The Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill) or the Reproductive Health Act seeks to promote reproductive health, maternal and child health, responsible parenthood, adolescent and youth health, and the utilization of internationally recognized birth control measures as a way of addressing overpopulation in the country.
But the Catholic Church and various pro-life groups have this to say about the RH Bill: It is pro-abortion and objectively evil. Many argue that the vague provisions on artificial methods of birth control, sex education, and gender included in the bill will eventually lead to serious social effects.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines has been aggressive in opposing the RH Bill. This past month, sermons discussed the secular stand on RH Bill. CBCP has advised President Aquino to block the bill and even hinted that civil disobedience may be a repercussion if the bill is enacted into law.
But the President remains clear on his stand on responsible parenthood. He wants to provide informed choices to parents as far as family planning is concerned. No directive has been given to the Department of Health to halt the issuance of contraceptives so the DOH provides contraceptives to those who ask for it.
One of the authors of the RH Bill, Congresssman Edcel Lagman, clarifies that the RH Bill is neither pro-abortion or antilife. According to him, it is a comprehensive bill based on the government's duty to respect, fulfill, and protect the people's right to health. It address the country's population problem by providing access and information on natural and modern methods of family planning. In an article he wrote for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the congressman lists the following as the coverage of the RH Bill:
- Information and access to natural and modern family planning
- Maternal, infant and child health and nutrition
- Promotion of breast feeding
- Prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications
- Adolescent and youth health
- Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, HIV/AIDS and STDs
- Elimination of violence against women
- Counseling on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health
- Treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers
- Male involvement and participation in RH
- Prevention and treatment of infertility
- RH education for the youth
Is the use of contraceptives and modern methods of family planning ethical?
Below is the full text of the RH Bill.
RH Bill 2010 (Full Text) - SB 2378 - www.PinoyRN.co.nr