Sunday, September 20, 2009

On Reproductive Health Bill

On 09/16/09, Manila Standard Today reported that Senator Benigno Aquino III said he would not give up his support for the use of artificial contraceptives to curb population growth even at the risk of incurring the ire of the Catholic Church.

Aquino said Catholic bishops should wake up to the reality that something must be done to arrest the rapid growth of the country’s population, which now stands at 95 million or almost double the 50 million in 1986. “There is really a problem. And I hope that the Church will see that I have the reasonableness of my position on the issue.

He further said that it is the responsibility of the State to remind the citizens of their duty to take care of the needs of their children, including their education. It is wrong for couples to have more children than their income could afford.

On 09/19/09, GMANews.TV reported that several Catholic Church leaders urged the son of former President Corazon Aquino to reconsider his stance on the controversial legislation.

He might be able to get the support of the bishops if he will oppose the passage of the RH bill, Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Collin Bagaforo said in an article on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Earlier, Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said that he is now considering whether Aquino should be included in the Church’s list of politicians who should not be voted.

GMANews.TV also reported that Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. might be "very afraid" of the Church but he has no plans of withdrawing his support on some provisions of the Reproductive Health bill.

Teodoro said
he is against abortion but he is also against the enforced belief that contraception is bad. “ Contraception, under the Church doctrine, is wrong but it should not be the policy of the State to adopt the view of any particular religion. The state should be non-religious, non sectarian. It should give opportunities to all based on what they personally believe.”

I am glad to realize that these two standard bearers have their own convictions on this matter of uncontrolled population growth here in our country. The Media should ask Senator Villar as to his position on the Reproductive Health Bill. I think former President Estrada will eventually drop out of the presidential race. But even if he does not, I don’t think his view on any ethical issue would carry any weight due to lack of moral credibility on his part.

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