PROCREATIVE RIGHTS AND REPRODUCTIVE WRONGS[1
Part IINTRODUCTION Despite the alarms and doomsday bells touched off worldwide by the crash of the global financial system, the Philippine political system has managed to give its undivided attention to something completely unrelated --- House Bill 5043, otherwise known as An Act Providing For A National Policy On Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development And For Other Purposes. This is a consolidation of four reproductive health (RH) bills originally filed in the House of Representatives. Six other likeminded bills had been filed in the Senate, but are still with six committees. They have yet to be consolidated into a single text. The public debate has been passionate and polarizing, a puzzle to both sides. To the proponents, the question is, why should anyone be so squeamish about "reproductive health" when nearly the entire world has come to terms with it, and freely practices contraception, sterilization and even abortion? Some countries have even legalized euthanasia. What has happened to the exceptional ability of Filipinos to adapt to the latest fads and fashions coming from the West? To its opponents, the question is, why on earth are we being force-fed with RH when the world is about to blow up, and only our dynamic and vibrant population can possibly save us? In this paper, we shall examine the real issues involved, and why the bill has proved so divisive. WHAT
In its plain meaning, reproductive health (RH) refers (or ought to refer) to a person's health in both body and mind, in the mature and responsible use of his or her reproductive organs and faculties; its primary concern is the safe, licit and natural generation and proper upbringing of a new human being (a child). But as a United Nations' verbal construct, "reproductive health" or "reproductive rights" refers to what an individual wants to do with his or her body and sexuality, including but not limited to the "right to abortion." This language was formally incorporated into official U.N. usage at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo; it has gained wide official currency since. Thus, when some women, who had been victims of China's "one male child policy," heard it for the first time at the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, they literally danced for joy, believing they would finally be able to bear as many children as they wanted ---- only to be told promptly that the phrase meant "the right not to reproduce at all."
As used in HB 5043, "reproductive health" is not concerned with the safe, licit and natural generation and moral upbringing of any new human being. Its main thrust is the very opposite ---- how to prevent pregnancy and reproduction through contraception and sterilization. The bill, strictly speaking, is an anti-reproduction bill.
ARE THE MAIN PROPOSALS IN
1. A State program of contraception and sterilization that will require married couples to contracept or sterilize themselves before engaging in marital intercourse, and make contraceptives and sterilization devices available as "essential medicine" even to unmarried individuals. Tubal ligation, vasectomy, and other family planning methods requiring hospital services shall be made available in all national and local government hospitals; 2. Mandatory sex education for children from Grade V until high school, without need of parental consent; 3. Mandatory reproductive health care services, upon demand, for "abused minors" and "abused pregnant minors" without parental consent, even when there is no showing that the parents are the ones abusing the minor concerned; 4. All collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) to provide for free delivery of a "reasonable quantity of reproductive health care services, supplies and devices to all workers" by the employer. The employer shall have the same obligation where there is no CBA or the workers are unorganized; 5. An amendment to the law on marriage requiring couples to obtain a certificate from the local family planning office certifiying that they had "received adequate instructions and information on family planning, responsible parenthood, breast feeding and infant nutrition" before they could get a marriage license; 6. A State program promoting the two-child family as the ideal family size for all; 7. The Commission on Population (Popcom), with an expanded board of 14 commissioners, mostly department heads, and as an attached agency of the Department of Health (DOH), to act as the "central planning, coordinating, implementing and monitoring body for the comprehensive and integrated policy on reproductive health and population development, which includes, among other things, "a massive and sustained information drive on responsible parenthood and on all methods and techniques to prevent unwanted, unplanned
and mistimed pregnancies"; "prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications; and provision of information and services addressing the reproductive health needs of the poor, senior citizens, women in prostitution, differently-abled persons and women and children in war crisis situations"; 8. A Mobile Health Care Service (MHCS) van to deliver health care goods and services to every congressional district; 9. An "intensified" multi-media campaign "to raise the level of public awareness on the urgent need to protect and promote reproductive health and rights." There are two distinctly positive provisions, but they are not mandatory: 1. "Every city and municipality shall endeavor to employ adequate number of midwives or other skilled attendants to achieve a minimum ratio of one for every 150 deliveries per year, to be based on the average annual number of actual deliveries or live births for the past two years;
2. "Each province and city shall endeavor to ensure the establishment and operation of hospitals with adequate and qualified personnel that provide emergency obstetric care. For every 500,000 population, there shall be at least one (1) hospital for comprehensive emergency obstetric care and four (4) hospitals for basic emergency obstetric care." WHAT
ARE THE PROHIBITED ACTS?
It shall be unlawful for any health provider to: 1. Knowingly withhold information or impede the dissemination thereof, and/or intentionally provide incorrect information regarding reproductive health programs and services, including the right to 'informed choice,' and access to a full range of legal, medically-safe and effective family planning methods; 2. Refuse to perform voluntary ligation and vasectomy and other legal and medically-safe reproductive health care services on any person of legal age on the ground of lack of spousal consent or authorization; 3. Refuse to provide reproductive health care services to an abused minor, whose abused condition is certified by the proper official or personnel of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or to duly DSWD-certified abused pregnant minor on whose case no parental consent in necessary;
4. Fail to provide, either deliberately or through gross or inexcusable negligence, reproductive health care services as mandated under this Act, the Local Government Code of 1991, the Labor Code and Presidential Decree 79, as amended; and 5. Refuse to extend reproductive health care services and information on account of the patient's civil status, gender or sexual orientation, age, religion, personal circumstances, and nature of work: Provided, That all conscientious obections of health care service providers based on religious grounds shall be respected: Provided, further, That the conscientious objector shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another health care provider within the same facility or one which is conveniently accessible: Provided, finally, That the patient is not in an emergency or serious case as defined in RA 8344 penalizing the refusal of hospitals and medical clinics to administer appropriate initial medical treatment and support in emergency and serious cases. It shall likewise be unlawful for: 1. Any public official to prohibit or restrict personally or through a subordinate, the delivery of legal and medically-safe reproductive health care services, including family planning; 2. Any employer to discriminate against a female applicant or employee for reasons of reproductive health or compel her to undergo sterilization or any other form of contraception as a condition for her employment or continued employment; 3. Any person to falsify the certificate of family planning compliance required for the issuance of a marriage license; 4. Any person to maliciously engage in disinformation about the intent or provisions of this Act. WHAT
ARE THE PENALTIES?
Offenders shall suffer a jail term of one to six months, or a fine ranging from P10,000 to P50,000 or both. An alien offender shall be deported upon completion of his prison term; a public officer or employee shall suffer the accessory penalty of dismissal from government service. HOW
MUCH PUBLIC MONEY IS BEING APPROPRIATED?
The amounts appropriated in the current General Appropriations Act (GAA) for reproductive and family planning under the DOH and Popcom, together with ten percent (10%) of the Gender and Development budgets of all government departments, agencies, bureaus, offices and instrumentalities funded in the annual GAA in accordance with RA 7192 and
EO 273 shall be allocated and utililzed for the implementation of this Act. Future appropriations shall be included in subsequent GAAs. JUSTIFICATIONS
Proponents of the bill say the measure is needed to prevent maternal deaths during pregnancy and childbirth, and to check the "population explosion" where the poor continue to multiply without chance of sustaining themselves. Let us now look into these. THE
QUESTION OF WOMEN'S HEALTH
The proponents claim that ten (10) poor women die everyday from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. This may or may not be correct. If correct, experience has shown (as in Gattaran, Cagayan and Sorsogon, Sorsogon) that the incidence of maternal death arising from such complications could be fully mitigated and brought down to zero simply by providing adequate basic and emergency obstetrics care and skilled medical personnel. It appears, however, that the proponents are not interested in addressing the complications. They seem particularly bent on curing childbearing, which is not a disease. The bill's two positive provisions concerning an adequate supply of midwives and basic and emergency obstetrics care are not even mandatory, but merely recommendatory to local governments. Of course, this could also be tacit admission that these things can be done quickly even without legislation. Ironically, our RH politicians show no palpable concern for the women who are dying everyday from all sorts of diseases in far greater numbers. THE
According to the 2007 updated DOH statistics, at least 17 out of every 100,000 women die every day from accidents alone. So many more die from the major killers. The daily toll, per every 100,000 women, is as follows:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Heart diseases, 80 Vascular diseases, 63 Cancer, 51 Pneumonia, 45 Tuberculosis,23
Diabetes, 22 Lower chronic respiratory diseases, 16
Women (and men) suffering from these diseases do not get free medicines or medical services from the State, with the exception of tuberculosis where the government program has been significantly influenced by the death of the President of the Commonwealth, Manuel L. Quezon, from the disease. If the State, which is not a welfare state, is to provide free medicines for the sick, should priority not be given to these cases? Our RH politicians, however, seem solely interested in curing childbearing with all sorts of contraceptives and sterilization devices, even though the World Health Organization (WHO) has already determined these to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing) to humans. THE
What are facts about the country's population growth? The present population is estimated at 88 million. According to the National Statistics Office (NSO), the population growth rate is down to 2.04%. The total fertility rate (TFR), or the number of children a woman of reproductive age can have in her lifetime, is down to 3.02. According to the CIA World Factbook, 2008, however, the birth rate is down to 1.72%; the TFR down to 3.00. The U.N. Population Division projects that by 2020 the TFR will drop to 2.29 -- just a breath away from the replacement level of 2.1. Thereafter, it will all be downward until the rate falls below replacement level. A
Despite the falling birth rate and the steady toll exacted by the leading killers on both men and women, the average Filipino today has a lifespan of 70.8 years, longer than his counterpart of the last generation. So the population continues to grow, at a moderate pace. The forecast is different for the rich countries. Precisely because of contraception, abortion and in some cases euthanasia, coupled with negative birth rates, some highly developed populations are soon projected to shrink. According to U.N. estimates, by 2050, at least 30 European countries and nine others will have smaller populations. Germany and Japan will lose 14% of their present population; Italy and Hungary, 25%; Russia, Georgia and Ukraine, 28 to 40%. Some 170 out of 187 countries will have a fertility level of 2.1 or less.  At that point, fully one-third of the population of the developed countries and 20% of the population of the developing countries will be above 60 years. There will be at least 2 billion such seniors alive, and 379 million aged 80 and above. The implosion will be characterized by what Prof. Gerard-Francois Dumont of the University of Paris-Sorbonne calls gerontocroissance (gerontogrowth). Europe, which used to account for 22% of the world population as against Africa's 8% before World War II, will shrink to one-third the population of Africa.
FOR MORE BABIES
For this reason, some governments have started offering incentives to families to have more babies. These include the following countries: •Russia, which has increased the monthly allowance for a first baby from 700 roubles to 1,500 roubles, and 3,000 roubles for the next child; •Germany, which allows a parent who stops working after the birth of a child to claim as much as $2,375 a month for 14 months; •France, which offers 16 weeks maternity leave plus 36 months parental leave and a monthly child benefit of 390 euros for three children; •Sweden, which offers parents 18 months leave and 335.74 euros a month for three children; •Ireland, which offers 26 weeks maternity leave plus 14 weeks parental leave and a monthly child benefit of 280.6 euros for three children; •United Kingdom, which offers 26 weeks maternity leave plus 26 weeks parental leave, and a monthly child benefit of the equivalent of 252 euros for three children; •Ukraine, which offers mothers about 1,000 euros for a new child; South Korea, which offers parents $670 a month from their employment insurance plus up to one year of unpaid leave per parent; • Singapore, which offers government-paid maternity leave for 16 weeks and cash bonuses to parents with more than two children. So while many countries are spending money to encourage families to have more children, our RH politicians want to spend billions of pesos out of our meager resources to stop women from bearing children. This does not make sense. NO
NEED TO PANIC
They try very hard to panic the public with scare scenarios about the country's population doubling in 30 years, and everything else getting worse. The projection assumes that all variables will remain constant. Which never do. Assuming the population does in fact double, then population density would also double, from the present 290 inhabitants per square km. to 580. That would be nearly one/thirty-third of Macau's present density, one-thirtieth of Monaco's, and a little over one-tenth of Singapore's and Hong Kong's. If we have not by then discovered the real causes of our
poverty, and mobilized our human and material resources accordingly, then perhaps we would not even have a prayer. But if we could correct our mistakes, and put good governance in place, then there is much hope. How people conduct themselves is the critical issue, not how many they are. CARRYING
There is no agreed figure on the country's (or, for that matter, the world's) "carrying capacity" --- or just how many people it can hold or support. Garrett Hardin sees the planet as a small lifeboat that can hold only 100 million people; the poor should not be allowed to board or should be thrown out into the water in a triage. The Cambridge statistician Colin Clark, however, believes the entire world population could fit inside Texas, with garden space left for each one. We normally look at the total population, total land area and population density (how many inhabitants per square kilometer of land, assuming an even distribution of the population) to see if a given territory is sparsely, moderately, or densely populated. Thus, one study suggests that if the United States with its 9,629,091 square km. were to take in the population density of Japan (339), instead of its own 31 inhabitants per square km., it could hold about 30 billion people, with a total GDP of at least $71 trillion. For now, this is part of what we see: 1) China has 1,323,324,000 people in a land area of 9,596,961 square km,. Population density is 138 inhabitants per square km.—nearly onefourth that of South Korea, nearly one-half that of Belgium, Japan, Israel or Guam. Is it overpopulated? So it would seem, when we look at the total population. But not quite, when we look at the population density. 2) India has 1,103,371,000 people, in a land area of 3,287,263 square km. Population density is 336 inhabitants per square km. --- lower than that of South Korea, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Japan. Overpopulated? Just like China. 3) Macau has 538,100 people in a land area of 29.2 square kms.. Population density is 18,428 inhabitants per square km. – the highest in the world. Overpopulated? So it seems. But given its GDP per capita (PPP) of $28,400, which is higher than most, we hear no strident complaints. 4) Monaco has 32,671 people in a land area of 1.95 square km.. Population density: 16,754 inhabitants per square km --- the second highest in the world. Overpopulated? Like Macau. Given its GDP per capita (PPP) of $30,000, which is higher than most, the kingdom seems content. 5) Singapore has 4,588,600 people in a land area of 707.1 square km, Population density: 6,489 inhabitants per square km. ---the third highest in the world. Overpopulated? So it seems. But given its GDP per capita (PPP)
of $49,700, the highest in all of Asia, its leaders are asking young people to marry and procreate and married couples to have more children. 6) Hong Kong has 7,040, 885 people in a land area of 1,099 square km., Population density: 6,407 inhabitants per square km. – the fourth highest in the world. Overpopulated? So it seems. But given its GDP per capita (PPP) of $42,000, the second highest in Asia, it does not mind adding more migrant workers to its native population.
FEW AREN'T ALWAYS RICHER
The Philippines has a population density of 290 inhabitants per square km., a GDP per capita (PPP) of $3,400. Urbanization has concentrated the bulk of this population in the cities, suggesting maldistribution rather than overpopulation. Manila alone has a population density of 66,428 inhabitants for every one of its 25 square kms., as against the sparsely populated provinces all over the country. Foreign migration has also taken some 12 million Filipinos out of the country, with a million more leaving every year for foreign jobs, before the onset of the global financial crisis. The per capita distribution is, of course, only a mathematical notion, unrelated to reality. Those listed by Forbes magazine among the world's dollar billionaires, and those not listed but who are as rich if not richer, could be earning several million times more than those among the bottom million, who could each be earning less than $500 a year. But they are not uniformly poor because of their children. They were born poor, and have remained poor; their poverty precedes the birth of their children. The causes of poverty lie elsewhere. There are other explanations. Mainly because 80% or more of the population shares 20% or less of the nation's wealth, while 20% or less of the population shares 80% or more of the nation's wealth, coupled with a humungous foreign and public debt, unbridled corruption, and low investments in education, health care, and scientific research, the families are poor, and will remain poor, unless something bright and beautiful happens to any of their children. This has been the experience of many of our poor. Nonetheless, at least 30 other countries with more inhabitants per square km. than that of the Philippines have a much higher per capita income. And at least 57 other countries with a lower population density than that of the Philippines also have a much lower per capita income. One striking case is Central African Republic with only 6.5 inhabitants per square km., and a per capita income of $700. DOMESTIC STATISTICS
Within the Philippines itself, official statistics (as of 2003) show that the more densely populated regions like Calabarzon and Central Luzon have a much lower poverty incidence than the less densely populated ones, like the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Caraga, and Bicol. This does not mean that a region has to have a high population density in order to have a lower poverty incidence. It simply means that there is no direct correlation between the size of the population and poverty incidence. What seems to have direct correlation is the educational qualification of the head of the family and poverty incidence, as shown by the following table:
2003 Poverty incidence (income below P11,605/a)
Household population density (h/sq m)
Share of labor force with no HS diploma
NCR 4.8% 3,632 23.7% CAR 25.8% 15
46.3% I- Ilocos 24.4% 68 36.5% II- Cagayan Valley 19.3% 22 51.1% III- Central Luzon 13.5% 84 41.2% IV- Calabarzon 14.5% 135 39.8% IVB- Minatropa 39.9% 18 59.9% V- Bicol 40.6% 54 56.8%
VI- Western Visayas 31.4% 62 48.6% VII- Central Visayas 23.6% 82 52.9% VIII- Eastern Visayas 35.3% 35 59.9% IX- Zamboanga Peninsula 44.0% 40 59.0% X- Northern Mindanao 37.7% 44 53.7% XI- Davao 28.5% 41 57.3% XII- Soccsksargen
32.1% 37 53.7% XIII- Caraga 47.1% 22 54.2% ARMM 45.4% 40 73.5%
There can be no clearer and more convincing proof against the claim that poverty in the Philippines is the inescapable and direct result of having more people than some eugenicists and neo-Malthusians would care to see around. No rich couple has suddenly become poor just because they chose to have children. On the contrary, so many poor families lifted themselves from poverty because of their children. It is so much easier to show that we are many because we are poor than that we are poor because we are too many. Poor and unemployed couples tend to have more time to spend together and procreate, while working couples tend to be busier and endure more work-related stress. Thus, the poor tend to have larger families, on the average. Clearly poverty is more a cause than a consequence of faster population growth. WHAT
IF THE BIRTH RATE DROPS?
Were the birth rate to drop to zero, and half or more than half of the country's population to evaporate into the ether, would it alter the ratio of 80% or more of the people sharing 20% or less of the nation's wealth while 20% or less of the people share 80% or more of it? Would it automatically eliminate the notoriously bad governance, the unbridled official corruption, the humungous and ever ballooning foreign
and public debt, the unmitigated conspicuous consumption and rampant smuggling and cheating on taxes among the predatory elite? Would it allocate more resources to quality education, reputable health care, environmental protection, socialized housing, basic public infrastructure for transport, communication, energy, and food production? Would it provide greater public access to technology, and greater attention to scientific research and development? Would it transform the Philippines into a welfare state? Would it make people more morally upright, less pleasure-seeking, self-indulgent and selfish? Not likely. POPULATION
CONTROL: A DISEASE
The problem of extreme poverty is real. But population control is not the solution, or even one of the solutions to it. The solution lies in the effective mobilization of human and material resources, and the just sharing of the burdens and benefits of development. This implies a social order that recognizes man as its first and ultimate resource; that allocates quality investment in the optimum development of that resource; that measures progress not simply in terms of material wealth but rather according to its moral, cultural and spiritual development and its common conception of justice. This will be achieved by transforming our dynamic population growth into the nation's primary asset, instead of making it the perpetual scapegoat for all our ills. THE
The age structure of our population reveals our real strength. Its median age is 23 years, younger than that of 139 other countries, and older than that of 73 others. This means that while those older ones are phasing out of the workforce, and those younger ones are not yet ready to join it, our workers are already at their most productive. Assuming the average worker is retired at 65, this means the average Filipino worker has 42 productive years more to go as against the Chinese worker's 31.4 years, the American's 28.3 years, the Singaporean's 26.6 years, the Canadian's 24.9 years, and the Japanese's 21.2 years. HUMAN
If Pope John Paul II is correct when he says in Laborem Exercens that human labor is what creates capital; if Gary Becker, the 1992 Nobel Prize economics laureate, is right when he speaks of the value of human capital, and the role the family and education play in developing that
capital; if Julian Simon is right when he asserts that the human being's capacity to invent and adapt is the planet's "ultimate resource," then we are sitting on top of a priceless resource that may not have been given to everybody else. All we need to do is to invest properly in its development. But our RH politicians would rather destroy it at its root. It is a recipe for suicide, and must be avoided at all cost.
POPULATION FOLLIES EXPOSED
The present collapse of the global financial-monetary system has exposed, among other things, the folly of population control. Demographic and economic power has begun to shift from West to East, and with it, economic and social power. We can benefit from it. But we need to stay awake. In one Senate committee hearing, one Senator suggested that we avoid using the term "population control" and use "population management" instead. It was an attempt to defend an ideology that has failed, but which many still continue to defend. They believe the most horrid things about population control could still be hidden under deceitfully enticing language. It is the dark side of Wittgenstein's "meaning is use," of Heidegger's "language is the house of Being." It is "verbal engineering" in pursuit of an ideological agenda, the result of which is what some people call "U.N.-speak", the U.N. version of George Orwell's "Newspeak" (in the novel Nineteen Eighty Four) in which the Ministry of War is called the "Ministry of Peace." Outside of Orwell's novel, readers of children's literature encounter the same thing in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, where Humpty Dumpty tells Alice: "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean---neither more nor less." . This explains what happened to those innocent women in Beijing bursting with so much joy the first time they heard of "reproductive rights."
BRIEF HISTORY OF POPULATION CONTROL
Population control is a racist and eugenicist idea whose real objective is to eliminate the poor and others who are deemed "socially unfit," while purportedly trying to help them. To be fair, it did not begin with the proponents of the present bills. They may not even be fully aware of the real inspiration behind their proposals, which appear to have been drafted not by them or their staff, but
by the technical staff of the "Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development" (PLCPD), a foreign-funded pressure group. Nevertheless they have a duty to know it before they start talking about it on the floor of Congress or on public television.
Population control began in antiquity. In ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh ordered every newborn male to be thrown into the Nile to prevent the fastgrowing Israelites from outnumbering the Egyptians and taking over the kingdom (Ex 1:15). In Judea, King Herod ordered the slaughter of the innocents in order to get rid of the child who had been prophesied to deliver his people from bondage (Mt 2:16). In both cases, the reason had nothing to do with looking after women's health or easing the burden of the poor; it was pure and simple politics.
MALTHUS In 1798, the Anglican clergyman, Thomas Robert Malthus (17661834), in his "Essay on Population as it Affects the Future Improvement of Society" theorized that population would grow geometrically while food supply would increase only arithmetically, thus creating unavoidable food shortages. Malthus favored exposing the poor to famine and disease to reduce their numbers, but he did not advocate any State action against population growth. "Leave every man to his own free choice and responsible only to God for the evil which he does in either way; this is all I contend for; I would on no account do more…"  Before he died, Malthus modified his views, but his fear of excessive population growth was what endured in the minds of his disciples. It set in motion the early engines of population control. GALTON Malthus's ideas eventually converged with eugenics, the pseudo science of "good birth", developed by the statistician Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911), a cousin of Charles Darwin, the English naturalist who developed the theory of evolution and proposed the principle of natural selection in his book, On the Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859). To Darwin is often attributed authorship of the phrase "survival of the fittest", which was in fact coined by Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), a Social Darwinist whose work Social Statics held that competition is good because it eliminates the unfit. Galton believed "blacks were genetically inferior, that Jews were parasitical, and that poverty was transmitted in the genes." He believed in controlled breeding to ensure the propagation of good genes and check the transmission of bad ones.
The most rabid of Galton's disciples advocated the physical segregation of the "unfit" from the rest of the population. This meant the poor, the handicapped, the mentally retarded, the ugly, the ignorant, etc. One such disciple, Karl Pearson (1857-1936), favored "the sterilization of those sections of the community of small civic worth." COMPULSORY
Such was the influence of eugenics that in 1907 the state of Indiana passed the world's first compulsory sterilization law, aimed at "confirmed criminals, idiots, rapists, and imbeciles." Thirty states and Puerto Rico soon followed, using a model law that would eventually influence the Nazi compulsory sterilization laws. In 1912, the First International Congress of Eugenics was held in London, attended by such notables as Winston Churchill, Charles Eliot (president emeritus of Harvard) and David Starr Jordan (president of Stanford University), and with the theme: "prevention of the propagation of the unfit." In 1932, three congresses later, the eugenics congress included a call for the sterilization of 14 million Americans with low intelligence-test scores. SANGER One of the most highly driven eugenicists at this time was Margaret Sanger (1883-1966), owner of the magazine Birth Control Review and founder of the American Birth Control League, which later became Planned Parenthood, from which in turn sprung International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the world's biggest supplier of abortion. Her project was to create "a race of thoroughbreds" and attracted the support of names of great wealth like Rockefeller, Duke, Scaife, Lasker, Sulzberger and Dupont. In 1932, through her magazine, Sanger called for "a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation of those persons already tainted by their heredity." She proposed that those individuals be paid to get sterilized, but those who refused should be sent to farmlands and homesteads and taught how to work by competent instructors. An estimated fifteen to twenty million Americans suffered from this. HITLER During World War II, Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) took eugenics to a new level altogether. In his bid to create lebensraum (living space) for Germany and a superior Aryan race to propagate Nazism, he had six million Jews executed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Sobitor, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Dachau and so many others. Hitler's defeat in war, which reduced the Third Reich into ashes, somehow tempered the headlong march of eugenicist ideas. But it did not go into eclipse. STERILIZATION
FOR THE VANQUISHED
In 1945, the book Population Roads to Peace or War by the eugenicist Guy Irving Burch, founder of the Population Reference Bureau, called on the peace negotiators to impose compulsory sterilization on all biologically or socially inadequate persons in the conquered countries. In Japan, General Douglas MacArthur had no problem persuading the prostrated enemy to legalize abortion, not because Japan's devastated enemy could not support the birth of more children but more likely because the U.S. was determined to win the next war "in utero, as it were." This was America's first successful population control program, employing abortion. In 1946, Sir Julian Huxley, the English biologist whose father Thomas Huxley, also a biologist, had coined the word "agnostic," was made head of UNESCO. He who was known to favor the sterilization of the mentally handicapped and "those society doesn't know what to do with." THE
In the early 1960s Burch and his friends launched the "Campaign To Check The Population Explosion, " based on the theory of a "population bomb." In 1954, "The Population Bomb" appeared as a pamphlet written by Hugh Moore of the Dixie Cup fortune, and circulated first among one thousand leaders in business and the professions and subsequently to a million and a half others. Moore also gave the young entomologist from Philadelphia, Paul Ralph Erlich, permission to use The Population Bomb for the title of his book, which would appear in 1968. This book introduced its doomsday scare with the opening lines: "The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines---hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now." HUMANAE VITAE That same year Pope Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae, his encyclical on the regulation of birth. It declared that: •The direct interruption of the generative process already begun must be totally rejected as a legitimate means of regulating the number of children. Especially to be rejected is direct abortion--even if done for reasons of health…
•"Direct sterilization of the male or female, whether permanent or temporary, is equally to be condemned; •Similarly, there must be a rejection of all acts that attempt to impede procreation, both those chosen as means to an end and those chosen as ends. These include acts that precede intercourse, acts that accompany intercourse, and acts that are directed to the natural consequences of intercourse.
While The Population Bomb predicted famines and deaths from overpopulation and food shortages, Humanae Vitae predicted that: •the widespread use of contraception would "lead to conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality"; •"the man" will lose respect for "the woman" and "no longer care for her physical and psychological equilibrium" and will come to "the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion; •the widespread acceptance of contraception would place "a dangerous weapon in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies"; and •lead man to think that he had limitless dominion over his own body. None of Erlich's predictions ever materialized. In 1970, the Nobel Prize Committee awarded the Peace Prize to the American microbiologist and agronomist Norman Ernest Borlaug for developing high-yielding varieties of wheat and other grain crops to launch the "Green Revolution" around the world. In 1980, Julian Simon won a bet against Erlich who had predicted that the prices of a certain group of metal would go up over a certain period of time because of scarcity driven by population growth. In 1992, the Nobel Peace Prize for Economics went to Gary Becker for his work on the economics of human capital. But each one of Paul VI's prophecies unhappily came to pass.
ENLISTING THE U.S. GOVERNMENT
Hugh Moore and his group got the wealthiest patrons to support their anti-natalist campaign. They blamed population growth for the degradation of the environment; and for Earth Day in 1970, they launched a slogan contest among students on over 200 campuses where the winner was, "People Pollute." It sounded like a quote from the founder of Earth First! Dave Foreman himself who said, "We humans have become a disease, the Humanpox." But the most important part of the work of Moore's group was to get the United States government actively involved in population control. And succeed they did. In 1961, U.S. Foreign Assistance Act took up population control as one of the activities U.S. development assistance would support in recipient countries. POPULATION CZAR In 1966, the Office of Population was created within the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and a doctor named Reimert
Thorolf Ravenholt became its first director. He became the "Population Czar." Ravenholt was an epidemologist who looked upon pregnancy as a disease to be eliminated like smallpox or yellow fever; and he once told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that one-fourth of all the fertile women in the world should be sterilized to maintain "the normal operation of U.S. commercial interests around the world."  He handed out business cards printed on condoms, and for the U.S. bicentennial celebration in 1976 he thought of producing stars and stripes condoms in red, white and blue colors, for worldwide distribution. Ravenholt flooded the developing world with condoms, birth control pills, and other contraceptives through a network that linked his office with IPPF, the Population Council, and the Association for Voluntary Sterilization (AVS), now known as Engender Health.  Ravenholt stayed in office until 1979. During his watch, he shipped out tons and tons of the cheapest contraceptives to the developing countries, without regard to their side effects. These included a highestrogen pill bought from the pharmaceutical firm Syntex after it had been declared unsafe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and container loads of Depo-Provera (a hormonal contraceptive) which he distributed to developing countries a decade before FDA approved its use in the US. In 1967, the U.S. Congress amended the Foreign Assistance Act to finance family planning and population programs in countries receiving U.S. foreign aid. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson appointed a Commission on Population and Family Planning, and allocated more funds for birth control. At the same time, Robert McNamara became president of the World Bank, and decided to impose anti-population policies on countries getting loans from the bank. In 1970, President Richard Nixon constituted the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future and named as its chairman, John D. Rockefeller III, grandson of the oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller Sr and one of the wealthiest men in the world. John III was known to be a dilettante who never had a steady job, but his travels to Asia and Africa after the war had convinced him he had a mission to check the runaway population of the poor continents of the world. He funded a global network of population experts and funded research to find easier, more reliable and more permanent ways of contracepting and sterilizing the poor. He set up national family planning programs in South Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, and regional centers for demographic training in Mumbai, Santiago and Cairo.  ABORTION
In 1973, the United States legalized abortion through the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe vs. Wade.
MOST POPULOUS LDCs
In 1974, Dr. Henry Kissinger as National Security Adviser to the US President authored a crucial study entitled, "Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests." Kissinger's group studied 13 less developed countries (LDCs)---the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia and Columbia --- which were said to provide 47% of the increase in the world's population growth.
NSSM 200 This study, known as U.S. National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200, or The Kissinger Report, was kept as a top secret U.S document from 1974 until 1989, when it was officially declassified by the White House. It created the template for the global population action plan, which none of three previous international conferences on population---the World Population Conference in Rome in 1954, the Second World Population Conference in Belgrade in 1965. and the World Population Conference in Bucharest in August 1974 (four months before NSSM 200)---had been able to create. LDCS
The study saw that if the population of the 13 and other LDCs continued to grow, after the population of the United States and the First World had stabilized, the developing countries would end up using their own natural resources, to the utter deprivation of the First World. It also saw that if the developing countries acquired the technology of the First World, a reversal of roles could follow---today's masters would become tomorrow's slaves. It also saw that the arrival of every new population carried in its train potentially destabilizing values. Therefore, the continued population growth of the LDCs presented a threat to "U. S. security and overseas interests." It had to be moderated. TWO-CHILD
FAMILY FOR ALL
This prompted the U.S. to launch its World Population Plan of Action "to achieve (worldwide) a replacement level (a two-child family on the average) by about the year 2000." "This will require the present (1974) 2% growth to decline to 1.7% within a decade and to 1.1% by 2000, compared to the U.N. medium projection; this goal would result in 500 million fewer people in 2000 and about 3 billion fewer in 2050. Attainment of this goal will require greatly intensified population programs," the Kissinger Report said.
Since the Action Plan was not self-enforcing, it required vigorous efforts on the part of the LDCs, the U.N. agencies and other international bodies to make it effective ---"under U.S. leadership." FOCUS
The Report urged primary focus on the 13 LDCs. Population programs had to be integrated into their development planning; conditions created to bring about fertility decline, including "developing alternatives to children as a source of old age security; education of new generations on the desirability of smaller families." USING
The Report urged the U.S. President and the Secretary of State to "treat the subject of population growth control as a matter of paramount importance and address it specifically in their regular contacts with leaders of other governments, particularly LDCs." The Report urged them to "encourage LDC leaders to take the lead in advancing family planning and population stabilization both within multilateral organizations and through bilateral contacts with the LDCs." However, the Report cautioned the U.S. government "not to give the appearance to the LDCs of an industrialized country policy directed against the LDCs…Third World leaders should be in the forefront and obtain the credit for successful programs," the Report said. (Egyptian President Anwar Saddat, Indian Prime Minister Indira Ghandi, and Indonesian President Suharto were among those honored by the U.N. for their work on population in their respective countries. Sadat and Ghandi were both assassinated in office, while Suharto was forced to resign on charges of corruption, and other reasons. In the Philippines, the U.N. awarded Senator Leticia Ramos Shahani a plaque for her advocacy of population control before and after the Cairo conference where she was a delegate.)
THE MASS MEDIA
The Report assigned a special role to the mass media and satellite communications technology, particularly in dealing with "large and illiterate rural communities." This is reflected in the disproportionate time and space devoted by media to population control, using individuals who may not always understand what they are talking about. MASSIVE
From 1965 to 1974, according to the Report, USAID obligated $625 million for population activities. From 1968 to 1995, the Office of Population alone spent more than $1.5 billion to buy, test, store, ship and deliver contraceptive and abortifacient devices. These included 10.5 billion
condoms, over 2 billion cycles of abortifacient birth control pills, more than 73 million IUDs, and over 116 million vaginal foaming tablets to the LDCs. USAID supported population control programs in 70 LDCs, and quickly became the biggest contributor to the UNFPA. WHO, UNICEF, ILO, UNESCO, World Bank, Asian Development Bank quickly signed up. Among the private donors, the Report identified Pathfinder Fund, International Planned Parenthood Federation, and Population Council. David and Lucile Packard Foundation and many others have since been added to the list; so have some of the world's richest individuals---Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Ted Turner, George Soros, etc. In Cairo, it was agreed (although the agreement was to be "nonbinding") that the LDCs and economies in transition would appropriate $17 billion in 2000, $18.5 billion in 2005, $20.5 billion in 2010, and $21.7 billion in 2015--- for reproductive health. ABORTION
While NSSM 200 does not specify abortion as a preferred family planning method, reduction of the population growth remains the objective. The Report maintains that "no country has reduced its population growth without resorting to abortion."
Thus, from the August 1984 international population conference in Mexico through the June 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, the September 1994 ICPD in Cairo, the March 1995 World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen, the September 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing, the June 1996 U. N. Habitat conference in Istanbul, the November 1996 World Food Summit in Rome, the 2002 U.N. World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, etc. there has been a sustained effort to push abortion as the one, true solution to the "population growth" and other related "problems." BARRIER
TO UNIVERSAL ABORTION
The proposal to make abortion a universal family planning method has not prospered, thanks to the sustained vigilance of the Holy See, the Islamic and some Latin American countries. For its part, the Philippine government tends to follow the position of JUSCANZ (Japan, U.S. Canada, Australia, New Zealand) and the Europeans on this issue, rather than that of its own predominantly Catholic population. Still, the number of countries legalizing abortion has grown. So has the number of abortions. In 1974, NSSM 200 estimated the annual abortions worldwide at 30 million. That figure has apparently doubled since – nearly equal to the entire population of Britain.
In the Philippines, reproductive health advocates tend to inflate the number of criminally induced abortion in order to provide the pro-abortion lobby a twisted argument for perversely advocating the legalization of abortion. Despite the fact that no one appears to have been prosecuted for abortion, certain groups are able to offer an exact count of the abortions that are supposed to have taken place. On the basis of their own data, proabotion advocates first try to show that the incidence of the crime has risen and continues to rise; that it can no longer be stopped; and that the only solution is to decriminalize or completely legalize it. Many countries have followed this egregious and morally ruinous path. PRESSURE
In the United Nations, the CEDAW Committee has been trying to pressure party nations to legalize abortion or to increase access to abortion if they had already legalized it. Between 1995 and 2008, sixty-five countries were subjected to such pressure, including the Philippines. To the credit, of the Philippine delegate (Health Undersecretary Nieto), she resisted the pressure, pointing out that the Philippine Constitution bans abortion and that a specific statute criminalizes it. To which the CEDAW members from Croatia, China and Ghana said that since no one was being prosecuted for abortion, the government should now legalize it. However, the pressure continues, through various channels, and in various forms.
Let me contribute a personal testimony. In 1992, I sat in a workshop for newly elected senators in Tagaytay prior to the opening of Congress. Out of the blue appeared Mahar Mangahas of Social Weather Station, with the alleged results of an alleged survey claiming that if a senator did not support the government's family planning program, he would never get reelected. He was that subtle. Then he said, ""You see, Senator Tatad, there is no such thing as a Catholic vote." To which I replied, "In a Catholic country where most candidates are Catholic, there is no such thing as a Catholic vote. But try running a
candidate whose program is to destroy the Catholic faith, and you'll have a Catholic vote against that candidate." That was the first time I saw the menacing presence of the population control lobby. DIPLOMATIC
Not long thereafter, I got invited to lunch with a European ambassador. The invitation did not say why or how many others would be there. But as soon as I arrived I realized I was the only guest. A great honor, but why? We dined on English beef, national politics and world affairs. Finally, he dropped his tiny bomb: "Why can't you ever support family planning?" It was then I saw the reason for the lunch. "I'd like us to learn from Europe, Excellency. What's happening there today could happen to us here tomorrow," I said. My host looked at me long and hard without a word. I thanked him for lunch and left. It was the last time I ever got a social invitation from that diplomat. PRESSURE
In the runup to the Cairo conference, I saw the menace again. The Senate had just been reorganized, but the Committee on Women had been left headless, None of the three women-senators---Macagapagal Arroyo, Shahani, Coseteng---had wanted to chair it. Nobody else wanted it. The Senate President asked me to chair it temporarily so it could at least operate. I was not interested in the committee, but I could not turn down the Senate President. As soon as I accepted, demonstrations erupted outside the Senate, asking me to drop the committee. The gender feminists feared the job would give me a ticket to Cairo, where I could speak against the radical feminists' "right to abortion." When I refused to budge, they unseated the Senate President so that in the ensuing revamp I lost the committee to Sen. Shahani. Shut out of the official ICPD delegation, I had to go to Cairo as a guest of the Egyptian Parliament.
In 1996, I visited the European Parliament in Strasbourg as part of an ASEAN parliamentary group. On our first day, I sat for lunch with a Member
of the European Parliament who was France.
the son of a former president of
As soon as we were introduced, he said: ""So you are from the Philippines, where you have 60 million people and still have large families." "I'm sorry," I said, "we are more than 70 million now, but not everyone has a large family like me. I'm one of the few who have seven children." "That's alright," the MP said, obviously sensing a counter-attack. "I also have five children." Then I continued. "You know, before I left for France, I thought of refreshing my limited French, so I could at least order my café au lait in French. But then I heard that in France today, you may not be able to get a good cup of coffee unless you spoke Arabic." His expression changed abruptly, as though he was actually glad to have found his match. "C'est vrai, c'est vrai," he said, "in many parts of Paris today, you find so many Arabs who refuse to speak French." "Well, I think it simply shows the problem is yours rather than mine," I said. "In my country, we still produce Filipinos, not migrants." He suddenly became the soul of friendliness, offered to book me in the best hotel next to his aparment next time I came to Paris. PRESSURE
In Bonn, a group of German parliamentarians lectured us on human rights and the environment. They accused Asians of having double standards on human rights, and of not doing enough for the environment. Our group leader did not speak a word of German or English, and did not want to respond. Neither did anyone else. I asked to speak for the group, and they agreed. I began by thanking our hosts for their hospitality, and expressed our admiration for what they had done to the ecology. I spoke of how they had cleaned up their rivers---the Thames in London, the Seine in Paris, the Rhine in Germany, and how they had kept their forests, their hunting lodges, and their wild game. I said this was something we in Asia would like to imitate, as soon as we had the means to do so. I reminded them that our forests had been denuded by others who had preserved their own. Perhaps there should be a system of indemnification, As for human rights, I told them Asians thought it's the Europeans and Americans who were practicing double standards. How, for instance,
could they readily denounce "genital mutilation" in Africa while proclaiming fetal mutilation as a woman's right in Europe and America? Suddenly the conversation became more personal and relaxed, and they tried to smother us with offers of personal amenities. PRESSURE
FROM FOREIGN-FUNDED NGOs
Recently, the pressure appears to have become more institutionalized, through the foreign-funded NGOs. They are in the forefront of the RH campaign. In Congress, there is open and casual talk that the anti-reproduction bills had been drafted by the PLCPD staff, rather than by the authors themselves or their respective staffs. Even HB 5043, which consolidates four component bills into one after only one public hearing, is unofficially attributed to this group, instead of having been put together by the Joint Committees on Health and on Population and Family Relations, to which the original bills had been referred, or by a Technical Working Group appointed by the same committees, as is the usual practice. ILLEGAL
The PLCPD declares on its website (http//:plcpd.org.ph) that it was established in December 1989 as "a non-stock, non-profit foundation dedicated to the formulation of viable public policies requiring legislation on population and management and socio-economic development." It lists several senators and congressmen as members. Its donor agencies include UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. All these donors are actively engaged in promoting population control. PLCPD's executive officer is a scholar-grantee of Packard Foundation. A press statement appearing in the July 25, 2008 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer quotes the Foundation as complaining that the Philippine government had not been buying contraceptives for sometime. To which the principal author of HB 5043, in his capacity then as chairman of the House appropriations committee, promptly responded by approving a P3.4 billion funding for RH and family planning. And the DOH announced it would soon start distributing condoms as a prophylactic against HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), Political lobbying requires the PLCPD to register as a "foreign agent" pursuant to Batas Pambansa 39, otherwise known as the Foreign Agents Act of 1979. This is a law I authored in the interim Batasang Pambansa, together with then Minister (now Senator) Juan Ponce Enrile. Why foreign agent? Because foreign agent is "any person who acts or agrees to act as political consultant, public relations counsel, publicity agent, information representative, or as agent, servant, representative or attorney for a foreign principal or any domestic organization subsidized directly or indirectly in whole or in part by a foreign principal."
But what PLCPD is doing goes far beyond the legitimate activity contemplated in BP 39. It constitutes actual interference in legislation, which should be abjured and penalized by Congress. However, in one forum hosted by the Philippine Bar Association (PBA), the bill's principal author said PLCPD is an organization of senators and congressmen sharing a common legislative agenda. This statement is not supported by the PLCPD website. Indeed, some senators and congressmen are listed as PLCPD members, but this raises a very serious question: can legislators legally accept foreign funding to work on bills openly advocated by foreign funders? Is it not contrary to law, or at least to the ethical standards of Congress? LGUS
Moving on a parallel track but faster than the bills in Congress are anti-reproduction ordinances. These are being pushed with exceptional zeal by the same foreign lobby through the local councils. They are clearly unconstitutional as HB 5043 is unconstitutional, and additionally because the ordinance-making power of local councils is limited to local matters within their respective jurisdictions and competence. The first council to succumb was that of Olongapo City, which passed the unconstitutional ordinance without any serious public consultations, publicity or debate. Many other cities and provincial governments have since tried to follow suit. BLINDSIDED NATIONALISTS In all this, the most aggressive campaigners are brand "nationalists" who are normally quick to shout "imperialism" and burn a foreign effigy or flag whenever they suspect any undue alien intervention in the nation's internal affairs. Apparently blindsided by the high rhetoric about "women's rights," they have become the most ardent and zealous supporters and spokesmen of this most vicious intervention in the innermost lives of Filipino individuals and families. It is imperialism of the worst kind, and the customary anti-imperialists are the ones openly championing it. THE
CENTRAL ECONOMY PLANNERS
Not far behind are free market economists who ordinarily like to talk of "liberalization, privatization and deregulation" but who appear ready to discard their basic philosophical orientation in order to do central economy planning, the ideological opposite of what they profess, except that the subject of their central planning is not just the economy, but rather the private lives of the Filipino poor. Instead of trying to see how our limited resources could be used more equitably and effectively to benefit the poorest sectors of the society, these economists seem determined to see how the poor could be allocated according to the meager resources available. It is not economics, but
population engineering. Many of the economists have subsisting ties with some of the international agencies involved in population control. SOME CATHOLIC "PROFESSORS" The latest entrants are a group of 14 "individual faculty" of the Ateneo de Manila University, a Catholic university, who argue that HB 5043 "adheres to Catholic social teaching" and that Catholics "can support it in good conscience." While disclaiming any attempt to bind Ateneo or the Society of Jesus to their most surprising reading of Church teaching, they did not seem to mind cashing in on Ateneo's Catholic reputation. And Ateneo itself has not found it necessary or prudent to make a pointed stand on the issue, just to assure the public, especially parents and grandparents of young Ateneans, where the Catholic university stands on matters of Catholic doctrine, or even simply of the Constitution.
Members of the vast Catholic majority have argued ---not unfairly, in our view----that the State cannot and should not impose upon them a program that assaults their moral values and religious beliefs. In the same manner the State cannot, and most likely will not, enact a law that will offend the faith of the Muslims, who constitute 5% of the population, the Evangelicals, who constitute 2.28%, the Iglesia ni Cristo, who constitute 2.3%, the Aglipayans, who constitute 2%, or the other Christian denominations, who constitute at least 4.5% of the population. The 14 "professors" appear to have found a way of dealing with this objection on behalf of the RH proponents, simply by saying: It is all right for Catholics to believe the opposite of what their Church teaches, so the State could impose upon Catholics the burden of funding a program that assaults the moral teaching of their Church. It is pure tosh. A
Reading the texts of the 14 "professors" makes one wish they had been listening when Pope Benedict XVI met with Catholic educators at the Catholic University of America on April 17, 2008. There he said, among other things, the following: "The dynamic between personal encounter, knowledge and Christian witness is integral to the diakonia of truth which the Church exercises in the midst of humanity. God's revelation offers every generation the opportunity to discover the ultimate truth about its own life and the goal of history. This task is never easy; it involves the entire Christian community and motivates each generation of Christian educators to ensure that the power of God's truth permeates every dimension of the institutions they serve. In this way,
Christ's Good News is set to work, guiding both teacher and student towards the objective truth which, in transcending the particular and the subjective, points to the universal and absolute that enables us to proclaim with confidence the hope which does not disappoint (cf. Rom 5:5). Set against personal struggles, moral confusion and fragmentation of knowledge, the noble goals of scholarship and education, founded on the unity of truth and in service of the person and the community, become an especially powerful instrument of hope… "The same dynamic of communal identity---to whom do I belong?--vivifies the ethos of our Catholic institutions. A university or school's Catholic identity is not simply a question of the number of Catholic students. It is a question of conviction---do we really believe that only in the mystery of the Word made flesh does the mystery of man truly become clear (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 22)? Are we ready to commit our entire self --- intellect and will, mind and heart --- to God? Do we accept the truth Christ reveals? Is the faith tangible in our universities and schools? Is it given fervent expression liturgically, sacramentally, through prayer, acts of charity, concerns for justice, and respect for God's creation? Only in this way do we really bear witness to the meaning of who we are and what we uphold. "From this perspective, one can recognize that the contemporary 'crisis of truth' is rooted in a 'crisis of faith.' Only through faith can we freely give our assent to God's testimony and acknowledge him as the transcendent guarantor of the truth he reveals."
RIGGING THE SURVEYS
Propaganda for HB 5043 is unequivocally backed by opinion surveys claiming popular support for the bill on the basis of patently deceitful questions which the entrepreneurial pollsters have not been embarrassed to publish on their website. It is an obvious ploy calculated to give the impression that a standing-room majority supports the bill, no matter how morally and execrable it is; an undisguised effort to indulge the theory that whatever the lynch mob shouts the loudest should prevail. The proponents appear to have forgotten that, as Rawls says, truth is the first virtue of systems of thought and justice that of social institutions. In any political system a law carries authority and is binding upon conscience not because it is enacted by a majority but because it is based on truth and justice. No landslide majority can ever dispense with this indispensable requirement; "a just law binds as much in a democracy as in a totalitarian state, an unjust law binds in neither." The wonder of it all is that, given the way they have "fixed" the questions, the pollsters have failed to report a 100-% endorsement of the highly unconstitutional bill.
Repeatedly quoted by RH propagandists is an alleged survey, so far unpublished, which
repeats the same hokum the SWS chief pollster had tried to use on me in 1992----that politicians who oppose the RH bill would lose in the next election. This is completely belied by the fact that the biggest vote-getter among the party-list parties in the 2007 election was Buhay (Life) whose pro-life, pro-family program won for it three seats in the House.
THE SPECTER OF CORRUPTION
There are ominous signs, however, that certain parties, not necessarily domestic, are determined to exploit the built-in weaknesses of the most vulnerable members of Congress, for their own ends. Their interest is not in the passage of a just law which the population would welcome as a boon, but any law at all that would affirm their ideological position on population control. This challenges the opponents of HB 5043 to expose the alien interests driving the RH bill and to make sure any attempt to corrupt even the corruptible fail.
MUST BE DECLARED VOID
The proposed law is based on a preponderance of egregious errors.
Based on an ideological misreading of demographic data, the proposed law is neither a health measure nor an anti-poverty one. It is neither pro-women nor pro-poor. It has nothing to do with the objective common good. It is a naked attempt to foist a hedonistic sex-oriented lifestyle upon individuals and families -- one in which marriage is reduced into a State-mediated partnership between two individuals whose primary purpose is to engage in a mechanical State-supervised exchange of carnal sensations while doing everything to avoid its most natural consequence, the possible conception of a child. It is the opposite of what its proponents say it is. Amid a collapsing global order that has exposed the folly of putting material progress on top of the moral dignity of man it seeks to pursue the very same principles that have failed. It is a criminal attempt to give arsenic to a victim the proponents purportedly want to save. The bill must be rejected for the following specific reasons: 1. 2. 3. 4. NO It does not have sufficient moral basis; It is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution; It is unnecessary; It is technically defective.
Every just law has a moral basis. For that reason, we cannot discuss the validity of HB 5043 without first taking into account the moral principles concerning marriage and the marital act, upon which the bill impinge. Marriage is the permanent and exclusive union of one man and one woman for the procreation and rearing of children. The marital act completes and perfects that union. The conjugal act is physical, but it is a love experience rather than a mere physical one. Although invested with so much pleasure, it is not a mere exchange of sensation or pleasure, but the deepest 'knowing' of one's self by the other, of one's union with the other. The spouses do not merely bind themselves; rather they give themselves--their seed --- to each other; they thereby share with each other the highest power within their nature, to become the means of transmitting new life from the Creator. The conjugal act itself is short and transient, but its significance is lasting. Through this gift of self to each other, husband and wife attain the fulness of their sexuality and are raised from mere subjects of the Divine Maker to working partners in the noblest enterprise of giving life to a new human being. The decision to make the conjugal union fruitful belongs solely to the Creator, but this fruit will not come about without the couple's cooperation. The separation of the procreative aspect of the sexual act from its unitive aspect, through contraception or sterilization, destroys any opportunity for the union to be fruitful. It destroys fertility, and this reduces the marital union into a mere exchange of physical sensations. The act of procreation becomes mere recreation; the love duet is reduced into something lower than a pantomime. 
For this reason, it is not licit for the spouses to deprive the marital act of its procreative aspect. Since it is the Creator who decides whether a conjugal act will bear fruit, the creature's duty is to submit. There is no justification whatsoever for the creature usurping the Creator's authority and power. This does not mean that married couples have a duty to breed like rabbits, or even to have sexual intercourse at all times, whatever their physical condition or the possible consequences. Precisely man is gifted with intellect and will so he can control his appetites and concupiscence; and woman has only a week-long period of fertility every month for childbearing. This allows couples to reserve marital intercourse during the wife's infertile period, without having to reinvent the morality of the sexual act. This matter is strictly within the domain of moral law, and completely outside the scope of State legislation. Why? Because this involves rights and duties that precede the existence of the State and transcend the rights and duties of citizenship. The State has the right to define the duties of the citizen and the duty to recognize his rights. It may tax him to its heart's content, expropriate his most valued piece of land for public use, and send him to war in defense of the flag. But it may not tell him how to live the truth of his personhood or how to manage his personal relationship with God. In the same manner that the State may not tell a citizen how to think, how to feel, how to worship, how to hope, how to believe, it may not tell him how to love, and be loved, how to embrace his wife, or father her child. The State may neither promote nor prohibit the private use of contraceptives, without violating the absolute privacy of the most intimate aspect of a couple's family life. This is the clearest reason why the State cannot be a party to a program of contraception and sterilization. But while contraception and sterilization are habitually mentioned together as though they were of the same class, contraception is usually temporary while sterilization is permanent. Sterilization also entails some bodily mutilation, and is one of the atrocities associated with the worst forms of despotism in the dark and bloody pages of human history. HB 5043 now proposes to deliver it as a "service." There is no moral basis for it.
The Constitution is the basic law of the land. Congress cannot pass any law that is in conflict with the Constitution. HB 5043 is totally in conflict with the Constitution. The bill is titled, "An Act Providing For A National Policy on Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood, and Population Development and For Other Purposes." Article II of the Constitution, "Declaration of Principles and State Policies," already provides such a policy. Article XV, "The Family", further
strengthens it. Congress can no longer propose a new policy. It can only implement the constitutional policy, except that almost everything in HB 5043 contradicts the constitutional policy.
1. Section 1 of Article II provides: "The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them." In such a state, the government does not plan the citizens' private lives. No organ of the State enters the bedroom to tell married couples how to make love. 2. Sec. 9 provides: "The State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and an improved quality of life for all." Is that not a clear constitutional policy on population development? 3. Sec. 10. "The State shall promote social justice in all phases of national development." Does this not strengthen the constitutional policy on population development? 4. Sec. 11: "The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights." Is this not a clear constitutional policy on reproductive health and a further restatement of the policy on population development? 5. Sec. 12: "The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous and 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." Can there be a clearer statement of policy on reproductive health, responsible parenthood, and population development? 6. Sec. 13: "The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation-building and shall promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social wellbeing. It shall inculcate in the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.
Is this not yet another restatement of the policy on reproductive health and population development? 7. Sec. 14: "The State shall recognize the role of women in nationbuilding, and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men." Does this not proclaim the policy on the empowerment of women, which includes reproductive health, responsible motherhood, and population development? 8. Sec. 15. "The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them." What else is this if not a clear constitutional policy on the total health of men and women, and population development? 9. Sec. 16. "The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature." Is this not a clear constitutional policy on our people's right to an ecological approach to reproductive health, in accord with the rhythm and in harmony with nature? 10. Sec. 17. "The State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress, and promote total human liberation and development." Is this not a clear constitutional mandate for the total liberation and development of our people from the insidious dictates of racial imperialist forces who want to dictate the conduct of our most intimate personal lives as a people? Is the Constitution wrong in declaring these as "State policies?"
MORE PRO-FAMILY PROVISIONS
If these are not sufficient, will it help to read the whole of Article XV entitled The Family? It provides: Section 1. The State recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation. Accordingly, it shall strengthen its solidarity and actively promote its total development. Sec. 2. Marriage, as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State. Sec. 3. The State shall defend:
(1) The right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood; (2) The right of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their development; (3) The right of the family to a family living wage and income; and (4) The right of families or family associations to participate in the planning and implementation of policies and programs that affect them. HB 5043 is a shotgun attack on all the above quoted provisions. In various forums, the principal author and now sponsor of HB 5043 has proudly claimed that his bill finds support in paragraph 16 of the Proclamation of Teheran, adopted by the International Conference on Human Rights at Teheran on May 13, 1968. He never quotes the paragraph, but it reads as follows: "16. The protection of the family and of the child remains the concern of the international community. Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their children." The paragraph repudiates and rebukes, rather than supports, the position of HB 5043 on the proposed usurpation by the State of the sacred and inviolable right of parents to determine the number and spacing of their children. POLICE
POWER OR POLICE STATE?
The same author and sponsor also proclaims, even in learned company, that the State has a right to intervene in the most intimate aspect of the family life of married couples, by virtue of its "police power." The simplest definition of "police power" by Black's Legal Dictionary says: "The power of the State to place restraints on the personal freedom and property rights of persons for the protection of the public safety, health and morals or the promotion of the public convenience and general prosperity," or, "the exercise of the sovereign right of a government to promote order, safety, security, health, morals and the general welfare within constitutional limits…" There is nothing in HB 5043 that remotely resembles what is said here; the power HB 5043 seeks to confer upon the State is quite simply the power of a police state.
In the Philippine Bar Association forum, the author tried to point out that the bill does not violate Sec. 12 of Article II of the Constitution because under a State program of contraception and sterilization none of the actions of the State would be directed at any unborn fetus, which it is its duty to protect. He made it pointedly clear that the precise purpose of the State program is to prevent conception. That's all that's needed to seal the coffin and lower HB 5043 to its
In the most simple, understandable language, this is what the author of the bill is saying: He recognizes that the State shall "equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception." So he is determined that the State not harm any fetus that has already implanted upon the mother's womb, for that would be abortion. But the bill is determined that the State, through contraception and sterilization, prevent any fetus from reaching implantation stage, which to the author is the beginning of conception. THE
What we are hearing here is an ideological revision of the medical consensus on the beginning of life. It begins at conception, says the Constitution, and medical science has long held this means fertilization. Fertilization is completed within 24 hours; four days later, the multicellular human embryo known as blastocyst moves across the uterus for two days and anchors itself to the surface lining (epithelium) of the endometrium (the mucous membrane lining the womb which thickens during the menstrual cycle in preparation for the possible implantation of an embryo.
At least seven medical textbooks agree on this definition. However, the anti-reproduction lobby says it begins upon implantation. The obvious intention is to allow the use of abortifacients without being seen to commit abortion, even after "fertilization" has been completed. THE
PROTECTOR AS DESTROYER
But whether life begins at fertilization or upon implantation is not the issue here. The only issue here is that the State, whose constitutional duty it is to equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception, is even more committed to prevent any unborn from being conceived at all. The author has admitted as much, and with great panache too, obviously because he does not realize the necessary implication. QUALIFIED
There exists a very real danger that, with sufficient coercion, a State program of contraception and sterilization could succeed well beyond the proponents' expectations. That could render the government criminally liable under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide of Dec. 9, 1948. That convention classifies as "genocide" measures intended "to prevent births" within a certain group of people. In this case the poor constitute the target group; it is to prevent their continued reproduction that the proponents have filed their bill. They want to cure poverty by eliminating the poor.
According to the proponents, they want the bill passed because they want women to have free access to all contraceptives and sterilization devices. This is less than honest. What they purportedly want to give our women, our women already have. They have long appropriated it for themselves without having to get any permission from the Church or the State. Access to contraceptives and sterilization is free and unrestricted. Despite the WHO cancer-research finding that oral contraceptives cause breast, liver and cervical cancer, none of these items are banned or even restricted by law. No oral contraceptive is labeled "cancer-causing" or "hazardous to women's health." Even abortifacients (drugs that induce abortion) are openly sold as plain contraceptives, without any warning about their abortive qualities. And no one is barred from getting sterilized, through tubal ligation or vasectomy, if they want it. Neither is there need for a government program to be put in place, assuming there were no insurmountable moral and constitutional objections to it. The program is already there. It was initiated in the 1970s and has never been disturbed, despite the promulgation of the pro-life and profamily Constitution in 1987, which rendered the official population control apparatus illegal. In 1976, while I was in the Cabinet, my wife gave birth to our fourth child in a well-known hospital. As I prepared to go near my wife, a nurse presented me with a form to sign. I asked what it was, and she said it was a consent form for my wife's tubal ligation. I blew my top and spoke to the hospital chief. There I learned that the DOH was paying nurses for every tubal ligation. As a senator on the Congressional Health Commission during the Ramos presidency, I saw that in many hospitals and clinics they did not
even have the merest alcohol or cotton to dress a wound, but they were up to their ears in pills and condoms. At the 1994 ICPD in Cairo, then DOH Secretary Johnny Flavier, as chief Philippine delegate to the conference, overwhelmed his audience of NGOs when he told them how he had been able to distribute tons and tons of condoms and pills throughout the country just by piggy-backing on CARE, while it was distributing food relief. He became a bigger hero to his audience when he told them that he had found a very effective way of dealing with priests and clerics---make them mad by making fun of them. And the program simply continued from one DOH Secretary to another. The only thing that has probably changed is the ratio of funds coming from the foreign population controllers as against those being squeezed out of the national government. This year's P2 billion for reproductive health and family planning in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) is quite a hefty sum; the proposed P3.4 billion for 2009 is even heftier. No RH law was ever needed to put in these continuing appropriations for RH and family planning. Clearly, HB 5043 is not necessary for anything, including those programs which appear to be completely unobjectionable, like the hiring of more midwives and setting up of basic and emergency obstetrics care facilities in every barangay, the promotion of breastfeeding and better nutrition for infants and nursing mothers, which need no legislation at all. HB 5043 is one outstanding example of a proposed legislation that is completely suspect, simply because its apparent purpose is to legalize an illegal operation that has been going on for years. In place of this bill, what is needed is an enabling law that will implement the constitutional policy discussed earlier, abolish the population control apparatus imbedded in the government structure, beginning with Popcom and related offices at DOH and the various LGU offices that have proliferated at grassroots level; and replace it with a genuine pro-people anti-poverty program that provides real health care and out-of-school training for youth and adults alike. What is equally needed is a law that will prohibit the unmonitored and unregulated entry of funds from foreign sources in pursuit of ideological causes that are inimical to the common good, the national culture and the Constitution. The defeat of HB 5043 should provide a good starting point. TECHNICALLY
We have thus far shown that HB 5043 is unnecessary and lacks any moral and constitutional leg to stand on. There may be no real need to discuss its flawed provisions. But just to complete the analysis, we shall proceed to examine the technical aspects of the bill.
BILLS COME FROM?
This question has to be asked without any intent to cast aspersion on anyone, for a very simple reason. Several RH bills were filed in both Houses of Congress at about the same time, by various authors. Despite this fact, the bills tended to sound alike, in content and in style, as though they had been produced by one particular source. They are, in fact, casually and openly attributed to the technical staff of the PLCPD, mentioned earlier. PLCPD is not a formal creation of Congress, but "a non-stock, non-profit foundation dedicated to the formulation of viable public policies requiring legislation on population management and socio-economic development." In plain language, PLCPD has assigned itself the task of "formulating viable public policies on population" for the government, and coursing its proposed legislation through members of Congress. This is beyond the contemplation of the Constitution when it conferred legislative powers upon Congress. Under the provisions of the Foreign Agents Act of 1979, the representatives of PLCPD must first register as foreign agents before they could lobby Congress on any issue. There is no showing that they have done so. But "formulating policies" for the government, and drafting the pertinent bills go far beyond lobbying. This raises certain questions of accountability on the part of the parties, but this also seems to raise a question about the bill itself. Does this not vitiate the integrity of the bill? WERE
FOLLOWED IN HEARING THE BILL?
Section 3 (4), Article XV of the Constitution provides: "The State shall defend the right of families or family associations to participate in the planning and implementation of policies and programs that affect them." Sec. 34 of the Rules of the House likewise provides that "the committees or sub-committees, through their respective Committee Secretariats, shall undertake measures to ensure that public notices and/or announcements regarding the conduct of any of its meetings of public hearings are issued at least three (3) days before said meeting, conference or hearing. They shall undertake measures and establish systems to ensure that constituencies, sectors or groups whose welfare and interests are directly affected by measures to be discussed are able to participate in these meetings or public hearings. Meetings and public hearings shall be open to the public subject to reasonable regulations in the interest of security, order, and the safety of persons in attendance." On April 29, 2008, the House committees on Health and on Population and Family Relations heard three RH bills. They announced a second hearing for May 21, 2008. On such date, the committees met as scheduled, but instead of allowing representatives of various organizations to
participate, the chairman announced that all three bills, plus a fourth one, had been consolidated into a substitute bill, which would now be reported out. There was no prior motion, or instruction from the Joint Committees to consolidate the bills. The substitute bill simply surfaced at the May 21 meeting, and approved for transmittal to plenary on Second Reading. Upon interpellation on the Floor, the sponsor said the authors of the component bills did the work of consolidating, instead of the usual Technical Working Group, which is normally created by the Committee or Committees for that purpose. No one questioned this statement. But there is nothing on record to show that the Joint Committees, which had assumed control of the bills, ever directed the authors to do this work. The open talk in the House is that the PLCPD staff crafted hb 5043. The lack of sufficient hearing was brought to the attention of the Speaker of the House and the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Majority Leader in a letter dated June 2, 2008 by Most Rev. Angel Lagdameo, Archbishop of Jaro, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and Most Rev. Paciano Aniceto, Archbishop of San Fernando, Pampanga and chairman of the CBCP Commission on Family and Life. That letter was never answered despite the clear provision of Sec. 5 (a) of Republic Act 6713, otherwise known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, requiring the officials concerned to reply to that communication and inform the authors thereof of the action taken relative to their complaint "within fifteen (15) working days from receipt thereof." Violation of the law carries a penalty of a fine not exceeding the equivalent of six months' salary or suspension from office not exceeding one year or outright removal, depending on the gravity of the offence. The author of the bill has since explained that HB 5043 had been filed and heard in several previous congresses, which had however failed to enact it into law. Assuming that to be true, it still does not comply with the constitutional requirement. Every bill that fails to get enacted during a particular Congress dies at the end of that Congress, and if filed again in the next Congress, must start all over again as though it had never been filed before. So much for the procedural question. Let us look at the major proposals: •We have commented sufficiently on the lack of moral and constitutional support for the proposed State program of contraception and sterilization. The proposal is void ab initio. •We have likewise commented on the mandatory sex education of children from Grade V until high school. This is a usurpation of the right of parents to be the primary educators of their children. Also void. But the program is already in place, without a legal mandate, and with highly alarming initial results. Must be scrapped altogether.
•The bill seeks to make reproductive health products and services available to everyone who wants them, without regard to age or civil status, and without need of parental consent, in the case of minors. This is contrary to public morals. •While the bill concedes the constitutional ban on abortion, it compels health providers to provide reproductive health services to an "abused pregnant minor" without need of parental consent, even though there is no showing that the parents are the abusers, and to a reproductive health patient "in an emergency or serious case." What reproductive health care service can possibly be contemplated in these situations, except abortion? •While the law on abortion and prostitution stands, the bill talks of managing post-abortion complications and treating and counseling those who have undergone an abortion in "a humane, nonjudgmental and compassionate manner," without any obligation on the part of the health provider to determine whether the abortion was spontaneous or induced, and to report to the police any indication of a crime. •In proposing to make reproductive health services available to "women in prostitution," the bill seeks to give effective recognition to prostitution as a legal profession, contrary to the law which punishes it as a crime. • Requiring CBAs to provide reproductive health services for employees could prove deceptively attractive to women employees, but could be used by employers to make sure no women employees get pregnant and avail of maternity benefits during their employment •Requiring couples to obtain a certificate of compliance from the family planning office before they could get a marriage license subjects marriage, whose sanctity is guaranteed by the Constitution, and which is protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to unnecessary and capricious administrative requirements. Under the Civil Code, the requirement of a marriage license is waived and the marriage is solemnized without such license, if the residence of either party is so located that there is no means of transportation to enable such party to appear personally before the local civil registrar. This shows how the law tries to make it easier for couples of legal age to get married. This proposal takes the law in the opposite direction. •A two-child family proposal –even without any overt coercive action --- has no place in a democratic society. Each couple decides the ideal size of their own family. This is an internationally protected right. The proposal is anathema.
•The Popcom should be abolished rather than enlarged. Its legal mandate has lapsed, having been overtaken by the pro-life and profamily provisions of Articles II and XV of the Constitution. •A health delivery van for every congressional district does not need any special legislation; it could be provided for under the Congress' generous pork barrel system. •An intensified multi-media campaign to raise the level of awareness about reproductive health will subject young and old to even more intense brainwashing about counter-cultural values which have brought about so much materialism and hedonism. It will not help the media recover their lost integrity and independence. • The bill contains a draconian penal section for every possible violator, but is completely silent about pharmaceutical firms which may distribute harmful contraceptives, and medical practitioners who may prescribe the same or intentionally or accidentally injure any person's reproductive health. •The bill fails to make a distinction between abortifacients and contraceptives, and fails to take a stand against bodily mutilation as a necessary element of sterilization. SALVAGING
THE INVALID BILL
However, if the House wants to salvage the awesome effort that has been expended in trying to pass a highly unconstitutional bill, it could at this point consider replacing HB 5043 with a morally and constitutionally sound bill which could propose the following:
1. That married couples be free to practice family planning according to their moral and religious beliefs, using methods that are safe, legal and not contrary to public morals, without any coercion or intimidation from any third party; 2. That the State neither prohibit nor promote any specific family planning method, but make sure that only such methods which are safe, legal and not contrary to publilc morals be used by duly licensed health providers; 3. That to safeguard and protect the health and wellbeing of women, the government require contraceptives manufacturers to disclose all possible side effects of their products, and to label those that could induce cancer and other diseases accordingly; 4. That the State impose a strict distinction between abortifacients and contraceptives and prohibit the manufacture, distribution, sale and use of abortifacients anywhere in the Philippines;
5. That the government establish basic and emergency obstetric facilities in every barangay and promote breast-feeding and proper nutrition especially for women and children nationwide, even without need of legislation; 6. That the State encourage and support community-based and family-initiated programs for the adult education of men and women on parenting and the development of the moral and civic character of their children. The State has a duty to make sure that more and more men and women acquire a basic knowledge of their reproductive systems so that they could plan their own families more confidently in a natural way, by taking advantage of the woman's fertility cycle, rather than by resorting to artificial methods that are physically and morally harmful.
By Francisco S. Tatad http//:franciscotatad.blogspot.com 25 October 2008
 This is a revised and updated version of the article which first appeared in September 2008 under the title, "The Truth and Half-Truths About Reproductive Health." The new title takes off from "Human Rights and Reproductive Wrongs," the title of a chapter in Steven Mosher's book, Population Control, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, US, and London, 2008 IHBl 5043 consolidates H.B. 17, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development Act of 2007, H.B. 812, The Reproductive Health Care Act, and H.B. 2753, The Women's Right to Know, HB 3970, An Act Providing for Reproductive Health Care Structures and Appropriating Funds Therefor. The Senate bills include: SBN 40, An Act Providing for Reproductive Health Care Structures and Appropriating Funds Therefor; SBN 43, An Act Creating a Reproductive Health and Population Management Council for the Implementation of an Integrated Policy on Reproductive Health Relative to Sustainable Human Development and Population Management and for Other Purposes; SBN 187, An Act Establishing an Integrated Population and Development Policy, Strengthening Its Implementing Mechanisms and for Other Purposes; SBN 622, An Act to Protect the Right of the People to Information About Reproductive Health Care Services; SBN 1258, An Act Granting Women the Right to Know Work Conditions Affecting their Health; SBN 1299, An Act to Protect the Right of the People to Information about Reproductive Health Care Services.  Michael Schooyans, Birth Control and Demographic Imposion, in Lexicon, Human Life International, Front Royal, Virginia, 2006
 Gerard-Francois Dumont, Les evolutions demographiques dans le monde, Paper read at Pastoral and Theological Congress, World Meeting of Families, Valencia, Spain, July 2006  Cited in Michael Schooyans's Birth Control and Demographic Implosion, Lexicon, Human Life International, Front Royal Virginia, 2006  Estimates are based on monetary values before the 2008 breakdown of the global financial-monetary system.  These include American Samoa, Aruba, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, El Salvador, Gibraltar, Guam, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Lebanon, Macau, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mayotte (France), Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines,San Marino, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Virgin Islands (US)  These include Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote D'Ivoire, Djbouti, Gambia, Gaza Strip, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Kenya, Kosovo, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Saint Helena (UK), Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Timor Leste, Togo, Tokelau (NZ), Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe  De Vera, Roberto, Economic Paper, 15 Sept. 2008  Among the rich countries, Monaco has the highest median age, 45.5 years, the United States the lowest, 36.7 years. Japan has 43.8 years; Germany, 43.4; Italy, 42.9; Finland, 41.8; Sweden, 41.3; Spain, 40.7; Demark, 40.3; Canada, 40.1; Netherlands, 40; United Kingdom, 39.9; France, 39.2; Norway, 39; Singapore, 38.4. China, the world's fastest growing economy, has 33.6.  Illustrative are Uganda with 15 years; Mali, 15.8; Democratic Republic of the Congo, 16.3; Sao Tome and Principe, 16.3; Chad, 16.4; Niger, 16.4; Yemen, 16.7; Zambia, 16.9; Mozambique, 17.4; Somalia, 17.5; Sierra Leone, 17.5; Tanzania, 17.8; Swaziland, 18; Togo, 18.6; Rwanda, 18.7; Nigeria, 18.7; Sudan, 18.9; Oman, 18.9  Laborem Exercens, Encyclical on Human Work, 14 September 1981  Gary Becker, Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1993 3rd ed  Julian Simon, The Ultimate Resource, Princeton University Press, 1998 Revised  Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, Macmillan, London, 1872, p. 124
 Thomas Robert Malthus, An Essay on the Principles of Population, as quoted by Jacqueline Kazun, The War Against Population, Revised and Updated Edition, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1999  Kazun, The War Against Population, quoting Galton, Karl Pearson and Allan Chase  Ibid  Ibid  Ibid,  Steven Mosher, Population Control: Real Costs, Illusory Benefits, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, US, and London, 2008  Kasun, The War Against Population  Ibid  Mosher, Population Control  Schooyans, Birth Control and Demographic Implosion in Lexicon, Human Life International, Front Royal, Virginia, 2006  Mosher, Population Control  Ibid  Ibid  Ibid  Ibid  This writer first stumbled into the contents of this secret document and gave an interview to a U.S publication and a radio program, long before it was officially declassified.  Mosher, Population Control  CEDAW stands for the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.  These include Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the
Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Sweden, Syria, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Zimbabwe  These include Quezon City, Antipolo, and General Santos; the provinces of Aurora, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Sulu and Lanao del Sur; the municipalities of Tinoc, Sagada, Lagawe, Asipulo, Bontoc and Paracelis in Luzon; Talibon, Ubay and Carmen in Bohol, Llorente and Maydolong in Eastern Samar, Lebak and Kapatagan in Mindanao.  John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, The Belknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass, 1999  Burke, Cormac, Authority and Freedom in the Church, Four Courts Press, Dublin, 1988  Cf. Cormac Burke, Marriage and Contraception, in Why Humanae Vitae Was Right, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1993  Butterworths Medical Dictionary, 2nd ed; Gould Medical Dictionary, 4th ed; Stedman's Medical Dictionary, 26th ed; Harrup's Dictionary of Medicine and Health; Mellon's Illustrated Medical Dictionary; Oxford Concise Medical Dictionary; Pearce Medical and Nursing Dictionary and Encyclopedia.