contrary to what pro-choice advocates would like to think, legalized artificial birth control would only falsely reinforce the chauvinistic thinking that women can be "used" for pleasure, anytime, without the fear of unwanted pregnancy. HB 5043 squarely puts the decision and the responsibility of possibly damaging her own body to provide ready satisfaction for herself and her mate. Does it somehow cross the mind that population control might be a secondary issue to the libertine "pleasure-for-pleasure’s sake" culture of these times? It is extremely unfair and unjust for the governance of a dominantly Catholic country to throw its people into individual moral dilemma at a time when economic problems may dull judgment toward a deeper understanding of what a moral cop out at this time might mean. In the face of man-made problems of a growing population and mounting poverty, must faith in the natural order be tested and a man-made solution superimposed on the pattern set by the Prime Mover? Will artificial birth control put things right in the Philippines? HB 5043 is like the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden. It promises so many hedonistic "rewards" in exchange for a costly loss of the deep human essence of Life. firstname.lastname@example.org
Misconceptions and Clarifications on Issues Related to Humanae Vitae and the Reproductive "Health" Bill in Philippine Congress. Rev. Fr. Gregory D. Gaston, STD (This primer was written for Avenues, the Journal of San Carlos Seminary Graduate School of Theology. Copyright © 2008 by the author, a priest of the Archdiocese of Manila, assigned since January 2008 at the Holy Apostles Senior Seminary, Makati City, Philippines, and was previously an Official of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Vatican, for five years. For consults and resources on related topics, please visit www.safe.ph.)
CLARIFICATIONS (underlined texts come from the Reproductive Bill currently [August 2008] filed in Congress; emphasis in bold letters added) "Yet this is not the full story. To the contrary, in fact. Across the globe, people are having fewer and fewer children. Fertility rates have dropped by half since 1972, from six children per woman to 2.9. And demographers say they're still falling, faster than ever. The world's population will continue to grow—from today's 6.4 billion to around 9 billion in 2050. But after that, it will go sharply into decline. Indeed, a phenomenon that we're destined to learn much more about—depopulation—has already begun in a number of countries. Welcome to the New Demography. It will change everything about our world, from the absolute size and power of nations to global economic growth to the quality of our lives." [Michael Meyer, "Birth Dearth," in Newsweek, September 27, 2004, p. 58. Since the 1970's, several demographers, economists, and other experts have been informing the public of these trends.] Not overpopulation, but population ageing and underpopulation, as seen in these sample article titles: * European Pension Systems Set to Collapse. Low Fertility Blamed, in Friday Fax, May 4, 2000. * Underpopulation, Not Overpopulation, the Real Global Problem, in Washington Post, March 18, 2001. * Developed Nations Warned on Aging Crisis Time Bomb, in Manila Bulletin, Aug 30, 2001. * Have Three Babies to Sustain the Population, in Daily Telegraph, Dec. 12, 2003. * Asian Economies Desperate for Babies, in Daily News Express, Feb. 2,
The world is overpopulated. Global population will soar to 11.9 billion by 2050.
Overpopulation is a scientific fact.
2004. * Have More Babies, Say the Tories, in Daily Mail, September 22, 2003: "Women should have more babies to stave off the looming crisis of an ageing population, the Tories will say today. The call to 'go forth and multiply' comes from work and pensions spokesman David Willetts, who wants couples to send birth rates soaring." * In address to Estonians, President Calls on Citizens to Make More Babies, in New York Times, January 2, 2003: "Worried about a declining population, Estonia's president has urged the country's 1.4 million residents to make more babies. 'Let us remember that in just a couple of decades the number of Estonians seeing the New Year will be onefifth less than today,' President Arnold Ruutel said in a speech broadcast live on national television Wednesday." Our population growth rate of 2.04% is extremely high. We should aim for a Zero Population Growth Rate. Filipino families have too many children. The CIA gives a much lower estimate of 1.728% (World Factbook Country Listing of 2008, available on the internet).
Zero Population Growth Rate will make the Filipino race at first extremely old, and then rare, and finally extinct.
"The UN Population Division figures indicate that it is not an exaggeration to say that as early as now the Philippine Total Fertility Rate [children per woman] is already dangerously low. Whereas in the early 1970's the average Filipina had six children, today she has around three, and in another 20 years, only two. Shortly after 2020, or just fifteen years from now, the Philippine TFR will sink below its replacement level of around 2.29." [Rev. Fr. Gregory D. Gaston, STD, World Population Collapse: Lessons for the Philippines, in Familia et Vita, vol. XII (2007) no. 2, pp. 84-113, paragraph no. 22. Henceforth referred to as WPC and paragraph number.] SEC. 16. Ideal Family Size. – The State shall assist couples, parents and individuals to achieve their desired family size within the context of responsible parenthood for sustainable development and encourage them to have two children as the ideal family size. As of now the Philippines' total fertility rate, or children per woman, is projected to go below replacement (2.29 children per woman) by 2025. After that we will experience the population ageing and collapse taking place today in rich countries, and like them, we will also wish to pay parents to have more children--but unlike them, we will have no money to do so.
Having two children should be the ideal family size.
Pushing for only two children per family will make all this occur even earlier. (Note that two children per family would give a total fertility rate of much lower than two, since women without children would have to be included in the computation of "children per woman," or total fertility rate.) Intensified population control programs will slow down population growth, improve the economy soon, and thus solve poverty. "The effect desired by population controllers, the slowing of population growth, will not immediately take place, due to population momentum, decreased mortality and longer lifespan. By the time population growth will have slowed down, the Total Fertility Rate will be way below the replacement level, and the average population age will be extremely high. In other words, the solution proposed to solve poverty, that is, population control programs, will just create more economic difficulties in the long run. Nor may one say that we should limit population growth now, hope for rapid economic development, and finally try to solve whatever problem might come up in the future. It will simply be too late by then. Countries that were already rich 30 to 40 years ago when their TFR's started to decline, and are now ageing, encounter extreme difficulty in solving their economic problems today. Their efforts to encourage their citizens to produce more children have not yielded acceptable results after a decade. They depend on immigration to maintain their population growth. The Philippines is not a rich country today, and may or may not be rich within 50 years. How will it support its ageing population? Will it also invite workers from other countries to replace its dwindling workforce? How will it attract immigrants if it has no jobs to offer to its people in the first place? Even if it becomes rich by then, it will have to face the same problems rich countries face now, and will have to tell the people to raise more children. We simply cannot afford to fall into the trap rich countries have fallen into 30-40 years ago, and from which they desperately try to escape today. Graphically speaking, we cannot afford to have in the future a population pyramid like theirs now, and then, like them today, wish to regain the population pyramid we have now." [WPC 26] "'Ruling out population control' simply means not encouraging people to have few children, which is entirely different from telling them to have all the children they can possibly produce. Parents should instead be guided and supported to attain the number of children they can generously and responsibly raise and educate. For some spouses, this means having one child or two; for others, five, ten, twelve, fifteen or even more. Neither the government nor the Catholic Church may compel, instruct, or encourage spouses to raise a specified number of children, as what population control programs definitely try to do, either through massive propaganda, or through deceptive and coercive policies. Rather, the government and the Catholic Church should form and guide the people to reflect on their actual circumstances, and to freely, generously and responsibly decide whether to
In ruling out population control as a solution to poverty, the Catholic Church teaches that the people should beget as many children as they can, following God's
command, to "go forth and multiply."
have another child now, or not to have another child for the time being or indefinitely. This is one aspect of responsible parenthood, which the Catholic Church has always taught, and which takes into account both the real capacities of individual spouses and the national demographic situation." [WPC 27] In recognizing that it is legitimate for the state "to intervene to orient the demography of the population," it immediately adds that, "This can be done by means of objective and respectful information, but certainly not by authoritarian, coercive measures. The state may not legitimately usurp the initiative of spouses, who have the primary responsibility for the procreation and education of their children. In this area, it is not authorized to employ means contrary to the moral law" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2372). Humanae Vitae (no. 2) describes some changes taking place in 1968. "In the first place there is the rapid increase in population which has made many fear that world population is going to grow faster than available resources, with the consequence that many families and developing countries would be faced with greater hardships." Note that while Humanae Vitae in this point observes that there is the rapid increase in world population, it merely expresses the fear of many, without owning that fear, that world population is going to grow faster than available resources. Today, forty years later, we can see for a fact that while population has grown, food production has grown even more. "Since 1965 to 1994 the population of the world has nearly doubled, but food production has kept well ahead... United Nations figures show there has been a rise of over 30% in the period 1951-92 in food production per capita, that is to say the amount of food which would be available to each person in the world if it were divided equally. This has occurred in spite of the fact that Western farmers are paid millions of dollars a year to keep land out of production. If these European and American farmers were to produce to their capacity, food prices would collapse as a result of the glut (Population Facts and Myths, published on the Internet in 1994 by the National Association of Catholic Families in the UK). The problem then is not food production but proper distribution. Hence the solution should not be to reduce the number of consumers, but social justice. In recent years, Church documents have focused greatly on the fall of fertility, which, "very significant in almost all parts of the world, is irrefutable and evident from the facts published by specialized organizations. It is, nontheless, frequently disregarded (Pontifical Council for the Family, The Ethical and Pastoral Dimensions of Population Trends, March 25, 1994).
The Catholic Church has always recognized the existence of a "population problem," and the government's intervention in the decisionmaking of spouses as to the number of children they beget.
Such fall in fertility is the real "population problem" today. The Catholic Church is not concerned with the plight of the poor in the country. The Catholic Church dedicates a huge part of its efforts at the service of the poor, helping the government: education, microlending, presence in slum areas and garbage, orphanages, feeding programs, social action projects, calamities, opposition to destructive mining and destructive logging, Pondo ng Pinoy, Caritas, environmental ecology concerns, human ecology, family empowerment. Whenever the Church talks against graft and corruption, she does so also out of concern for the poor. Poverty will be very quickly eradicated if graft and corruption are eradicated, so that taxpayers' money will go to the poor (especially in terms of education, which is the long-term solution to poverty, and livelihood programs) and not to those rich who steal from the poor. "Each time poverty is blamed on the 'population problem,' its real and root causes are conveniently tolerated or covered up: graft and corruption in the public and private sectors, burden of foreign debt servicing, and bad governance, resulting in failed development programs" (A Manifesto of Filipino Families on July 25, 2008). Contraceptives should be listed as essential drugs. They should not be listed as essential drugs, but as dangerous drugs and devices. Pills have been shown to cause abortion of a 5-day old baby, cancer, premature hypertension, heart disease, etc. IUD's are abortifacient and may cause intrauterine trauma, pelvic infections and ectopic pregnancy. Condoms have high failure rate even against pregnancy and thus do not guarantee protection against AIDS and other STD's. Tubal ligation and vasectomy (especially targeting the poor) leave couples without the chance to have more children (for example, in case of improved economic situation, or death of their present children) and little or no support in their old age. Hence, it is the right of the citizens to be forewarned of these, even in the form of government warnings, as in the case of cigarette smoking ("is dangerous for your health"), alcohol ("drink moderately"), and infant milk formulae ("mother's milk is best for babies under two years old")—not out of religious concerns, but as part of consumers' rights. Possible warnings could state: "CONDOMS DO NOT GUARANTEE PROTECTION FROM AIDS AND OTHER STD'S", "PILLS HAVE BEEN SHOWN TO CAUSE CANCER AND ABORTION OF 5-DAY OLD BABIES," and, "IUD'S MAY CAUSE TRAUMA OF THE UTERUS AND ABORTION OF 5-DAY OLD BABIES," etc. (For the medical data on these dangerous drugs and devices, see also John Wilks, A Consumer's Guide to the Pill and Other Drugs, 3rd Ed., National
Bookstore, Inc., Manila 2000.) Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II, in denouncing sustematic antichildbearing campaigns, described posoning the lives of defenseless human beings as similar to a form of "chemical warfare" (Paul VI, Address to the participants of the World Food Conference, Nov. 4, 1974. Pope John Paul II, Centessimus Annus, no. 39). Condoms have no holes. They provide truly safe sex, as advertised. "'Condom manufacturers in the United States electronically test all condoms for holes and weak spots. In addition, FDA requires manufacturers to use a water test to examine samples from each batch of condoms for leakage. If the test detects a defect rate of more than 4 per 1,000, the entire lot is discarded. The agency also encourages manufacturers to test samples of their products for breakage by using an air burst test in accordance with specifications of the International Standards Organization.' [Mike Kubic, New Ways to Prevent and Treat AIDS, in FDA Consumer, Jan-Feb 1997 (revised May 1997 and Jan 1998; available at http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/1997/197_aids.html).] "If four leaking condoms are allowed in every batch of 1,000, there could be hundreds of thousands or even millions of leaking condoms circulating all over the world, either sold or distributed for free, and most probably contributing to the spread of HIV/AIDS and STD's. Does the public know this? Does the public know that the risks increase the more often and the more promiscuously one is exposed, considering the cumulative risk factor, as explained earlier?" [from Family Values Versus Safe Sex. A Reflection by His Eminence, Alfonso Cardinal López Trujillo (then President of the Pontifical Council for the Family), December 1, 2003. Note that the first paragraph above came from the US Food and Drug Administration website.] Condoms are effective in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in a country. "In Thailand and in the Philippines, the first HIV/AIDS cases were reported in 1984; by 1987, Thailand had 112 cases, while the Philippines had more, with 135 cases. Today, in the year 2003, there are around 750,000 cases in Thailand, where the 100% Condom Use Program had relatively great success. On the other hand, there are only 1,935 cases in the Philippines and this, considering that the Philippines' population is around 30% greater than Thailand's! Relatively low rates of condom use by the people in general, and staunch opposition from the Church and a good number of government leaders against the condom program and sexual promiscuity, are well-known facts in the Philippines." [from Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo (then President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Vatican), Family Values Versus Safe Sex, December 1, 2003. The quoted text cites the following references: Rene Josef Bullecer
(Director of AIDS-Free Philippines), Telling the Truth: AIDS Rates for Thailand and the Philippines; Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, Pastoral Letter on AIDS: In the Compassion of Jesus, January 23, 1993; and Jaime L. Cardinal Sin, Pastoral Letter on Subtle Attacks against Family and Life, July 9, 2001.] The Catholic Church teaches that contraceptives, including condoms, cause abortion. Abortion is the termination (killing) of life, not simply of pregnancy. Life begins at conception when the sperm and the egg meet. Killing the new life at any moment after this, and before it is born, is considered abortion. The new life develops as it goes down the fallopian tube, and implants onto the mother's womb when the tiny baby is around five days old. Condoms do not directly cause abortion because they prevent conception—if there is no conception, there is nothing to kill in the first place. But they can lead to abortion if, because of high condom failure a woman gets pregnant, she decides to kill the baby in her womb. Pills and IUD's make the womb's lining unhabitable for the new baby. ; hence, in case they fail in their contraceptive actions, the five-day old baby will be unable to attach to his or her mother's womb. This has to be called "abortion," for the five-day old baby dies in the process, and such action of pills and IUD's is called "abortifacient." Natural methods are not effective. The modern natural methods (e.g., Billings, Sympto-Thermal, Basal Body Temperature) can be more effective than contraceptives, if they are learned and practiced as a way of life and not as "natural contraceptives." Hence, communication, love, respect, self-discipline, and formation in the values are necessary for the natural methods to work—values that are not exclusively religious, but very human and natural as well, and values that are not necessary in the use of contraceptives. The obsolete calendar and the rhythm methods, and their modern repackagings, should not be taught (including by the DOH) because of their high failure rates. Withdrawal is not a natural method, and has extremely high failure rates. It is sad that many doctors (including Ob-Gyn's) are not even familiar with many of the facts regarding benefits of the natural methods and the medical ills of contraceptives. The Catholic Church teaches that in each sexual act, the No. Rather, the Catholic Church teaches no action, whether before, during or after the sexual act, should close the possibility of new life or kill the new life that arises.
couple should aim for a new child. The Reproductive Health bill does not promote or pave the way to abortion, since it even states that abortion remains illegal in the Philippines.
Hence, in the woman's infertile periods, or if one of the spouses is sterile, the couple may still perform the sexual act since they do not do anything to prevent the possibility of, or kill, new life. The bill does not legalize surgical abortion, but it does PROMOTE all types of abortion, and DOES LEGALIZE abortion of 5-day old babies. SEC. 4. Definition of Terms. h. Reproductive Health Education – is the process of acquiring complete, accurate and relevant information on all matters relating to the reproductive system, its functions and processes and human sexuality; and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual identity, interpersonal relationships, affection, intimacy and gender roles. It also includes developing the necessary skills to be able to distinguish between facts and myths on sex and sexuality; and critically evaluate and discuss the moral, religious, social and cultural dimensions of related sensitive issues such as contraception and abortion. To "critically evaluate and discuss the moral, religious, social and cultural dimensions of related sensitive issues such as contraception and abortion" paves the way to abortion because it will present abortion as a hypothetical (hypothetical as of now in the Philippines, while practical in other countries) solution to an unplanned pregnancy. The next step will be to push for safe and legal abortion. This reflects the mentality presented in some sex education modules, which could very well go this way: "Ang pagkontrol sa kakayahang mag-anak ay isang karapatang makabago para sa kababaihan... May dalawang uri ng batas na nagkakaroon ng impluwensiya sa gawaing ito. Ang una ay may kinalaman sa paggamit ng kontraseptibo, kusang-loob na pag-papa-opera upang hindi magkaanak at paglalaglag ng sanggol. Ang ilegal na paglalaglag ng sanggol ay ipinagbabawal ng batas sapagkat hindi makabubuti sa kalusugan ng ina. Ang pangalawa ay nagbibigay ng karapatan sa kababaihan sa pagpaplano ng pamilya." Note than in such a formulation, illegal abortion is considered wrong because it is bad for the woman's health. The child being killed is insignificant. The solution insinuated is to legalize abortion so that it could become "safe"--safe for the mother (they claim, though abortion is always traumatic for her), but not for the baby. Some candidly say that if legislators and teachers insist on asking their student to discuss the pros and cons of abortion, then parents should also insist on discussing the pros and cons of killing legislators and teachers
(for example, if they are inefficient, involved in graft and corruption, etc.). The Reproductive Health bill does not promote sexual promiscuity. SEC. 4. Definition of Terms c. Reproductive Health – the state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. This implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life, that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so, provided that these are not against the law. The law will guarantee children and teenagers (since they are "people") the right to have a satisfying and safe sex life with anyone, and to decide if, when and how often to reproduce. Hence children have the right to have information and access to contraceptives, and to learn all possible options in case they get pregnant--including abortion, which "unfortunately" (as they will be made to feel), is still illegal. Parents who object to this "right" act against the law, a law which of course goes against the parents' inherent right to educate their children. The Reproductive Health bill will strengthen parental rights in forming and educating their children. SEC. 3. Guiding Principles. L. Respect for, protection and fulfillment of reproductive health rights seek to promote not only the rights and welfare of adult individuals and couples but those of adolescents' and children's as well... SEC. 4. Definition of Terms d. Reproductive Health Rights – the rights of individuals and couples to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children; to make other decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence; to have the information and means to carry out their decisions; and to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. In the Bill, children and adolescents have the right to have a "satisfying and safe sex life," and "to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children." In such a case parents (and teachers, public authorities, priests, etc.) who do not want children to have sex with classmates will be going against the children's rights, and hence they can be considered as "coercing" the children to stay away from sex. Earlier bills have even proposed fines and/or imprisonment for similar acts; this is indicative of their real intentions. In some countries, school clinics are prohibited from informing parents if their child seeks or has undergone abortion, whereas they are required to do
so for treatment of a minor wound. Reproductive health rights will therefore weaken parental authority and rights over the upbringing of their children. Children are brainwashed into this promiscuous, anti- parent, and anti-authority mentality through Value-free sex education modules. The Reproductive Health bill is an original idea of Filipino Congressmen. Reproductive Health bills are pushed by the PLCPD (Philippine Legislators' Committee for Population and Development), a foreign funded NGO with offices questionably located in Congress, precisely where our laws are made. This is in complete violation of our national sovereignty and our pro-family and pro-life Constitution. PLCPD has access to formidable financial resources (including the P2 billion budget this year), and is backed by a powerful conglomerate of NGO's (see A Manifesto of Filipino Families on July 25, 2008). "We would rather call them the 'reproductive death' bills. They are totally silent on the aforementioned ills which will bring DEATH not only to the body, but to the person, family and society as well: D-ivorce E-uthanasia Abortion T-yrannical population control H-omosexual unions" (A Manifesto of Filipino Families on July 25, 2008). "A Call to Defend the Filipino Family against the Reproductive 'Health' Bills We call on all Filipino Families to defend ourselves by defending life. We have so far succeeded in foiling many of the attempts of our lawmakers to enact reproductive health statutes. We believe they are being enticed by monetary and other compensations, but we hope that they will see the grim reality behind reproductive 'health'. But now could be our last chance. Many countries have fallen into the subtle and the blatant attacks against their families. It is time to organize ourselves better and pressure our leaders to come up with pro-family and pro-life legislation and programs. We call on all men and women of good will, of all creeds, social standing, and political affiliations, to further promote the family. Let us patronize family-safe establishments, and complain to our civil authorities against those offering drugs, gambling, pornography and prostitution, especially those surrounding our homes and our children's schools. Let us boycott products and services that degrade sex and women in their advertisements. Let us review the textbooks used by our children for promiscuous and anti-parental content. Let us make the TV stations know that we want wholesome family entertainment.
The Reproductive Health bill promotes health. Filipino families cannot do anything to stop the Reproductive Death bills.
Recovering the Family's True Nature. We hope that in the end, children may see their parents as role models of family warmth and citizenship, and that parents and grandparents may experience the appreciation and respect of their children whom they have truly loved and guided. Humanae Vitae prophetically warned that we could lose our values if we go against God's design on the responsible transmission of life within the family. May the Filipino Family, which is the sanctuary of life and love, rediscover and reclaim the peace and joy that rightly belong to us." (A Manifesto of Filipino Families on July 25, 2008).
CATHOLIC EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES
Given our position on The Reproductive Health Bill authored by Representatives Edcel Lagman, Janette Garin, Narciso Santiago III and Ana Theresa Hontiveros-Baraquel, we, members of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines Board of Directors, representing 1,256 Catholic schools nationwide, hereby affix our signatures to register strong opposition to its passage. • • • • We stand by the Church as she respectfully signified her strong objection to the contraceptive program the Bill promotes, considering the practices which it shall engender. We call the attention of lawmakers to the nature and effects of contraceptives that violate the provisions in the Philippine Constitution on the protection of the life of the unborn from the first moment of fertilization/conception. Moreover, the Church also poses serious objections in that this contraceptive program, while supposedly championing the cause of women, ignores instances where women’s rights are violated. We fault the Department of Health for paying mere “lip service”to Natural Family Planning (NFP). Greater promotion of the more scientific and morally consistent option of the NFP must be done. Both Sacred Scripture and Reason propose that the best form of birth regulation is self-discipline. The six years of value-free sex education that the Bill proposes violates the rights of parents to keep watchful guard over the moral education of their children. The Church also strongly opposes the use of the term “Reproductive Health” as defined in the proposed Bill since it is made synonymous with abortion packaged as a method of family planning. Finally, the proposed Bill as well as the Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2009 is setting aside more than 2 billion pesos from tax payer’s money for the purchase of 51
• • •
contraceptives. This is money that could instead be used to provide education, livelihood and basic public services. In view, we commit: 1. to pray for the lawmakers who champion life, as we pray even more for those whom we ask not to look upon the human person as a mere being; 2. to engage ourselves in intensive catechesis on family enshrined in Paul VI’s “Humanae Vitae”and John Paul II’s “Evangelium Vitae”; 3. to preserve the integrity of the Christian family and life by promoting programs such as “Subtle Attacks against the Family Explained (SAFE)”the like; and 4. to appreciate “the discipline of the desert” that we may be strengthened to withstand the fleeting attraction offered by a materialistic-oriented lifestyle. We reiterate that we are against the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill MSGR. GERARDO O. SANTOS CEAP President & NCR Regional Director FR. GREGORIO BAÑAGA, JR., CM Vice-President, Director-At-Large MO. ASSUMPTA M. DAVID, RVM Treasurer, Director-At-Large ATTY. ULPIANO P. SARMIENTO, III, ESQ Director-At-Large BR. ARMIN LUISTRO, FSC Director-At-Large FR. AMBROSE L. PONCE, SVD Regional Director, Region 1 FR. ROMEO B. GONZALES, MS Regional Director, Region 2 SR. LOURDES M. DULAY, ICM Regional Director, CAR BISHOP SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS Honorary Board Member FR. RUFO RAMIL H. CRUZ Regional Director, Region 3 REV. FR. TEDOLUFO B. BARIA, JR. Regional Director, Region 4 FR. JOEL TABORA, SJ Regional Director, Region 5 FR. ANTONIO LIMCHAYPO, OAR Regional Director, Region 6 FR. RODERICK C. SALAZAR, JR., SVD Regional Director, Region 7
MRS. SONIA C. PALAMI Regional Director, Region 8 FR. ANTONIO F. MORENO, SJ Regional Director, Region 9 FR. AUREO A. PATI-AN Regional Director, Region 10 FR. DANNY C. MONTAÑA, RCJ Regional Director, Region 11 FR. EDUARDO TANUDTANUD, OMI Regional Director, Region 12 MR. NESTOR J. LEMANA, SR. Regional Director, ARMM FR. EDITO N. ALCALA, DCS Regional Director, CARAGA FR. PAQUITO GALLEGO Chair, Superintendents Commission Signed September 29, 2008
The façade that Lagman et al. want us to see
By Antonio J. Montalvan II http://www.prolife.org.ph/article/view/1136/1/103 source:: http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20080623144199/The-faade-that-Lagman-et-al-want-us-to-see MANILA, Philippines - The Honorable Edcel Lagman, Janette Garin, Narciso Santiago III, Mark Llandro Mendoza, Eleandro Jesus Madrona and Ana Theresa Hontiveros Baraquel would have us believe that their bill respects religious convictions and is not pro-abortion. If only they knew whereof they speak. It is an established fact that the connection between contraception and abortion is not only inseparable; there is a close identity between them. The unnumbered house bill of these honorable representatives that goes under the lengthy title of "An Act Providing for a National Policy on Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development, and for other purposes," and referred to in brevity as the Consolidated Reproductive Health Bill, quietly passed the House Health Committee in an unprecedented two minutes without any decent discussion or appearance of meeting the requirements of the legislative process. With a seeming inclination to do away with lengthy processes simply to rush its approval, the bill is expected to proceed to plenary without dragging along public controversy. Either out of naiveté or sleight of hand, the bill declares a stance against abortion. But is 53
it unequivocal? In a bill that avows the promotion of the "full range" of family planning methods, both natural and modern, that anti-abortion stance remains much of a lame proposition. Call it even a myth. We can hardly believe that the bill's authors are ignorant of the inarguable fact that many contraceptives within that full range are abortifacients. And nowhere in the bill does it renounce abortifacients, at the very least. Not a few contraceptives work by causing early term abortions. The intra-uterine device prevents a fertilized egg from being implanted in the uterine wall. The pill does not always stop ovulation but sometimes prevents implantation of the growing embryo. The new RU 486 pill works altogether by aborting a new fetus, a new baby. There is a grave contradiction there. Not only is it a contradiction, it is a grievous mistake. By its failure to address abortion as an odious reality in our society, how can our elected representatives claim that they labor for the progress of that society where even new life cannot have the privilege of safety, much less of life? I am convinced that they did this not out of sleight of hand. Respect for life has become an ideological choice, not a natural moral condition for humanity. Without that moral imperative to respect life, the bill cannot even stand behind a façade of "responsible parenthood." For that is what it is, a façade that only cloaks its pro-death capabilities. I like the manner that Janet Smith, a professor of philosophy at the University of Dallas, argues: We need to realize that a society in which contraceptives are widely used is going to have a very difficult time keeping free of abortions since the lifestyles and attitudes that contraception fosters create an alleged "need" for abortion. Each year, a million and a half American women seek abortion, in the land where the full range of contraceptives has been available since long ago. As the American societal experience has taught us, abortion is a necessity in the contraceptive lifestyle. Smith tells us: The "intimate relationships" facilitated by contraceptives are what make abortions "necessary." "Intimate" here is a euphemism and a misleading one at that. Here the word "intimate" means "sexual"; it does not mean "loving and close." Abortion is most often the result of sexual relationships in which there is little true intimacy and love, in which there is no room for a baby, the natural consequence of sexual intercourse. Contraception enables those who are not prepared to care for babies to engage in sexual intercourse; when they become pregnant, they resent the unborn child for intruding upon their lives, and they turn to the solution of abortion. The argument against the concept, often misused by many of our legislators, that contraception is the antidote to abortions and unwanted pregnancies, is a simple one. Contraceptions have been permeating this world for the past 30 years. Within that time, unwanted pregnancies and abortions have not gone down. The argument is clearly fallacious. Lagman et al. define full range as "Hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other allied reproductive health products and supplies [that] shall be considered under the category of essential medicines and supplies which shall form part
of the National Drug Formulary and the same shall be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national and local hospitals and other government health units." Notice the term "essential medicines." There is at once a pharmacological but social meaning. It is so very classic American contraceptivism. It is part of the pro-death lingo, so careful, polite and tame in its approach so as not to hurt religious sensibilities, yet unmasked by the realities of demographic truth. If there is a victory that Lagman et al. would have us believe, it is that they have finally abandoned the other myth—that there is a population explosion that can only be arrested by our acceptance of contraceptives, saying that "reproductive health and population development goes beyond a demographic target because it is principally about health and rights," but there is still another fallacy there nonetheless. Babies are no accident of pregnancy. It is only this that we have to think of when we register our opposition to the bill of Lagman et al. Babies, not contraceptives, are the fuel to our understanding of a healthy society.
By Bishop Oscar V. Cruz http://ovc.blogspot.com/2008/09/just-asking.html The issue on Reproductive Health has already drawn many people to say so many things. In fact, various sectors of the society have taken various positions on proposing or opposing a supposed national mandate that, proponents claim, will alleviate poverty as it manages the population—as if this is possible. Just like the untimely resurrection of moves to amend the Constitution, the premature stir of the Congress to push for the reproductive health bills brings to mind some practical questions that proponents of this unnecessary legislation should answer. First: Should the issue on reproductive health be more objectively and properly called instead "unreproductive health"? This is but calling a spade nothing else than what it is, i.e., a spade. Don't you agree that the essence of thesis and the consequent phrase adopted in terms of "Reproductive Health" is to promote health by making this physical attribute precisely unproductive? For this reason, reproduction is thereby seen as inimical to health. In other words, reproduction should be avoided for reasons of health whereas it militates against such a physical well-being— particularly on the part of women. Second: Is health good if this is deliberately rendered unfruitful, intentionally made
unproductive or unreproductive? Stagnancy, inertness and non-life giving when apparently considered expressions of health is beyond rhyme or reason. While recourse to euphemism is every now and then understandable, to claim that women's health equals their non-generative state is unreasonable and wherefore unacceptable. Third: Why is it those already produced or reproduced, are the ones against the reproduction of others just like them? Do they feel so depressed and oppressed that they do not want others to be born, to see the light, to feel the world? Would they neither not have been reproduced at all? Do they find life so futile in having so inutile in living that they simply do not like others like them to be born at all? Would they rather have themselves instead "unreproduced" at all? Fourth: Are those advocating for zero reproduction certain that they themselves have not in any way reproduced someone – like a bubbling son or a cute daughter? In the event that they have in fact did, would they rather have their offspring returned to nothingness? To dislike if not to hate others who love to reproduce themselves is neither right nor fair. Fifth: Those who are batting for a "two-children policy," how would they count those born as twins, as triplets if not even more? How would they count the children of a man from his other women? What about the widows and widowers with already two if not more children from their previous spouses and who then remarried? What children fall into the "policy?" What should be declared uncovered by it? If the above questions sound funny or appear ridiculous, well, I was just asking.
Statement on Reproductive Health Bill 5043
By Bienvenido Nebres, President of Ateneo , 23 October 2008 http://www.admu.edu.ph/index.php?p=120&type=2&sec=31&aid=5967 Yesterday, the Manila Standard had a headline story entitled "Ateneo profs defy bishops, back family planning bill." The article is based on an October 15, 2008 position paper issued by individual faculty members of the Ateneo de Manila, "Catholics Can Support the RH Bill in Good Conscience." A shorter version of this position paper is attached. In reply to a request for clarification from His Excellency Most Rev. Angel N. Lagdameo, D.D., President of the CBCP, I wrote him yesterday, October 22, as follows:
First, that "the faculty members clearly state that they are not speaking for the Ateneo de Manila and that this is their personal position." Second, that I was asked to respond to this concern a few weeks ago by Archbishop Paciano Aniceto and Bishop Gabriel Reyes and I wrote them on October 2, 2008 regarding our position on the Reproductive Health Bill 5043: As in all matters that are connected with faith and morals, the Ateneo de Manila, as a Jesuit and Catholic university, stands with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus. I am familiar with the considered opinion of our moral theologians that, although there are points wherein the aforesaid bill and the Catholic moral tradition are in agreement, there are certain positions and provisions in the bill which are incompatible with principles and specific positions of moral teaching which the Catholic Church has held and continues to hold. I trust that this will help clarify our position. At the same time, together with the CBCP and the Philippine Province, we favor and encourage honest, sincere and mutuallyrespectful dialogue on the important issues taken up in the bill. In my letter to Archbishop Lagdameo yesterday, I also said that several Jesuits would be meeting with the Ateneo faculty members yesterday in a dialogue on this important matter. The dialogue yesterday was forthright and mutually respectful and we pointed out that, while we respect their deep concern for the poor and appreciate our mutual dialogue with them, it is necessary for the Ateneo de Manila as a Jesuit and Catholic university, to state clearly our position on RH Bill 5043. The position of the Ateneo de Manila is as follows: 1) We appreciate the efforts of these members of the Ateneo faculty to grapple with serious social issues and to draw from Catholic moral teaching in their study of the bill. We acknowledge their right to express their views as individual Catholics and appreciate their clear statement that their views are their own and not that of the University. However, the Ateneo de Manila University does not agree with their position of supporting the present bill. As I said in my letter of October 2 to Archbishop Aniceto and Bishop Reyes, it is "the considered opinion of our moral theologians that, although there are points wherein the aforesaid bill and the Catholic moral tradition are in agreement, there are certain positions and provisions in the bill which are incompatible with principles and specific positions of moral teaching which the Catholic Church has held and continues to hold."
We thus have serious objections to the present bill in the light of our Catholic faith. 4) 5) Ateneo de Manila thus stands with our Church leaders in raising questions about and objections to RH Bill 5043. It is also the responsibility of the Ateneo de Manila as a Jesuit and Catholic university to ensure that, in our classes and other fora, we teach Catholic faith and morals in their integrity. At the same time, as I also wrote on October 2, we support continuing efforts on the critical study and discussion of the bill among Church groups including the University and in civil society.
Falsehoods in the Lagman Bill
By Emil Jurado http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=emilJurado_sept5_2008 At the Congress Night of the Manila Overseas Press Club, when Speaker Prospero Nograles was asked what he thought of the Reproductive Health bill of Bicol Rep. Edcel Lagman, the Speaker gave the floor to Lagman, who perorated on his bill espousing contraception to control population growth and the need for the people to be aware of their choices in planning their families. The premise of the highly debated proposed Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008, according to Lagman, is that the booming population has worsened poverty. He anchored his contraception bill on the findings of some 29 UP economists, who claimed that population growth over the years would worsen poverty unless population is contained. Ergo, contraception is the answer. Lagman seems to put too much weight on what UP economists say. He forgets that economists make conclusions on assumptions and other factors, which are not validated, much less proven. Show me an economist that has become a billionaire because of assumptions and conclusions, and I’ll show you a pig that can fly. At the risk of repeating myself, there’s no empirical data that shows that overpopulation causes poverty. Poverty is the result of confluence of factors, like bad governance, graft and corruption (benefits don’t go to the bulk of the populace, but to the pockets of grafters and corrupt public officials) and unmitigated migration from the provinces to urban areas. The existence of squatter colonies in Metro Manila attests to this. 58
*** The flawed premise of Lagman’s bill is in empirical data like figures from the National Statistics Office, which show that our population growth rate is 2.04 percent, and total fertility rate is 3.02 percent. The CIA World Fact Book has lower figures of growth rate, 1.728 percent; TFR, 3.00 percent. Our population density is 277 per square km. gross domestic product per capita is $3.400. According to a study made by former Senator Kit Tatad, 50 other countries have a much lower density, yet their per capita is much lower. Thirty six countries, Tatad stated, are more densely populated, yet their GDP per capita is also much higher. Kit asked: Are the few then always richer, the many always poorer? Not at all. Empirical data also show our median age is 23 years. In 139 other countries, it is as high as 45.5 years (Monaco). This means a Filipino has more productive years ahead of him than his counterpart in the rich countries where the graying and dying population is no longer being replaced because of negative birth rates. Lagman and his anti-life lobbyists must be told that the city-state of Singapore is now in full reverse after undertaking a policy of population control. The Singapore government is in fact encouraging couples to marry and even providing incentives. There’s a joke in the welfare state of Finland that’s controlling its population growth that by 2050, there will only be two Finns left, and that they don’t know whether or not they will be of opposite sexes. Santa Banana, Lagman’s bill is not only jurassic and archaic, but against empirical data! It’s fraught with lies and fallacies!
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STOP THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT By Alliance for the Family There are several things you can do to insure that the Reproductive Health Act does not become law: 1. Pray daily for the defeat of the Reproductive Health Act. This is the most necessary step – without it, the others will not succeed. Besides praying daily, do one or more of the following – prayer alone will not be enough to defeat the bill: 2. Call the House of Representatives trunk line at 02-931-5001. Ask to be connected to your representative’s office. Ask the person who answers the phone in your
Representative’s office to tell the Representative that you oppose the Reproductive Health Act. You can ask to speak to your Representative directly if you would like to, but this is not necessary. 3. You can write to your Representative at: The Honorable [Representative’s Name] House of Representatives Batasan Hills Quezon City, NCR 1126 Be sure to include your return address, so your Representative will know that you live in his or her district. Your letter can be very simple, just that you oppose the Reproductive Health Act. On the other hand, it is better to include some of the reasons why you oppose it. 4. Sign the online petition against the Reproductive Health bill, at http://www.petition online.com/ xxhb5043/ petition. html 5. Distribute this information sheet and the others available from ALFI to friends via email. 6. Write a letter to The Editor of your newspaper. The address should be on the paper’s letters page, or the editorial page. If not, you can call the paper to ask what it is. Include some of the information about what it will do to our society in your letter, so that readers will understand what will happen if this bill becomes law. Make your letter fairly short and fairly simple – otherwise it is not likely to be printed. 7. Print out this information sheet, and the others available from ALFI, make copies, and give them to your friends. 8. Also give the other information sheets to your parish priest, and any other priests you know. 9. If you know your bishop, speak to him from your heart about this, as one of his flock. 10. Your parish should have a Family Life Ministry. Tell your parish priest that you want to volunteer for the ministry to defeat the Reproductive Health bill. Collect signatures after Masses for the anti-Reproductive Health bill petition of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ ECFL (Episcopal Commission For Family and Life). Your diocese Family Life Ministry can provide copies of the petition. 11. Refer your friends and others to the Alliance For the Family website: www.alfi.org.ph 12. If you can, fast from something – food, or something else that you value – as another form of prayer, and offer it to our Lord for the defeat of the Reproductive Health bill.
13. Pray, pray, pray, every day until this bill is defeated.
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