Carlo's Think Pieces

Reflections of a Filipino in the Netherlands

on Objections to RH Bill

Posted by butalidnl on 26 May 2011

The RH Bill debate is going strong. Anti-RH bill advocates are raising a lot of questions about the RH bill; some of which are valid questions (and some quite invalid).  I have listed down some of these questions, with some kind of response to them.

The RH Bill is against the will of God.
This is one of the more popular lines of attack of the CBCP. It is also the most flimsy. Because, if the RH bill is against the will of God, then why is it that it is supported by the Iglesia Ni Kristo and various Protestant churches? These groups even cite scripture as the basis for their position.  From this, we can say that the RH Bill is merely against the will of the CBCP, or at most the Vatican. This is much less than the will of God.

“Go forth and multiply…” This is supposed to be the basis for the Catholic position, if Manny Pacquiao and some others are to be believed. But if we look at the Bible, God only used such a formulation twice, both in Genesis. This was addressed first to Adam and Eve, and then to Noah’s family after the flood. In both occasions, the earth was empty, and needed to be filled in by humans. God did not repeat this statement at more recent occasions, particularly not during the New Testament.

RH Bill Won’t End Poverty.
Of course it won’t, it wasn’t meant to. The RH Bill addresses the problem of poor people getting even poorer because they bear too many children; or of families who become poor because they have too many children. The RH Bill is aimed at providing a basic service to society. It is similar to vaccination campaigns, or a firefighting service.

Too Expensive, No Money in Budget
The RH Bill is estimated to cost about P3 billion/year. This is not much, if compared to things like Congress’ pork barrel allocations, or GOCC bonuses. The RH Bill is only “too expensive” if your starting point is that it is not important. However, since reproductive health is a basic government service, money must be provided for it. In addition to RH being a basic service, it also protects basic women’s rights. It is essential.

It is actually cheaper, from the perspective of the national budget, to fund contraceptives and sex education, than to spend for having too many children. Children of the poor go to public schools (and some even go on to state universities); they would need health services, and some poor families get subsidies on rice and other things. These cost much more than the RH bill will.

Sex Education will Encourage Promiscuity
The experience in other countries show that sex education actually delays the age when a teenager has his/her first sexual act. Perhaps this is because if they have had sex education, they know the consequences of sex, and are less curious about it.  “Sex Ed” from porn is not sex ed; porn doesn’t explain sexuality at all. If we deprive teenagers of sex ed, they will resort to porn for whatever information on sex they can get from it.

Some parents are afraid that teachers would explain “too much” or be “to eager” when they give sex ed. I disagree.  In 1972, when I was at my 2nd year in high school in Cebu, we had lessons on the human reproductive system. I remember that our teacher taught it as if it was just another topic. For teachers, sex ed is just another topic – they will teach it in a matter-of-fact or even boring way. Parents have nothing to worry about.

RH Bill Promotes Abortion
This is easy to answer: it does not. In fact, the RH bill categorically states that it is against abortion.  Any abortifacient contraceptives (e.g. “morning after” pill) can be designated as such in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the RH Bill and prohibited. And if needed, the CBCP could sue in court to remove a contraceptive from the list of approved contraceptives if they are proved to be abortifacient.

In a way, those who oppose the RH Bill are the ones promoting abortion. Because many women don’t know how to avoid pregnancy, about 100,000 a year abort their pregnancies. And 1000 Filipinas a year die of abortion-related complications. If  these women had sex education, they wouldn’t have gotten pregnant in the first place, and thus they wouldn’t have been forced to resort to abortion. Sex Education reduces the number of unwanted pregnancies, and thus of abortion.

Why not include a list of Contraceptives which are not Abortifacient?
Contraceptives in general do not cause abortion. Almost by definition, since they prevent pregnancies, they have nothing to do with abortion. If there are contraceptives that do cause abortion, these should be specified and prohibited, but in the law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). Including them in the IRR would make it more flexible – so that the list could be expanded (or shortened) based on further developments and research, without having to amend the whole law.

Sex Education Should Teach Values

I agree. But the question is: which values would that be? In some places in the US, they experimented with teaching sex ed using the “abstain from sex” approach. In other words, they taught teenagers merely not to have sex. And since they shouldn’t have sex, they didn’t teach birth control. Well, the result was that these teenagers ended up having as much sex as those without sex education, and they didn’t know how to avoid pregnancy. This shows that a “no sex” approach to sex education doesn’t work.

On the other hand, the approach could be what is called the “ABC” approach. A, for abstinence. B, for “be faithful” (hopefully, referring to married couples). And C, “use contraceptives”, for those who can’t abstain nor be faithful. There are still values taught here: children are taught to abstain or be faithful as earlier options to having sex.

4 Responses to “on Objections to RH Bill”

  1. Jessejino said

    3 billion indeed is not a lot but it’s significant when we are facing some challenge allocating budget for academic programs.

    RH Bill is designed to suck us dry even more!

    A dangerous part of the BILL is SECTION 33 Repealing Clause – All other laws, decrees, orders, issuances, rules and regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

    This is a powerful clause!

    It’s worth repeating. Hopefully the public will not turn their blind eye from this loophole.

    Any other laws, decrees, orders, issuances, rules and regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of this ACT must be repealed, amended or modified.

    This BILL not only has a fang it has saw tooth designed to cut and change old rules if it does not agree with this act. Yay!

    SECTION 32 BTW which states adherence to the constitution directly contradicts SECTION 33 . These guys are soooo confuse they couldn’t get their (clown) acts together?

    SECTION 33 states that it must repeal, amend and modify laws, decrees, orders, issuances, rules and regulations that go against it.

    So any laws, decrees, orders, issuances, rules and regulations under the constitution that protects the public, consumers at large if it does not agree with the Bill, must be repealed and/or modified to give favor to the enactment/implementation of the Bill.

    Ok, my right arm stretching high to kwestiyon (interpileyt)…

    Ouch! Did pres. Aquino even notice this?

    I wonder what will happen to the Republic Act No. 7394 also known as the Consumers Act of the Philippines if they repeal, modify or amend because it will potentially interfere with RH Bills means to raise money to fund their RH BILL 4244.

    Why did this got me thinkin’?

    Here’s the scenario:

    Since this Bill, as the Pro-RH insists is necessary and must be implemented with no delay, knowing the cost involved.

    Where will the allocated funds be coming from? Our 2011 academic funding for this school year is already short.

    With 229 legislative districts that will require funding for implementation — rumors spreading (and it wasn’t me) that at least 10 million pesos each annually (which I’m not really sure if it’s enough or too much because they don’t have any realistic figures…yet), we are talking about 2.9 Billion pesos and change.

    Although that’s a drop in the bucket compared to corruption that is costing our government 200 times more each year.

    I’m pretty sure this ain’t coming from the deep pockets or salaries of our Politicians, since the average salary of a Congressman ranges from 450,000 – 550,000 pesos annually and with all their expenses like large houses and properties, expensive cars, personal and family expenses I don’t think they are able to fund their ACT.

    Aside from World Bank support, the most identifiable source I can only think of is to increase income taxes, increase VAT and reduced other entitlements or social service spending.

    Increasing the income tax will probably not generate much because of high unemployment not to mention those people that are earning off the books and are not declaring income (who knows how many are there).

    So to get everyone on board to contribute the best target will be adding VAT.
    Tax everything that the public buys.

    Of course there will still be those few that slips off and fall into the cracks (like prostitution and illegal drugs – I don’t think they have figured out how to tax them yet) but generally everyone will still be taxed because the burden will start from the producers of goods.

    Of course if production of consumer goods will cost more due to impose VAT, to keep the producers profit protected they will have to either increase their price or reduce the size and/or quality of their production.

    For instance a sardine can cost 5 pesos to produce and with added taxes it will now cost them 1.00 peso more. It will be silly to expect the business people to be nice and patriotic by not passing the cost to the consumers.

    That’ll be bad to the economy if the businesses that provide jobs don’t make profits.

    Somebody’s got to give!

    If they increase the price people will cut back in buying so a clever method (commonly practiced in US) is to reduce the quality (use cheaper raw material if available) or bring the size down unnoticeably.

    If a Sardine can weigh about 4 oz. the next time you’ll read the label, it will probably shrink down to 3.5 oz (who would notice that!). Besides I won’t have no choice…I can only afford (the unnoticeably newly reduced size) hamburger once every 2 weeks.

    I guess Ramen noodle will become a frequent staple. Darn, baka naman pati flavoving tanggalin nila…naloko na!

    So if they (RH BIll supporters) think they can afford this RH Bill with their hard earned money, then hell yeah go for it!

    After all I believe they are smarter than a fifth grader. Right! ra — yyyyyt!

    Filipino must stop clowning around the moral jargons. Lets look at the economics because that’s where all these stuff boils down to.

    Ready to support or boycott and abolish!

    Read some more to be enlightened. We don’t just speak against RH Bill purely on moral grounds, though it is our strongest argument.

    We stand by reason of science, sanity, protection of our constitution whose ultimate goal is to protect the welfare of the Filipino citizens.

    Thanks for allowing us bloggers to share our thoughts in your blog site.
    I hope you don’t mind me sharing the link to the blog I wrote. Hopefully will educate the open minded Filipino’s.
    All the best.

    • butalidnl said

      As far as I know, all laws have a “Repealing Clause”. This is really not unique to the RH Bill. As I stated in the blog, your objection to the expense of the bill stems from your view that RH is not important. That’s your opinion. I think it is important.

  2. pinoyleonardo said

    I am against the RH BIll. Your post goes straight to issues and concerns of those on “abortifacients” and sex education. That’s a good start. I hope that this thing is resolved by focusing on the issues and not personalities.

  3. edgardo l, silva said

    1. Bkit lhat ng nagtatanggol sa RH ay di bumabanggit ng tungkol sa Planned Parenthood Federation (USA) na unang gumamit ng mga salitang birth control at family planning (sinimulan ng feministang si Margaret Sanger na ibinandera ang tagumpay ng legal abortion sa America)? Yan ang nasa likod na batayan at nag-uudyok kina Edcel Lagman atbp, pra isulong ang RH bill, na siya nmang titiyak na di tayo dadami pra lging may sobra ang agrikulturang mga produkto na kailangan ng mga industriyalisadong lugar gya ng America at Europa. Pg dumami tyo, sila ang magugutom! O kung gusto nila ng di-angkat na pagkain pahihinain nila ang industriya at muling magtatanim. Plagi kasing pinalalabas na hindi mabubuhay ang mahihirap na bansa kung wala ang Kanluran. Luma na yang “white man’s burden.

    2. Wala naman tlagang bansa ang umuunlad dahil sa pagpapaliit ng populasyon. Ang USA, China at Japan ay laging nsa 10 pinakamatataas na populasyon pero sila ang ilan sa pinakamayayamang bansa. Yun nmang karamihan sa bansang Africa na mas mahirap sa atin ay may populasyong mababa pa sa 5 milyon. kahit si Lee Kuan Yew ay nagsisisi sa pagkontrol ng dami ng tao sa Singapore. Ngayon kasi nagtatandaan na sila at kokonti ang pamalit na kabataan sa kanilang lakas- paggawa. Kelangan nilang umangkat at umupa ng manggagawa mula sa ibang bansa. Di tulad natin nagpapadala pa.

    3, Gasgas na ito pero di pa rin nasasagot: bakit di ayusin ang pamamahala gaya ng maayos at makatarungang badyet, erarikasyon ng pangungurakot, paghalal sa mga taong tunay na maglilingkod gaya ni Noynoy at Robredo? Bakit pilit pipigilan ang pagsipot ng mga bata, ang lakas ng kinabukasan?

    4, Hindi direktang pabor sa aborsyon ang RH Bill, pero pag ang gusto mo ay pigilin ang pagbubuntis, pero tumuloy pa rin ito, ano ang iisipin mong gawin? Aminin lang.
    di ipin

    5. Kung talagang para sa reproductive health ito, bakit pinipigil ang reproduksyon?

    6. Pangangalagaan ang buhay ng pamilya, ksama ang buhay ng di pa ipinanganganak ayon sa Konstitusyon. Ano ang pangangalagaang buhay kung pipigilin ito sa paglilihi pa lamang? Parang sinabi nating bibigyan ng insentibo ang lahat ng konektado sa pagpapaunlad ng industriya ng saging, pero bawal ang magtanim ng saging!

    7. Mganda naman ang pangangalaga sa kababaihang buntis. pabor ako dyan. Sana walang pamimilit sa opsyon ng mgastos at di pa tyak kung ligtas na artipisyal na kontrasepsyon. At saka yung pangungunahan ang pamilya sa edukasyong pangkasarian.

    8. Marami pa tyong batas na gagawin, Sana mangibabaw plagi ang lohika at moralidad pra di natin sinisira ang ating matinong paninindigan. Bawat ipinapasang batas ay dapat maglingkod sa tao, hindi tao ang maglilingkod sa batas.

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