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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Issue: The RH Bill - Clarifying Misconceptions, Furthering Advocacy


With many of the RH Bill’s provisions sparking controversy and debate, only certain elements of reproductive health are emphasized by critics, such as the moral issue on contraceptives, while the rest are largely ignored. Thus, Ms. Lagman’s lecture centered on explaining what the RH Bill is not about by setting the record straight on the misconceptions that critics hold about the Bill.

The RH Bill is anti-life – It is, in fact, pro-quality life, because it will ensure that all births are planned and wanted by their parents. The bill is not against the birth of children and does not advocate that couples stop having children. Rather, it only aims to help them achieve their fertility goals – to have the number and proper spacing of children that they desire.

The RH Bill is biased for modern methods – Since it makes available all possible family planning methods – including the natural family planning method preferred by the Catholic Church – it actually “democratizes” family planning.

The RH Bill legalizes abortion – Abortion is illegal, criminal and punishable by law. There is absolutely no provision in the RH Bill about the legalization of abortion.

The RH Bill endorses abortifacients – All contraceptive pills and intrauterine conceptive devices (IUDs) are not abortifacients and will not induce abortions. These are meant to suppress ovulation, which stops fertilization and the formation of a fetus.

Contraceptives kill - Medical risks connected with contraceptives are infinitely lower than the risks of an actual pregnancy. The risk of dying from maternal causes is 1 in 100. The risk of dying from IUDs is 1 in 10 million; vasectomy, 1 in 1 million; birth-control pills, 1 in 200,000; condoms, absolutely zero.

Sexuality Education will promote promiscuity – Sex education promotes the correct sexual values. Studies on countries where sex education is part of the curriculum have found it beneficial in that it actually delays sexual relations and encourages abstinence before marriage. Multiple sex partners are also avoided, therefore the preventing the spreading of sexually-transmitted diseases.

The RH Bill will promote a contraceptive mentality – Contraceptives will prevent unplanned pregnancies, but couples who want children will not stop just because contraceptives are widely available.

The RH Bill claims to be panacea to poverty – The Bill simply recognizes the correlation between a large population and poverty. Family planning and reproductive health will help reduce poverty.

The Bill will lead to a demographic winter – Research has shown that a demographic winter is not possible in at least another 100 years.

The RH Bill is unconstitutional – The Bill has been accused of violating Art. II, Sec. 12 of the Philippine Constitution, when it fact it actually supports it. As required by that specific provision, the Bill offers resources that may help parents, particularly to the majority who regard discussing sex at home as taboo, educate their children about sexuality and reproductive health.
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