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Family and Life Apostolate

The Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan FAMILY and LIFE APOSTOLATE do hereby manifest our vehement objection to House Bill No. 4244 otherwise known as the Reproductive Health Bill (or RH Bill, for brevity) because of the following reasons: 1. Reproductive health and services, as defined by the United Nations and to which definition the Republic of the Philippines has agreed to bind itself, includes the services of abortion which, the RH Bill tacitly approves and which we find unacceptable as it is inhumane. 2. The RH Bill makes legal the official funding for population control measures and devices which have been scientifically evaluated by the World Health Organization as carcinogenic and hazardous to womens health. By classifying the contraceptives as essential medicines, the RH Bill allows them to be purchased and distributed by all national and local hospitals and other government health units, thus, making it appear that pregnancy is a disease that must be treated. 3. The mandatory education of Grade 5 students on sexuality and family planning, as recommended among others by the RH Bill provisions, unnecessarily exposes children to such subject matter at a very tender age. It violates the constitutional rights of parents to educate their children in accordance with their moral and religious beliefs. 4. Population control through promotion of the use of contraceptives, which has been clearly exposed as the underlying reason behind the RH Bill, ignores the strong argument against the claims that our country is overpopulated and that it is the primary cause for the existence of poverty. We contend that the main cause of poverty in our country is corruption, abetted by sub-standard dispensation of justice due to inefficient governance. Furthermore, President Benigno S. Aquino himself stated that Kung Walang Corrupt, Walang Mahirap. 5. The RH Bill violates the right of health workers to decide according to ones conscience by requiring them to be part of certain procedures, such as those

leading to abortion, thus forcing them to be unwilling accomplices to an act they believe is not only immoral and unacceptable according to their religion. We, the members of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan Family and Life Apostolate, cited only a few of several other reasons why we are against the House Bill No. 4244 or the RH Bill. On the other hand, we strongly recommend that whatever funds proposed to be allocated for the RH Bill instead be used for the promotion of health care by: 1. Increasing the budget for more efficient operation of existing Government Hospitals and Health Centers, providing the necessary medicines and medical equipment for the use of indigent patients, free of charge. 2. Constructing more Government Hospitals and Health Centers especially in the rural areas. 3. Training a work force in the Barangay level for health care and sanitation services. 4. Increasing the salaries and benefits of government health care workers particularly doctors, nurses, midwives and health attendants including care givers and providing them the necessary security of tenure. We reiterate our objection to the legislation of the RH Bill because it is hazardous to health; it is counter productive to social development; and, it is a waste of funds as, upon scrutiny, it is not really a necessary legislation. Thus we implore our legislators to keep an open mind and listen to the voice of reason. Most of all put only the benefit of our people above the interest of others. Lastly we say: Let life continue in its God-given course.

Maraming salamat po at Mabuhay!

May 04, 2011 Dagupan City, Philippines