Religious Leaders Fight Reproductive Mandate in the Philippines

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By Myles Collier , Christian Post Contributor
December 18, 2012|4:46 pm

Religious leaders in the Philippines declared that they were prepared to take their fight over the controversial Reproductive Health Bill all the way to the Supreme Court if the pending law is passed.

Recently, Msgr. Joselito Asis, Secretary-General of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, revealed that if President Benigno Aquino follows through and signs the bill into law, then the bishops would lend their support to fighting the legislation in court.

"The RH bill is against the goodness of family, the stability of marriage," Asis read in a statement. He added that while contraceptives are available, they are not supplied by the government, which has led to Western nations' women falling victim to "promiscuity, premarital sex and extramarital affairs."

Both chambers of government in the Philippines have agreed on several different parts of the pending legislation, including government-sanctioned family planning education for adults. Those services will also be made available to middle and high school children.

One point of contention within the bill that opponents have continually cited is the fact that with the new law, contraception for the less affluent will be fully covered by government health insurance.

However, Benjamin De Leon, president of the Forum for Family Planning and Development, said this will go a long way to help the women of the Philippines.

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"This is a long-term solution to the population problem that we have, in terms of women who already would like to practice family planning after bearing two, three or four children," Leon told local media.

Abortion is illegal in the Philippines, but the bill mandates that hospitals and clinics provide medical treatment to women whose lives are at risk due to a pregnancy.

Still, opponents of the new measure maintain that the new law would be more harmful to women and degrade the social values of the Philippines.

"If the president will sign this into law, he will give us a moral time bomb wrapped as a gift to celebrate Christmas," Socrates Villegas, Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan and vice president of the bishops' conference, said in a statement.

"This law will open more doors to abortion and more crimes against women," he added.

 

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