(Image via Philippine Daily Inquirer)
Today I am happy because the Reproductive Health Bill (or RH bill, the bill that will make sure women have access to contraceptives, sex education and keep reproductive health in check) was approved on its final reading in the congress — 133 Yes, 79 No and 7 abstain. It is a historic event. It took a while before it’s been deliberated. There have been strong oppositions against it, especially from the church and the religious people.
I find it annoying how religion has to permeate in everything, even in public matters. Their reason for opposing the RH bill is that it goes against the teachings of the church and of God. “We should not prevent children from being born.” One bishop even attributed the recent disaster from Typhoon Bopha as an omen — that it’s God telling us the RH bill should not be passed.
There are a number of congressmen who agree with the church. During the deliberations, they claim that their championing the will of God in their vote because the RH bill is evil. Letting women die of childbirth — that is evil.
I agree with my friend who says “Pro-choice is pro-life”. Having the RH bill does not indict the people to adhere to it. It just gives people the choice and helps people as much as possible. People will still have the choice to do natural family planning, but they will also have the choice for alternatives. Yes, natural family planning works, but we also need other options.
Of course the RH bill will not solve poverty in the country. But it will indirectly affect it in a positive way through cutting down overpopulation. We don’t even have enough jobs as it is, what more if the population is doubled? In an interview with John Crawford, a professor in University of Sydney, he talks about how soil degradation is happening in a very fast rate. In 60 years, our topsoil will be so ruined that we might not be able to plant any more of our crops. There will be a shortage of food and economic crisis. One of the reasons for this soil degradation is overpopulation.
They think overpopulation will help the country’s economy as we “export” more OFWs. But they don’t see that it has more disadvantages than not.
The senate also approved the RH bill. Last time I checked, the vote was 13 for yes and 5 for no. One senator gave an endless tirade about how condoms will promote promiscuity. Seriously, people can still be promiscuous without condoms. It will help though in decreasing the chance for STDs.
Some people in the congress and senate should stop basing their decisions on their religious faith. The church shouldn’t even mingle with the affairs of the government. It is good though that the church realized today that they cannot totally manipulate the government. Why should they care about the bill, anyway? They’re not the bill’s target. And what do they know of being a woman?
The church should stop being so persistent. They can have their faith, but they shouldn’t shove it down people’s throats. Unless they want the Dark Age to happen here in our country.