Discussion: Proposed Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008

You may be aware that there’s a growing debate on the proposed “Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008” filed in the House of Representatives. Rep. Edcel Lagman as the principal sponsor (the Fact Sheet and the Explanatory Note to House Bill No. 17, substituted by HB 5043, is here. See also updated bill, House Bill 4244 and the general discussion on RH Bill).

As appearing in an Inquirer report, Cong. Lagman pointed to certain key features of the Bill, which “promotes information on and access to both natural and modern family planning methods, which are medically safe and legally permissible. It assures an enabling environment where women and couples have the freedom of informed choice on the mode of family planning they want to adopt based on their needs, personal convictions and religious beliefs.” Reproductive Health includes:

1. Information and access to natural and modern family planning.

2. Maternal, infant and child health and nutrition.

3. Promotion of breast feeding.

4. Prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications.

5. Adolescent and youth health.

6. Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).

7. Elimination of violence against women.

8. Counseling on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health.

9. Treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers.

10. Male involvement and participation in reproductive health.

11. Prevention and treatment of infertility.

12. Reproductive health education for the youth.

Some commentators pointed out certain falsehoods in the bill, among others that “there’s no empirical data that shows that overpopulation causes poverty.” An article appearing at the website of Pro-Life Philippines criticizes the bill. The argument is anchored on the “established fact that the connection between contraception and abortion is not only inseparable; there is a close identity between them.” An article at CBCP News quotes Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz in saying that the Reproductive Health Bill is “inimical to health.” Arch. Cruz raised certain “practical questions,” including the following:

Should the issue on reproductive health be more objectively and properly called instead “unreproductive health”?

Is health good if this is deliberately rendered unfruitful, intentionally made unproductive or unreproductive?

Are those advocating for zero reproduction certain that they themselves have not in any way reproduced someone – like a bubbling son or a cute daughter?

On the other hand, those who agree with the bill point out to the fact that it simply gives couples a choice when it comes to family planning. The informal poll is found below.

[poll id=”9″]

32 comments

  1. there is a close identity between contraceptives and abortion according to Pro-Life Philippines. I hear the same arguments from legislators who are against the bill. Here is what the next president of the United States has to say.

    “Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument and amenable to reason.I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to all faiths, including those who have no faith at all” -BARACK OBAMA

  2. My comment about the Reproductive Health Bill

    I’d like to clear things first that I agree to the proposed bill. Why? Someone mentioned down here about manpower. That a larger number of people will be helpful in contribution to he society. We are in a third world country people! Do not compare our country to the United States of America or China because things are not the same with us. If manpower is what we need, we should abolish poverty first. If giving birth to hundreds of thousands of children that will only end up in the streets, uneducated and hungry, I would rather choose them not to be born. It will not only decrease the growing number of crimes but also prevent them from suffering. Let’s be practical for once. If your family can support a number of people think about the thousands who can not.
    The bill is not demanding us about the two-child policy. They are only suggesting, giving us the ideal number of children which is two.
    I am not against the Catholic church but what bothers is that why do people keeps on the church in politics. That is against the law. What they are saying about “go and be plenty” that is found in the old testament when God told Abraham to make descendants. In my view, at that time, that is a necessity. How many people there are before Christ was born comparing to our current population? There’s a huge difference there.
    So I support The Reproductive Health Bill because this shows practicality and effectiveness.

  3. I would like to ask help po. we’ll be having this debate and I am on the affirmative side. Mind helping me by sharing some strong arguments and informations backing up those arguments po? Thanks so much. Godbless.

  4. Here are some of the potential consequences of the passage into law of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill (HB O5043) which have dawned upon me; to wit:

    1.0 BIG BUSINESS, BIGGER MONEY. If RH Bill passes into law, condom suppliers may earn from the Philippine government (which will be mandated to distribute free condoms to 4.9 million youth aged 15-27), PhP 2.548 billion every year. (Or 4.9 million youth times 1 sex act per week times 52 weeks per year times condom usage of 1 piece per sex act times supplier’s price of P10 per piece of condom.) The assumption of a youth engaging in sex at the average of once a week, I am afraid, is in order and conservative. It will be unthinkable for a young student to obey the reminder of his RH teacher or older relatives that abstinence is the most effective birth control method when that young student is aware, the government is duty-bound to provide him or her with free condom for his or her sexual cravings anytime, anywhere. Condom supply is therefore a big business if RH Bill passes into law. Nevertheless, what is bigger money is when government canvassers, signatories of purchase orders, receivers of condom deliveries, as well as check payment signatories and releasers may connive with condom suppliers to price the condom at P 100 per piece instead of P 10. The over price of P 90 per piece of condom will be distributed among the involved government officials. Therefore, due to the passage of the RH Bill, there is an opportunity for a PhP 25.48 billion condom scam to happen.

    2.0 BOARS AND GILTS. These 4.9 million youth who are recipients of the government’s free supply of condoms may naturally crave for sex like animals (considering the additional enticement from the immodest mass media and the internet pornography). The young male may act like boar while the young female behaves like gilt that is in heat. This promiscuity or multiple sexual relationships, is probably just a take off point. The Law of Diminishing Extra Satisfaction (as adopted from the psychological and economic law of diminishing marginal utility) that governs pure human and animal endeavors including sexual relations will be fully operational. In other words, if sex will be a preoccupation of the Filipino youth, then the satisfaction that a young male derives having sex with female partner/s, will decrease or wane eventually. He then ventures to partner sexually with his fellow male/s to seek new level of satisfaction. He may push further by engaging in bisexual activities. But most likely he will end up as a pure homosexual. A young female may also follow the same path as she craves for sex and sexual satisfactions. She may graduate as a pure lesbian. But this scenario will not be glaring overnight. It will take a generation – ten years span. This may then translate to the need of a new advocacy – to support the passing into law of the bill on same-sex marriages and divorce in the country.

    3.0 POPULATION REDUCTION. The ultimate aim of RH Bill, I understand, is achieving economic prosperity (particularly for the poor) however through population reduction approach. In case the RH Bill is passed, its success will be measured therefore by, among others, whether its respective population reduction target (PRT) is attained. And the critical factor in attaining PRT is the effective distribution and use of condom of the 4.9 million Filipino youth in particular. Effective means here, making a condom available for free, on demand of the youth, either male or female, anywhere, anytime. As mentioned above, this will cost the Philippine government, PhP 2.548 billion every year. If the government will have limited or doesn’t have that amount of taxpayers’ money (for condom purchase and distribution) then the full attainment of the PRT will be jeopardized. Thus RH Law may prove to be ineffective to reduce population in the country. If this is the case, other population reduction measures or Bills will be therefore sought. So there will be a future need to support for the passage into law of Pro-abortion Bills as well as of Pro-euthanasia Bills.

    So then, to all the RH Bill advocates, if your support for the passage into law of RH Bill (which may lead to additional opportunity for corruptions in the Philippine government, to transformation of the Filipino youth as homosexuals and lesbians, to eventual murder of unborn babies and to future mercy-killing of senior citizens, etc.) makes your Mama proud of you, then go full speed ahead of your RH Bill advocacy. Otherwise, please resign as a RH Bill supporter and lobby harder for our legislators to vote against RH Bill.

  5. Ipe of Bacolod City: I am amazed by the idiocy of your arguments. My god! You were able to string together the issues of reproductive health, the male sex drive and same-sex marriage through a series of pathetic and weakly reasoned statements. Next time, try to read up on what you are arguing for first before sharing with the world your epiphanies.

    1. to open minded: it is very obvious that u are a self-centered type of a person. don’t ever use the name of GOd if ur purpose is just to present ur selflessness..notice ur(‘My god)

  6. yes i’m in favor of the RH bill….although Philippines is rich in natural resources with the exploding population one day we will wake up and see that these resources are not enough….like what we are now experiencing….before we have abundant and good supply of drinking water but as you can see now almost 80% of the population depends on the so-called ‘mineral water’ because our source is not safe drinking water.eoooow…wag na tayong mamolitika…..isipin natin what will happen in the near future…..let not our future children suffer more like what we are suffering today!

  7. Ano ba ang kinakatakot ng ma mambabatas sa simbahang katoliko? Wala ng impluwensya ang mga yan. Kung election ba ay sino ang nilalapitan ng mga politiko? Ang Iglesia ni Kristo. Kung may birthday ba ang mga bishop e nagkakandarapa ang mga politiko na magpaskil ng streamers at banners? Hindi. Sa Iglesia ni Kristo lang yan ginagawa. Bakit? Wala nang lakas ang simbahan katoliko. At ngayon dadagdagan pa nila ng pagkatalo sa RH Bill. If the Roman Catholic church loses, then it shows that it is wrong. If the Roman Catholic wins, then we’ll all see that the RC simply exacerbates population explotion and poverty. Bakit hindi magbigay ang simbahan ng hecta-hectaryang lupa para sa relocation ng mga mahihirap? Bakit pa nagpapalabas ang simbahan ng mga pro-RH bill sa mga misa? Walang pinagkaiba sa ginawa ni Padre Damaso. Bakit hindi mag-rally ang simbahan laban sa graft and corruption sa ating bansa? Bakit hindi pag-rally ang simbahan para pilitin ang kongreso na ipasa na ang anti-political dynasty bill? E si Pope Benedict na nga mismo ang nagsabi na ang mga sex workers ay mag-condom. At bakit ayaw ng simbahan sa Pilipinas ang condom? At ano naman ang nagawa ni Cardinal Rosales? Unahin nya ang pagtulong sa mahihirap.

  8. I am agree of this RH bill.. but I need your help sir, we will be having a debate on this and I am on affirmative side. Can I ask some more arguments that I am going to use? Because at this point of time I don’t really understand yet if what is the good and bad effect on this..

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