A women’s advocate group in Negros Occidental, Development Through Active Women Networking Foundation Inc., yesterday expressed its support for the Reproductive Health bill, that it said, will provide universal access to, and information on natural and modern family methods.
DAWN Foundation Inc. president Andrea Si said the passing of the RH bill is crucial now when birth control is out of reach for most women.
Si said the Philippines is one of the fastest growing population in Asia, with about 475,000 illegal abortions took place every year, and granting greater access to birth control could make all the difference in reducing abortions, improving maternal health, and even combating poverty.
Former Bacolod Councilor Celia Flor, a member of the NPC women sectoral council, yesterday described the RH bill as a “pro-life bill”, as it ensures that women and men have a choice to bring to life children, who they can take care of very well in terms of health, education, economic and even spiritual guidance.
Silay City Councilor Marie June Castro, DAWN Foundation Inc. Program officer, said every Filipino has the right to the health, including sexual and reproductive, adding that fertility management or family planning is just one of the elements of RH.
Msgr. Felix Pasquin, meanwhile, said they will pray and hope that legislators will be guided by the Christian conscience, as they resume deliberations of the RH bill today at the House of Representatives, which have been pending in Congress for 14 years.
For lawmakers who are pushing for the passage of the RH bill, Pasquin, who is the Rector of the San Sebastian Cathedral in Bacolod City, “ we will make a decision or judgement on them during the (2013) election”.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines yesterday threatened to campaign against congressmen who will vote for the passage of the RH bill in the House of Representatives.
“Bishops can separately issue pastoral letters, reiterating the Church’s call not to vote for supporters of RH bill, especially in Congress,” Msgr. Joselito Asis, CBCP’s secretary general said.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP president, who will attend the plenary session today on the RH bill to voice his objection to its passage, said. "There is a grave reason to worry when the government would rather suppress the population through the RH bill, instead of confronting the real causes of poverty.* GPB