06 Aug2012

I was planning for several weeks now to sit down and distill all of my thoughts regarding the RH Bill. Had notes on the post I intended to write, but decided to simply speak based on personal opinion for the most part. And I understand that everyone may have slightly to vastly differing opinions, but this is mine. The RH Bill is only one step of many measures required to help the country improve prospects for the vast majority of its population. But for me, it is absolutely a CRITICAL step. Arguments can go back and forth on the fine or not so fine points of the debate, but here are my personal observations that drive my support for the RH Bill.

1. I just look around, and I feel like there are simply too many people for the size of the country, its resources and its ability to employ, feed, educate and raise its large population. Forget population densities, average population growth rates compared with neighbors, the slums and packed living conditions in many urban areas.

Here an interesting rundown of local population numbers from 1872, I believe, taken by Mrs. MM at the recent exhibit of Philippine Maps at the Metropolitan Museum. She realized afterwards photos weren’t allowed. Today, we are near 100 million people. And by 2050, just 38 years from now, we could be at 150+ million or more. Yipes.

2. The vast majority of the population makes too little income to decently or adequately, feed, house, clothe and educate their children. Refer to my old post on poverty levels, here.

3. The quality of education and the testing statistics for the nation’s kids, is utterly appalling, see this old post, here.

4. Recent studies suggest that up to 40% of all five year olds tested are physically STUNTED in growth, a condition that will also affect their brain development, and NO MATTER what you do later in life, the kids will suffer because of this lack of proper nutrition in the first five years of life. In the past 5-6 years, marketmanila.com has sponsored feeding programs, and roughly 25-35% of the public school populations we have seen are slightly to severely malnourished.

5. I personally give staff birth control seminars which they attend on a voluntary basis. Over the hundreds of folks I have personally come across, the vast majority were NOT AWARE of even the basic arguments for or against contraception or contraceptive methods. Many had no clue beyond the most basic description of why or how anyone gets pregnant.

6. Of crew and staff I have employed in restaurants or at home or on farms, nearly 80-90% are young, parents out of wedlock, and “living in”… Fewer and fewer even aspire to a church wedding due to cost and other considerations. This to me is actually a rather surprising reality. I can’t fathom how folks suggest that an RH Bill promotes promiscuity, as from everything I am seeing, it’s hard to get any MORE promiscuous… But again, that’s my view.

7. Everyone has the right to have as many kids as they want. But my point is, shouldn’t all kids have at least the basic right to sufficient food, decent housing, a solid education, etc.? They DIDN’T ASK to come into this world, their parents caused them to come into this world. And yes, I believe we each should be responsible for raising and providing for our OWN offspring.

8. Why shouldn’t we provide information and contraception for folks who voluntarily wish to explore these areas? Isn’t it irresponsible not to educate and inform? To consider the health of the mother and children? To explore the benefits of planning how large and how rapidly we build our own families?

9. I know I am preaching to the choir… over 92% of this blog’s readership said the country was “overpopulated.” And I am sure we could discuss this until we all turned blue in the face. And it is definitely not just about population, but HEALTH as well… health of the child(ren) and health of the mothers.

Bottom line? Would we really consider it a good idea for have a nation made up of 150 million people by 2050, 35 million of which adults were mentally impacted by poor nutrition at an early age? And 130 million of which failed to get HIGhER than 50% on their 6th grade standardized tests in English, Math and Science? And perhaps 70-90% of whom wouldn’t have access to decent housing and healthcare services? That completely boggles the mind.

Yes, there will be a 1-5% slice of the population that will do adequately to spectacularly well. But is that enough to carry and provide for the remaining 95%? I don’t think so.

For the curious, here’s a link to the full text of the RH Bill, so you can read it for yourself.

These stickers have been on all of our cars for the past two months. I hope congressmen aren’t bullied into a position that does NOT reflect the majority opinion of their constituents.

This post is bound to attract some controversy, so right up front, I am limiting comments to regular readers who have posted comments before. It’s a simple screen to prevent new visitors from trying to stir the pot. I will also delete any comments for or against that are, in my opinion, inappropriate or unnecessary. You were forewarned.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. isabel says:

    very well-researched Mr. MM. thank you!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 11:21 am

     
  2. crabbychef says:

    MM! Where did you get your car stickers? Could you please post, for those interested? Salamat.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 11:22 am

     
  3. mara says:

    may I share this post on facebook?

    Aug 6, 2012 | 11:48 am

     
  4. Rob says:

    I highly recommend you view this recent (7/29/12) video by the Los Angeles Times on overpopulation in the Philippines:

    “A Question of Faith – A struggling Philippine mother rejects her church’s stance on birth control”
    http://www.latimes.com/videogallery/71178739/News/A-Question-of-Faith

    Main article: “Dream out of reach”
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/population/la-fg-population-matters5-20120729-html,0,5897961.htmlstory

    Slide show:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/population/la-fg-population-matters5-20120729-html,0,5897961.htmlstory

    Aug 6, 2012 | 11:49 am

     
  5. niceyfemme says:

    I completely agree with you MM. And I also want the stickers…

    Aug 6, 2012 | 11:56 am

     
  6. joanie says:

    great post MM! everyone is entitled to their own belief but everyone should also have a right to educate themselves. they should know the facts about RH Bill before screaming no to it.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 11:57 am

     
  7. loony says:

    AMEN!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 12:00 pm

     
  8. virgie says:

    I completely agree MM. Where to I get stickers?

    Aug 6, 2012 | 12:26 pm

     
  9. virgie says:

    I completely agree MM. We do I get stickers?

    Aug 6, 2012 | 12:27 pm

     
  10. virgie says:

    I completely agree MM. Where do I get stickers.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 12:28 pm

     
  11. Lydia P says:

    I am totally in favor of the RH Bill, too. It is so unfortunate that the Catholic Church has to demonize it and make the unbelievable leap that it is abortion. Maybe if PNoy were to give them SUVs, they might just reconsider!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 12:43 pm

     
  12. jazzie says:

    two thumps up MM!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 1:15 pm

     
  13. Joey in Dubai says:

    Amen to that!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 1:16 pm

     
  14. chefmom says:

    amen!!!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 1:23 pm

     
  15. Dinah says:

    I completely agree with you! I am all for giving everyone an informed choice and no to bullying by the church.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 1:25 pm

     
  16. Nadia & Rene says:

    A very good perspective on the RH bill is the opinion posted by Fr. Joaquin Bernas in his weekly column in the Inquirer interestingly titled “Don’t Burn the House to Roast the Pig.” :) His views are what a progressive, pro-active and genuinely concerned Catholic Church should have about reproductive health.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 1:28 pm

     
  17. Sarah says:

    Thumbs up, MM! Agree with all your points!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 2:15 pm

     
  18. Christine says:

    I totally agree with you MM. During my undergrad medical studies, I came across 12-13 year old girls, giving birth in a crowded labor hospital. There were even more girls, aged 15-19, who were giving birth to their 5th to 8th child. Some people who are easy to judge don’t get to see these realities.

    I may have been brought up to be a devout catholic, and blessed to have attended catholic schools until my post-grad studies. But not all views of the catholic church should be forced and be taken as the ONLY truth. I really hope the government passes the RH bill soon…….

    Aug 6, 2012 | 2:18 pm

     
  19. Nancy says:

    Amen to that MM. I believe the RH Bill is also to educate the Filipinos so that they will be able to make an informed decision as to the path they will take when it concerns their family’s future. It is hypocritical of the church to demonize the Bill when they cannot even share Vatican’s wealth to the impoverished people around the world.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 2:24 pm

     
  20. Part Time Homemaker says:

    Another RH Bill supporter here! This is a topic near and dear to my heart because it pains me to see all the children who are born into a difficult life because the government and Catholic church insists that their parents live in ignorance. I am anti-abortion but this bill is not about abortion, it is anti-ignorance and will help alleviate poverty. It gives people a choice and is something our country desperately needs. A controversial opinion: only taxpayers should have a voice anyway!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 2:29 pm

     
  21. Ed B. says:

    The sad thing is, most likely, most congress reps and senators will be bullied by the church into dropping their support for the RH bill. It really makes me angry when you have priests, bishops, nuns, and what have you spouting all sorts of irresponsible pronouncements against the RH bill and twisting the issues and facts to suit their agenda.

    Take this particular line that’s supposedly from Archbishop Socrates Villegas, “My dear youth, contraception is corruption. The use of government money, taxpayer’s money, to give out contraceptive pills is corruption. Contraceptive pills teach us it is alright to have sex with someone provided you are safe from babies. Babies are a nuisance.”
    He goes on to say, “A culture of contraception looks at babies as reasons for poverty. Birth control, they say, means more food, more classrooms, more houses and better health for mothers. If more babies are the cause of poverty, are we now saying, ‘Kung walang anak, walang mahirap?’” (More in this article from Inquirer: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/242667/bishop-soc-lambasts-aquino-says-contraception-is-corruption)

    I only have one question to those against the RH bill: Are you willing to shoulder the COSTS associated with raising ALL the children born to parents without the means to raise them properly?

    Aug 6, 2012 | 3:08 pm

     
  22. Wenna says:

    Thank you for the wonderful blog on PH BIll. On our way to church yesterday a Leader of a known sect was “preaching” on how RH Bill is a Pre-empted Abortion. I told my husband that, that leader would like the younger generation to be illiterate and has no sense of dignity because they didn’t have the opportunity to go to school because there are 10 of them in the family and they all need to work in order to have food on the table. As RESPONSIBLE Parents and God Fearing People we need to take care of our children, support them, feed them and educate them, in the end the world would be a better place for everybody.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 3:26 pm

     
  23. Part Time Homemaker says:

    @Ed B. I second the motion on your comment on those against the RH bill!!! Sadly though, I would guess that the answer would be no!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 3:29 pm

     
  24. Cheryl says:

    Mr. MM, great point of view. But for me, i oppose contraception. My cousin was taking the pills for 2 years, and found out that she had a breast cyst. the doctor advised her to stop taking the pill for one year. after a year, the cyst disappeared. so i suppose, the doctors know the side effect of pills.

    the reason of overpopulation is not about not taking prevention. it is about non-education. if you have sex, only the barren will not get pregnant, or those that are not fertile. But, why have sex outside marriage in the first place? and if married, why not dream big for your children? why just make babies and care less of their future? those are my questions that need a lifetime of education. contraception is one way of stopping population, but will never be enough to progress the country.

    this is my whole perception. again, all of us are entitled to our own opinion. at least we are aware. hehehhe. peace everyone! all of us hope for the best for our country and our people.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 3:29 pm

     
  25. Cheryl says:

    @Ed. B, in my answer to your question, does the government have funds for the hospitalization of the women after taking contraception? there are thousands of cases of women who have breast cancer, ovarian cancer etc who had history of taking contraception. according to survey, abnormal children are results of contraceptive pills, aside from emotional setbacks during pregnancy.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 3:32 pm

     
  26. Ryan says:

    I think it’s time now to act regarding population explosion in our country. Having many child(rens) is in fact good if you could provide at most basic needs to them. But apparently on my observation to our country I think it is far more low than that, families from depressed area can’t have decent job to provide the household needs, the quality of education are even poorer nowadays. I’m not against the Catholic Church rallying about but I’m one of the RH Bill supporter. Hope congressmen will vote for the better good, pass the RH Bill now!!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 3:38 pm

     
  27. Ed B. says:

    @Cheryl: The RH bill is not equal to contraception. If you try and visit the link provided by MarkeMan you’ll see that the provisions of the bill just gives families options on how they can approach family planning and basically educates all members of the family (father, mother, and children). And I can see from your comment that that is what you want. ;-)

    In response to your question, that’s what the RH bill is for, so that couples can have all the information they need to make an informed choice. No one is claiming that contraception is 100% safe but with the proper information the risks can be mitigated, and the couple can make their decision based on how comfortable they are with the risks involved.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 3:42 pm

     
  28. Marketman says:

    Cheryl, to my knowledge, condoms don’t cause cancer. Nor do I think there is a definite link between pills and cancer, or they would have been removed from the market in several western societies… so I guess that’s up for debate. But I agree with your on some of your other points, particularly having babies and not providing for them. As for sex out of wedlock, I suppose it is simply a matter of fact that a large percentage of people are already doing it, so why not just deal with that reality, rather than hope it will change on its own? If I had to guess, I would say that as many as 60-70% of the population has engaged in pre-marital sex, if not higher, so insisting that they must first get married before they do it seems like a highly unlikely reality.

    I think I read somewhere that of families with one child, less than 5% were classified as “poor” while for famiiies with 7 or more kids, more than 60% were classified as “poor”… of course, one wonders, which came first the poverty then the children. Or the children then the poverty…

    As expected, I have received some emails that I have held in moderation for now… but I may decide to let them in if only to show how silly and flawed one’s arguments can be. All intelligent, useful discussions are welcome, as usual.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 3:52 pm

     
  29. Elaine says:

    Good points MM…I’m pro RH as well!!!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 3:55 pm

     
  30. Marketman says:

    To all of you who would like stickers… I have several dozen given to me by friends/NGOs that are encouraging the passage of the RH Bill. But I don’t know how to get them to you. If you send me a private email through the contact form, I would be happy to mail some out to you… maybe send 5 to each addressee to maximize mail costs (domestic addresses only please). I will do this until I run out of stickers. I promise to delete your addresses once I have mailed the stickers. I cannot guarantee that all of you will get them as I have a limited number. Thanks.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 3:58 pm

     
  31. kakusina says:

    It is a sad state of affairs when the Catholic Church hierarchy resorts to threats and the distortion of facts to support its stance against the RH Bill. I am all for people upholding their religious beliefs, but neither should they be allowed to impose their ideas on the rest of us. I have seen five year old kids struggling to keep themselves alive by scavenging or making charcoal and turning themselves black in the process. Thousands of women lose their lives every year giving birth. And yet the Church would deny women and men the information and resources needed so they can choose how many children they want and can bring up happy and healthy. I say YES to the RH Bill and now, not in 2013 or 2014.
    “Aanhin pa ang debate, kung patay na ang babae?”

    Aug 6, 2012 | 4:02 pm

     
  32. Alex says:

    I am totally for the passing for the RH bill. I am totally aghast at the logic used by many members of the catholic church and religious fanatics. Most reasoning is skewed and unfounded. I am also totally disappointed that my supposedly “educated” friends do not see that there is a major problem. They do not want see that in the Philippines poverty is aggravated by overpopulation. It is not the only cause but definitely a contributing factor. Why can’t they understand that every child is born with the right to living under decent conditions under responsible parenthood. It is not a perfect bill but it is a start. The population has more than doubled in my lifetime. It is obvious that the country cannot cope with the growth.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 4:18 pm

     
  33. Tricia says:

    Here’s hoping RH bill gets passed. I am a Catholic Pro RH :)

    Aug 6, 2012 | 4:22 pm

     
  34. Sol says:

    Me too, I am raised a Catholic and went to a Catholic school all my life, but I am 100% pro RH Bill. :)

    Aug 6, 2012 | 4:35 pm

     
  35. Andrew says:

    I am Catholic, I believe in God, and I also believe in education and informed choices. The RH Bill doesn’t force couples to take contraceptives but it does give them the information needed to make their own choice for their families. I abhor the perpetuation of ignorance and misinformation. Just read that the HOR has decided to vote on the end of deliberations earlier than expected. Hope this much needed bill gets passed.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 4:48 pm

     
  36. Cheryl says:

    @Ed. B, i read the link given by MM, and in my own understanding, i cannot accept their way of introducing responsible parenthood, reproductive health, etc. hehehhe

    Aug 6, 2012 | 4:51 pm

     
  37. Andrew says:

    @Alex, I always resort to a fishbowl analogy on my colleagues that insist there’s no problem with our population now. They say all it takes is to stop corruption or better management of resources to make our population growth sustainable.

    Take any average fishbowl and keep chucking goldfish into it all the while getting the best water, feed, technology etc. and you’ll soon realize there’s a limit no matter what you do. They retort “But a fishbowl has limited space” to which I reply back “The Earth/Philippines and all its resources are finite as well.” They usually agree but mumble I oversimplify things. But isn’t it that simple really?

    Aug 6, 2012 | 5:13 pm

     
  38. Ed B. says:

    @Cheryl: To each her/his own. :-)

    On a different thread: I myself went to Catholic schools from grade school to college and isn’t it kinda funny how those who went to Catholic schools (and most likely raised as Catholics) are the ones most critical of the church, especially when it comes to matters relating to sexual orientation, sex education, family planning, marriage, and divorce. I guess Catholic schools do a really good job of educating their students and opening their minds. :D

    Aug 6, 2012 | 5:47 pm

     
  39. jingle says:

    According to the WHO statistics 2009, there is an inverse relationship between maternal mortality ratio and contraceptive prevalence rate. In countries where couples are practicing contraception, the risk of mothers dying is lower. Because every pregnancy is planned, the outcome is a healthy mother and baby. i am a practicing Ob-gyn and i support the RH bill.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 5:50 pm

     
  40. rex says:

    Why not the bishops make a pronouncement that they will excommunicate anyone who will support the RH bill? I think they are afraid that many will take up their challenge :-)

    Aug 6, 2012 | 6:23 pm

     
  41. rosedmd says:

    Totally agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD.
    I just want to share this….. a few years back, i got criticized for my opinion regarding my highschool batchmates. i told the person, i was talking to at that time…. giving birth to a child is a big responsibility. i strongly believe, in rsponsible parenthood. you don’t just produce children one after the other…. you should also think whether you’ll be able to give him/her basic needs. you can’t ask other people to share that responsibility. or blame the government for not providing for you. or blame your situation.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 6:26 pm

     
  42. Marketman says:

    Andrew, no kidding. I didn’t mention it earlier, but can you imagine how much waste product 150 million people produce daily? And most of it ends up in our seas (ergo the large fishbowl) and we are eating it… :)

    Aug 6, 2012 | 6:26 pm

     
  43. rosedmd says:

    MM, 200 dumptrucks of thrash was collecting during this weather at manila bay .!!!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 6:28 pm

     
  44. Marketman says:

    Rex, if they did that, maybe 70% of the flock would be excommunicated.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 6:31 pm

     
  45. jakespeed says:

    Would the Philippines want to become a progressive country like Singapore? It’s a no brainer that for a country to achieve such a status, there should be some means of population control due to the obvious reasons of limited resources. And the most logical and probably the first step in doing this is thru education. Robbing the people of knowledge that will help them on how to responsibly plan a family is oppressive.

    Are the Singaporeans and the Singapore government EVIL and should rot in hell since they embraced a population control/family awareness program? I don’t think so.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 6:32 pm

     
  46. ntgerald says:

    “abnormal children are results of contraceptive pills” ?

    I don’t think you can see this information in any Obstetrics textbook.

    “there are thousands of cases of women who have breast cancer, ovarian cancer etc who had history of taking contraception”

    The Philippines has the highest incidence/prevalence of breast cancer in Asia, even though in most of the cases the patient never had contraceptive pills.

    It is too bad that Biostatistics and Epidemiology are not taught in high school.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 7:10 pm

     
  47. iya says:

    Great Post! Thumbs up!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 7:27 pm

     
  48. rowena says:

    Hurray for RH Bill!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 7:54 pm

     
  49. KC says:

    I tend to agree with Cheryl. Full disclosure–I am Catholic. I am also a pharmacist, and I will not dispense any type of contraceptives. This has not made me very popular in pharmacy spheres. I understand the scientific debate as to whether or not the pill is harmful or helpful and I know too well that many well-meaning people argue against the pill with flawed “scientific” arguments, that also don’t address other contraceptive measures like condoms. The bottom line is that scientific arguments will only give you half a picture of the whole issue, and that denouncing contraception can never be done on a purely scientific basis.

    Picking and choosing “Catholic beliefs” does not automatically make you educated and able to “see clearly” where the Church is “blind” or “old-fashioned”. More often than not, it means you have not gotten down to the basics of why it teaches what it teaches.

    Is there a problem of overpopulation? Is there a problem of lack of education? Yes. I believe there is. I believe those can be addressed–I believe those must be addressed, and the time is now. But supporting measures like the RH bill is a quick fix that doesn’t attempt to preserve morality and the dignity of human life while addressing such problems.

    It is hurtful to me personally to see Catholics shoot down the Catholic Church’s teachings on contraception without understanding the principles of defending human life behind it. If you haven’t, I suggest reading the encyclical “Humanae Vitae” to truly understand the Church’s standpoint on human life before making any assumptions.

    God bless the Philippines.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 8:52 pm

     
  50. MT says:

    Is “quality of life” even discussed or mentioned by the Church? The numbers do not lie — the Philippines is overpopulated – and its resources already streeeetched beyond limits. Freedom of religion is freedom of many religions, of many faiths and beliefs. What one stands for should never be forced on others. Freedom of choice is sacred and ours from birth and we must exercise it and defend it vigorously. The country’s future is at stake. Philippines, make yourself Proud!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 8:54 pm

     
  51. little mary says:

    a very informative topic/post. i’m also a pro RH bill.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 8:58 pm

     
  52. andrew lim says:

    Marketman,

    I just want to inform you that in Fr Bernas’ column ( a critical supporter of RH) , a lechon was mentioned: “Dont burn the house to roast a pig”. He was telling his fellow churchmen that there are provisions to which he is agreeable with, and some that just need refinement.

    Pass the RH Bill!

    Kung walang bishop, walang mahirap!

    Aug 6, 2012 | 9:02 pm

     
  53. Super.me says:

    AMEN. Couldn’t agree more.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 9:09 pm

     
  54. Gonzalo Reyes says:

    Marketman, I would love to have one of your RH stickers. Thank you very much.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 9:26 pm

     
  55. psychomom says:

    i saw a car sticker…. BREED THEM, FEED THEM. RESPONSIBLE parenthood is a HUGE responsibility. and it does take a village to raise one child well.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 9:54 pm

     
  56. ros says:

    YES!! This is about the alleviation of poverty and the empowerment of women as Chistopher Hitchens has eloquently put it: (Mother Teresa fans beware)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9qoUXu-JsE

    Also, behind all of the debates and arguments (both supernatural and secular pragmatic reasons) one should try to concede that it actually boils down to this:

    http://vimeo.com/45539176

    Aug 6, 2012 | 10:23 pm

     
  57. gezel says:

    I love my catholic faith, i respect my religion and adhere to it’s teachings but i truly believe that for children not to suffer, responsible parenthood must comes first and if population control is the answer then i rest my case.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 10:29 pm

     
  58. gezel says:

    Here in UK all forms of contraception is free, but there is a birth surge not from the locals but from foreigners coming in from EU and non EU countries, as kids gets benefits here, the more the merrier. And the locals are complaining saying that the country can not afford a population surge at this time. ( schools, housing and medical care are being affected)

    Aug 6, 2012 | 10:50 pm

     
  59. Fleeb says:

    The ironic thing is, those who oppose the bill would not even want to have a lot of children of their own, nor would they adopt. I understand some would but generally not.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 11:37 pm

     
  60. Lan says:

    A lonnnnnng time ago, I was asked why religion is big in poor countries and why, by contrast, it’s hold in rich countries is weak. The answer pointed to EDUCATION.

    I can’t help but think of this when the topic of birth control is discussed. As the level/quality of education received by most Filipinos is not high, people cling to religion and its teachings… and all practical and economic FACTS be damned! Having 3/5/9 kids is ok… God will provide. But what about “God helps those who help themselves”?

    Aug 6, 2012 | 11:39 pm

     
  61. Dexter says:

    Hi MM, this is one of your more ‘controversial’ topics and very interesting. In short I am pro-RH, but also a devout Catholic. Everyone has rights inalienable and one of them is the right to choose. Now, given that the Philippines has a runaway population growth, the culprit pro-RH people are alluding to is the vicious cycle of poverty of which the lack of information, prohibition of contraceptives and poor family planning are factors.

    How can a population, rich or poor, choose to do what is in their best interest if the government prohibits the sale of contraceptives or does not promote responsible parenthood to its citizens?

    I firmly disagree with the Catholic Church in the Philippines on this matter simply because they are not letting people decide for themselves what to do with their lives. Get out of my bedroom, CBCP!!

    I recall a story I read a long time ago as a youngster which borders on the philosophical. A young man who, after reading all the bad stories from the newspaper, asks God why does he let sin run rampant in the world. Why doesn’t HE take care of HIS children and not let all the bad things happen to them? All of sudden he hears God’s voice, and God says: “I would not do that my son because then I would have to take away FREE WILL”.

    That story blew me away because of its simplicity and how it is related to the current battle for the RH-bill. We as Filipinos should be given unfettered access to all information, materials to make our OWN CHOICE not the priests, not some archbishop in some archdiocese far from ME and MY wife’s bedroom. Imagine, the very first story of the Bible that concerns itself with humanity is the appearance of SIN which means that FREE WILL is of utmost priority. Why is that? Because it means that we can also rise above sin using our free will. How can the average Filipino (who is mired in poverty) make an informed choice if he does not know or cannot choose his alternatives? Oh yes, we have been tasked to populate the earth but not to overpopulate it. One of the tenets of salvation is the ACCEPTANCE of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior but then it all boils back down to free will. You cannot be saved if you are coerced into accepting nor you cannot be liable if you are coerced into sinning. Ergo, we need to put the passage of this RH-bill as important because I feel like we are a trainwreck in slow motion. The train is getting more modern, more shiny (because of our economic miracle) but we are ever closer to being a wreck because it will come to a point where not even our economic miracle can save us from ourselves.

    We as Filipinos should call the bluff by the CBCP. This is what I believe in: contraception. Meaning the unfertilized egg is not a human entity nor is the sperm. But once the egg has been fertilized then it is hands-off. That is definitely abortion.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 11:51 pm

     
  62. sophie says:

    a PRO RH Bill endorser here. well said MM.

    Aug 6, 2012 | 11:53 pm

     
  63. friedneurons says:

    Very well-written post, MM. I really do not see any rational (as opposed to religious) basis to oppose the RH bill. For me, it all boils down to two things – one about the reality of human interaction and the other a paint-by-numbers comparison:

    1) Humans are social animals that crave connection. Sex is one form of connection, probably the most profound one. Add to that the fact that it feels good, and everyone has to realize that it is absolutely not realistic to expect every single person to “save it” for marriage. No matter what anybody says, procreation is NOT the only legitimate purpose of sex.

    2) The Philippines is roughly the size of the State of Arizona, which is 1/32 the size of the US as a whole, and yet it has almost 1/3 (ONE THIRD!) of the population. ‘Nuff said.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 12:00 am

     
  64. millet says:

    yes! my fb status the past few days says, “i am catholic, and i support the right to reproductive health.” today’s letter by fr. bernas provides a clear-eyed, non-hysterical and moral view of the RH Bill.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 12:33 am

     
  65. Lerker says:

    While I’m sure that there are lawmakers who probably support the RH Bill personally, they will most likely vote according to the will of those who have an agenda. One that does not take into consideration the current status of the country. :(

    Aug 7, 2012 | 1:12 am

     
  66. JE says:

    I’m all for passing the RH bill. I strongly believe in a faith guided by reason and logic, and the items in the bill seem practical enough and make a whole lot of sense for our burgeoning country.

    That said, the only thing that troubles me here is how some public officials are making a stand, yet seem like they’re just using this as a way of latching on to a specific voting bloc for the upcoming elections.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 2:03 am

     
  67. sampalok says:

    Lode Wostyn, a Dutch Roman Catholic missionary-theologian who spent 30 years in the Philippines, made some comments relevant to poverty in a critique he made of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines about a decade ago:

    a. “Catholic soteriology sticks to the dualistic model of satisfaction. It is good to suffer, the reward will come in the after-life. Such a doctrine supports a streak of fatalism which is present in Filipino life: “Tayo ay nasa gulong ng palad, kung minsan nasa ibaba, kung minsan nasa itaas; wala tayong magagawa.” ‘We are in the wheel of fortune/fate; sometimes we are down, sometimes up; we cannot do anything about it.’ This is in contrast to the Filipino zest for life, believing that we meet the divine and its spirit in nature and the human family. Filipinos love to celebrate life, family and friendship. Catholicism makes them celebrate instead “Biernes Santo,” Good Friday … the Christian feast in the Philippines.”

    b. “The Catholic Code imposed a puritan morality which encouraged people to be obedient and docile. It justified a society of the powerful and rich to be served by the poor farmers and fisherfolk.”

    c. “Catholic rituals took place in the Church building, followed by the real celebrations in processions, festivals, dances, in the Filipino fiesta with its community meals. Official Catholic Christianity has been, and is still often ‘bad news’ for the Filipino: it has justified and even encouraged suffering; it has set standards which did not tie in with culture; it imposed rites which became a sort of magic. A lot of deconstruction is needed to free ourselves from this narrow, dualistic and moralistic view on Christian life. Such a deconstruction is not welcomed by the church hierarchy that prefers to reign over the frozen people of God instead of animating the chosen people of God.”

    His paper is available from pages 5-9 of a pdf file available at:
    http://theo.kuleuven.be/nl/onderzoek/centra/centr_bevrijding/centr_bevrijding_archives/centr_bevrijding_archives_forum/FLT02-03chronicles.pdf

    Aug 7, 2012 | 2:31 am

     
  68. netoy says:

    @Cheryl – re your statements: “there are thousands of cases of women who have breast cancer, ovarian cancer etc who had history of taking contraception. according to survey, abnormal children are results of contraceptive pills, aside from emotional setbacks during pregnancy.” It is well known that nuns have a greater risk of developing breast and other reproductive malignancies when compared to other groups of women. Surely, you will agree with me that they do not take contraceptive pills. In fact, it is even talked about that they should be given the choice to take contraceptive pills for protection against these malignancies.

    @KC – How is it defense of human life when there is no life yet to begin with? Protect those who are already in existence by providing them with the most basic of necessities, which unfortunately is not feasible for a family with multiple children and no (or meager) means of sustainable employment because the parents were not given the education opportunities that were their right as children due to poverty. Will we let this vicious cycle continue? I hope not!

    But I do respect your opinions.

    MM – I find this statement so appalling: “Many had no clue beyond the most basic description of why or how anyone gets pregnant.” No wonder we have such a population explosion!

    Aug 7, 2012 | 2:42 am

     
  69. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    Sampalok…excellent citation.

    I mentioned this in previous posts, but its not necessarily the Catholic Church per se, but Catholocism in the Philippines. Compared with other countries, Filipino Catholics practice seem to follow faith based upon fear and the supernatural. There have been many comments on education. This should include a re-examination of the Cathecism and how faith applies to real life in the 21st century. The Catholic Church is an instutution its history should be part of the curriculum. There was Vatican I and Vatican II which examines the church’s role in the modern era. Somewhere along the lines there has been a failure in the local Catholic Hierarchy to effectively implement the cultural changes that come with it. Or in other words, while its easy to change specifics on the liturgy, the basis of the outcomes have not changed or are even in line with the current world.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 3:18 am

     
  70. MT says:

    This country will be condemned to perpetual poverty if it does not address the issue of overpopulation now. This is a clear case of one established religion trying to ram down our collective throats a belief system that no longer resonates with the realities of the present. Poverty is a prison that strangles the majority of our less fortunate countrymen who are poor and uneducated. We can’t live on “sa awa ng Diyos makakaraos din” mentality anymore. The opportunity for change is at hand.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 5:00 am

     
  71. KC says:

    @netoy: A very valid question–really, a more relevant point than most of the ones that are made about contraception, since there is a large number of people who would support, say, birth control pills or condoms over abortifacients like Plan B, or even outright abortion.

    There are a few ways to look at this. Let’s start with BCPs. BCPs alter a woman’s hormones in such a way that her natural fertility cycle does not follow the natural monthly preparation for an environment to host a fertilized egg. For the sake of classification, if it were to happen that the fertilized egg would encounter the uterus made inhospitable by the use of BCPs, it would not implant. Still, if fertilization a.k.a. conception did occur, and the newly conceived human life must pass through the mother’s system because it cannot implant in those conditions, this is essentially an abortion in result even if not in intent.

    Now let’s look at other things like intrauterine devices or condoms. These don’t lead to a fertilized egg at all, so how can we say that these are immoral/affect human life? (this gets closer to your question.) One of the first thoughts that comes to my mind is: what does it say about our view of human life that we are so eager to prevent it? What kind of mindset toward human life is being formed when the widespread use of IUDs, condoms, BCPs are all geared to prevent the development of human life, and in the worst instances, to reduce pregnancy to some kind of disease to be avoided at all costs?

    There are also a couple of points I’d like to mention in that are relevant specifically toward Catholics and other Christians and if that isn’t my audience I beg to shift gears for a moment.
    One: We as humans are entrusted with stewardship of life on earth. This is irrefutable on a biblical basis. This means stewardship of our environment, yes; we cannot ignore our treatment of land, or plants, of natural resources, of animals. But if we are entrusted with stewardship of our environment, how much more so are we given to protect human life? Instead many seek to prevent it, to reduce it, instead of allowing natural law to BE natural law and working to create a society where human life will not be viewed as a problem compounding the issues of overpopulation and poverty.
    Two: recognizing natural law as God’s law, what does it say about contraception that it takes the natural process–God’s process–of procreation and puts it into the individual’s hands, for the individual to manipulate the divine design.

    If anyone is really interested on the Catholic Church’s stance, I again would suggest reading it directly from the encyclicals “Humanae Vitae” (on contraception) and “Populorum Progressio” (on social teaching–important to address the two together when the issue is contraception in order to fight overpopulation and poverty). These documents are intended for all the faithful, are available to be read by all the faithful, and are representative of Church teaching, in spite of what any priest might preach in favor of contraception.

    Parting thought: Now, if we were to introduce the topic of abortion, that takes the exact same basic principles of the dignity of human life, but extends them to a degree that make a lot more people uncomfortable–yet I am curious as to how everyone would react to proposing the use of abortion for population control…

    There’s so much more to say on the subject, but this was also a lot lengthier than I expected…everyone is free to tl;dr it. lol.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 6:20 am

     
  72. KC says:

    @Getter Dragon 1: You introduced an issue that I also feel strongly on. Filipino Catholics have indeed historically been raised without real catechesis (to be fair, many Catholics all over the world have been raised with little catechesis), which leads to something like superstition more than religion. I have known many devout Catholics who could be called “uneducated” with regard to doctrines of the faith. I don’t think that is necessarily a problem–indeed, it makes their faith much more simple and child-like–but I DO think it’s a problem when doctrinally-uneducated Catholics continue to be doctrinally-uneducated while forming opinions about what the Church teaches. The resources are out there for those who have access to them. For those who don’t have access, we have a responsibility to teach them, to bring faith that is tainted with superstition to the clarity of faith refined with understanding.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 6:28 am

     
  73. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    @Netoy…that’s interesting what you said about nuns. Though I have to call you on it and ask where you came accross such information. Sounds more heresey than factual. When you say ‘reproductive malignancies’, what does that mean? What are the factors that put them at risk? When was this study? Who are the authors/sponsors? What is the methodology? Was this a local survey or an international one? Was this a long term longitudal study? Who exactly is in the cohort?

    @KC…its refreshing that you understand the church and that your knowledge goes beyond the Sunday sermon. But this is exactly what the population doesn’t understand or has the inability to learn because of the practice of the Christian faith at the fairy tale level.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 6:38 am

     
  74. marilen says:

    Excellent informed conversation about contraceptives. The burden is always on the poor – lack of education, lack of choices. Kawawa talaga sila – they, least of all who can afford to bring up many children. Here in the US, the nuns are under harsh Vatican critique for a “prevalence of certain radical feminine themes incompatible with the Catholic faith” in the group’s programs and “corporate dissent” regarding the church’s sexual teachings. I take that to mean that one of the issues the nuns are being accused of is tacit consent to the use of contraceptives. The nuns are the ones who work in the trenches, they know, they travail with the poor. One statistic cited that 98% of Catholic women in the US use contraceptives. What are we to conclude from that??? The official church equates it with sin, damnation????

    Aug 7, 2012 | 8:42 am

     
  75. KC says:

    @marilen: If that statistic were true it would indeed be appalling. However, it has been shown many times over by different sources to have been drawn incorrectly. Here is one such example: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/the-claim-that-98-percent-of-catholic-women-use-contraception-a-media-foul/2012/02/16/gIQAkPeqIR_blog.html

    While any percentage in such a statistic is not the aim, it is a reminder for both sides of a debate to be wary of inflated numbers out there that tend to fly around the internet without restraint.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 8:54 am

     
  76. ntgerald says:

    Oral contraceptive pills inhibit follicular development and prevent ovulation as their primary mechanism of action. Therefore, no fertilization takes place with their use.

    Preventing implantation is NOT their primary mechanism of action.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 9:06 am

     
  77. KC says:

    @ntgerald: you are correct in what you posted. However, many of the additional consequences of BCPs, the finer effects, are not recognized by those who haven’t studied their mechanism. Like any medication, it has no single effect on the body, and inadvertent abortion of a fertilized embryo can also occur depending on how the pill is taken.

    Whether or not the presence of a fertilized egg matters in the contraceptive debate is another issue, probably the next step in the debate as exposure public education on the matter continues to escalate, which it undoubtedly will.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 9:33 am

     
  78. ntgerald says:

    Still, it amazes me that people like to base their conclusions on the exceptions rather than the rule.
    For example, if condom use has been found to prevent STDs in 99+ % of the time, people who oppose condom use would declare that condoms are not effective all the time. Apparently, anything less than perfect is suspect for people who don’t like to listen, as the glass will never be full.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 9:54 am

     
  79. izang says:

    My husband and I supports the RH Bill.

    I am almost always disturbed seeing small kids playing almost like “patintero” with the jeepneys at the corner of Buendia and Makati Ave. They beg for coins or if you happen to be carrying food, these kids would be asking for it. I feel sorry for them, but when you give them money, they would run to some ladies (I don’t know if they are the mothers) sitting at the side of the Pacific Star building. These kids would give them whatever they collected then would run back out again to the streets to ask other passersby. Their ages seems to be around 3-6 years old, but them again they are so small they maybe older than they look. One time, I almost had a heart attack when a little girl of about 8, just calmly sat at the corner pedestrian lane while a PVP bus passed just a few inches from where she is. OMG. Can’t forget that sight.

    Doesn’t the Catholic church see these kids? They are almost everywhere. Under the LRT stations, selling plastic bags in every palengke, rummaging through fastfood garbage. I would like to try and help but most of the time it feels like a losing battle. A few coins would not last long.

    My family is Catholic. We studied in a Catholic school. But I almost was not accepted because my mom is an Aglipay. I do not know why that mattered. I grew up attending Aglipayan mass and nothing is different from a Catholic mass except that the priests are married and with family. And now I believe that makes a lot of difference. Is the approach of the Catholic priests “ideal” because of their vow of chastity? They do not experience the problems of a husband, a father, a provider. How can they preach about life in general? I had to go out of a Catholic mass once because I was so pissed with the sermon of the old priest. It was so idealistic, it seems so narrow-minded. If they can accommodate all the small begging kids in the streets, or those kids voluntarily being given up for adoption by their own parents, I will willingly support them.

    To me, it is more sinful to have children and not be able to provide for them. O irresponsibly get pregnant and get rid of it.

    BTW, nice stickers.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 9:56 am

     
  80. KC says:

    @ntgerald: I think you’re right that statistics don’t tell the whole story. I had a long, much too long, comment earlier, and I basically agreed in that I said science will not win this type of argument. I don’t support contraception in any form but after pharmacy school i’d be the last person to oppose it based on weak statements like “birth control pills cause cancer” (perhaps they do, but every other med has a side effect too). No, the basis of my stance is on support for the dignity of all human life.
    As far as I know there isn’t a scientific argument against that yet ;)

    Aug 7, 2012 | 10:02 am

     
  81. Marketman says:

    I truly appreciate the comments and discussion or conversation this post has attracted. Thank you and keep the comments coming… the more intelligent voices are heard, the better.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 10:19 am

     
  82. PITS, MANILA says:

    RH Bill for every one in my family too.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 10:20 am

     
  83. john says:

    Has anyone here, who seem to be not of the poor class bemoaned throughout here, regret being born? Wished their parents were not born? Can you say to your child, I wish I did not have you? Go RH, which has nothing to do with re-production. Call it any other name but not that

    Aug 7, 2012 | 11:17 am

     
  84. kurzhaar says:

    Being neither Catholic nor Filipino I hesitate to say too much on this except that from the outside looking in, it is distressing to know of the number of children living in abject poverty (not just in the Philippines but in several other countries). There are many things you can change your mind about: your job, your residence, whether you’re married or not…but you can’t change having a child.

    Readers might be interested in Melinda Gates’s campaign:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/melinda_gates_let_s_put_birth_control_back_on_the_agenda.html

    Aug 7, 2012 | 12:58 pm

     
  85. kurzhaar says:

    I’m being reminded here to mention that in our household we feel that if women had truly equal leadership roles in the Catholic church, the story on contraception would be quite different. Again, we’re not Catholics and don’t want to offend anyone, but we do know many friends who are practising Catholics or lapsed Catholics–the latter very often chose to leave the Catholic church because they did not agree with its position on important issues like contraception, the complete acceptance of women and the GLBT community, and the failure to take full responsibility for the child abuse scandals.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 1:06 pm

     
  86. Feliza says:

    “Our people are so talented and so skilled and brilliant and bright,” he said, citing Manila’s entrepreneurial street vendors and the 10 million Filipinos working overseas who boost the economy by sending money home.
    “When you have more people, you have a bigger labor force. You have a bigger social security base. You have more productivity. You have more consumption. More production. The whole cycle of the economy moves faster.” Former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/population/la-fg-population-matters5-20120729-html,0,5897961.htmlstory

    Idiots like him make me so angry.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 2:30 pm

     
  87. jakbkk says:

    God Bless the Philippines by helping pass the RH BILL!

    Aug 7, 2012 | 2:37 pm

     
  88. Andrea says:

    It’s about time the RH Bill is passed. I am intensely for it.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 2:55 pm

     
  89. det says:

    I am a catholic and I support RH bill!

    Aug 7, 2012 | 2:57 pm

     
  90. Alan says:

    I am opposed to the RH bill because I do not agree on some of the things in it. Like for example the possibility of teachers being put in jail and/or penalized or being forced to teach sex education even if they do not want to for religious beliefs or what not. Also some of the drugs / contraceptives listed on the acceptable methods of contraception are actually already abortion drugs. Also, parents should have a say on when their child should learn about sex and thus sex education should be voluntary, which it is already. I would also want to see any study that sex education and wide spread use of contraception improves the lives of people, i.e. are less poor. Has poverty levels in the U.S. or Europe lowered because they use contraceptives and approve of casual sex? Are societies having less babies better off? Isn’t it just going to encourage and make it more acceptable and easier to have sex outside of marriage, especially by teens? Why not just make it easier for parents, with too many children, put them up for adoption by people/couples who want kids but can’t have them because of medical reasons?

    Besides all of the information and education one needs on sex, fatherhood, motherhood are already readily available already in public Barangay health centers, even in schools through the guidance counselors and biology teachers. Condoms and many forms of contraceptives are available in drugstores and supermarkets already. Why do we need added government legislation for these? Why give teens access to contraceptives, like free condoms? Is it not like giving a drug addict drugs? Why make it easier for teens to have premarital sex? They are not ready for any of the responsibilities or consequences of having sex, not just the having babies part. Also, the Catholic Church is not against, as far as I know, teaching natural birth control methods to married couples so saying that the Catholic Church is totally against contraception is a misconception.

    Why can’t we just remove the highly debatable parts of the bill and just pass the parts that most everybody agrees upon? For example, better health coverage for both fathers and mothers. Better access to health benefits like subsidized nutritional supplements for mothers, more time-off before and after birth, especially for first time mothers, Require public establishments to have areas for breast feeding and changing, etc.

    I think parties that have vested interest, like contraceptive manufacturers (and I’m not saying that indeed they are), are lobbying for the RH Bill to be passed as it is now because if the really questionable parts were to be discussed on their own merits outside the RH Bill, they would not make it or pass into law. So we have to be very careful on what the RH Bill is blanketing or hiding in the guise of health issues. We have to make sure that ALL and not just parts of it make sense and is justifiable to make into a law.

    So as it is now, I am a no to RH Bill and Yes to Reproductive health.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 3:34 pm

     
  91. jakespeed says:

    So far, there are a lot of interesting opinions from those who are pro and anti RH. All of the comments here come from the educated class, I believe. In my opinion, the RH bill is not for us-who are aware of the intricacies of having more children than we can financially support. The RH bill, again in my opinion, is more for our poor brethren. They are the ones who will benefit from this bill. Not me, not the erudites, not those living comfortably, but those who are below the poverty line. It is for them-who are clueless about parenting, of planning a family, of how much will it cost financially to put a child to school that needs the RH bill the most.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 4:04 pm

     
  92. Carol says:

    I had a former colleague in Makati who, when she was in first year high school, was worried she was pregnant. After thinking about her dilemma for some time, she went to her teacher.
    13year old: Teacher, buntis po ako.
    Teacher: (alarmed) Iha, may boyfriend ka ba?
    13 year old : wala po.
    Teacher: Ba’t mo nasabing buntis ka?
    13year old: Kasi po araw araw akong dumadaan sa talahib pauwi, tapos ayun, napansin ko pong lumalaki tiyan ko.
    Teacher: (pauses) Iha, mataba ka lang!

    True story! No stir! This woman grew up in Metro Manila ha. I think this alone is enough reason to get the RH Bill passed.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 4:58 pm

     
  93. acid says:

    if giving poor Filipinos information and options with regards to family planning, and in turn give our lesser brothers and sisters a fighting chance in this world, would mean eternal damnation in the eyes of these bishops in their ivory towers, then show me the door to hell!

    Aug 7, 2012 | 7:01 pm

     
  94. Ceej says:

    “I can’t fathom how folks suggest that an RH Bill promotes promiscuity, as from everything I am seeing, it’s hard to get any MORE promiscuous” –> agree!

    Aug 7, 2012 | 7:49 pm

     
  95. Meg Abalos Mationg says:

    I am a Catholic and I am pro RH bill.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 8:25 pm

     
  96. Papa Ethan says:

    A provincial woman I know detests the hard life and the marriage she had gotten into and wished she had known better when she met her man. To cut the long story short:

    Woman meets man — an itinerant carpenter — through an arranged date; the couple goes to the cinema. In the darkness of the movie house, they kiss. Their tongues make contact. Woman is ecstatic! Days later, itinerant carpenter disappears.

    Woman panics. Woman makes sumbong to tatay. Tatay hunts down carpenter. Carpenter forced to wed woman. The Carpenters quickly become a big brood.

    Many babies later, woman finally understands that it takes much more than the mere act of kissing to become pregnant. But it is too late — for her and her kissing carpenter.

    (Bizaare story but very, very true.)

    Aug 7, 2012 | 8:42 pm

     
  97. tonet says:

    Educating people on Responsible parenthood is a right. We cannot go on multiplying like rabbits or making sexual intercourse as a past time without realizing the consequences of bringing more people into this world that we cannot even take care of. Obfuscation is corruption. What will the Church do to people who cannot escape the cycle of poverty because of the wrong choices or lack of education, pray for them? Diyos ko, ipag-adya nyo kami sa malalabo ang isip! RH BILL, GOGOGOGO!!!

    Aug 7, 2012 | 8:54 pm

     
  98. KC says:

    @Alan: just had to jump in and say good to see your thought process and that you’ve analyzed the WHOLE bill–a lot of times it is easy to get caught up in one issue. Really liking the logic and hope for more people to study this and other legislation in the same reasonable light!

    Aug 7, 2012 | 8:55 pm

     
  99. psychomom says:

    there are several issues being raised in this post, which are intellectually stimulating.

    several years back, i interned at a local Catholic hospital, we had to turn away some mothers who came in with intrauterine deaths (self inflicted by hangers etc, pills). we were told to not perform any procedures as they are tantamount to abortion. unfortunately, some of these women died waiting to be transferred to another facility. i could not comprehend this hospital policy as the fetuses were already dead, so in theory, we would not be performing abortion.

    I firmly believe in the sanctity of sex, marriage and life. using birth control methods is not tantamount to being against life as some people believe. God gave man a free will, to make choices, when to have sex, whom to have it with, when to have children etc etc. my personal conviction would be abstinence prior to marriage. but i am also a realist, knowing people have natural urges. we need to educate people, give them the necessary tools to make informed decisions.

    by all means, the RH bill is not perfect, not a panacea for the overpopulation and poverty issues in the homeland. perhaps it could be tweaked. i believe it is a step in the right direction. we need to at the very least educate the masses, give them a real fighting chance.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 9:03 pm

     
  100. maria says:

    20 years ago the Phils and Thailand had the same population, now we are ahead by 25 million! Religion aside, this simply shows that our popn growth is far outpacing other nations, and to say the least, is unsustainable! Our generation has made its choices but we can still make it right for future Filipinos!

    It makes me very sad, frustrated and bewildered to realize that some friends who are very educated, very successful, resort to simplistic, archaic thinking when it comes to the RH bill. Like today’s posts that the heavens must be weeping due to the affirmative vote for RH. makes ME want to weep. My family is Christian, we believe in the sanctity of life, and do not get how the Catholic Church is distorting the issue. They are getting too arrogant, pompous and uncontrollable – do they really think that everything that comes out of their spokesperson is gospel truth?

    This RH bill is so divisive, we need logic, reason and faith to prevail over our country, or it may turn friend against friend and church against church. God gave us wisdom so we may think and make the right choices.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 9:35 pm

     
  101. Nadia says:

    KC: you wrote “…That it (contraception) takes the natural process -God’s process- of procreation and puts it into the individual’s hands, for the individual to manipulate the divine design.”

    So if I decide to tell my husband, say one night, “Babe, I don’t want and can’t have sex tonight because I am fertile tonight, based on my ovulation calendar, and this may make me pregnant, and I don’t want to have anymore kids because we already have two, and we can’t afford to raise anymore children, and I still want to develop my career as a woman in the academe…”, wouldn’t this be considered a manipulation of the divine design? Why is this (the natural family planning techniques) acceptable to the Catholic Church when it can easily also just be used by women to manipulate the ‘natural law’?

    Women are born with a finite number of eggs in each of their ovaries that mature every month from puberty until menopause. Since we ovulate every month, you might say that by ‘divine design’ each egg should be destined to become a human being. But for anatomical, developmental, physiological and psychological reasons, obviously, that cannot and does not happen. Add to that the financial, emotional, social and other non-biological reasons why women CHOOSE NOT to get pregnant at every possible chance. Most of the time, women decide when to get pregnant or not mainly because of non-divine reasons. So I go back to my question – WHY ARE NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING TECHNIQUES NOT CONSIDERED ANTI-LIFE WHEN WOMEN MAY ACTUALLY USE THEM TO PREVENT LIFE FROM BEING FORMED???

    Aug 7, 2012 | 10:16 pm

     
  102. Avid Thinker says:

    Hooh! The comments here makes me more alive and kicking!
    Yes, we may argue back and forth on whether the RH Bill should be passed or not; the best debaters can be called to defend each side but the bottom line for me is, we will never know the effects unless we will not try it. So I am hoping and praying that the RH Bill gets passed ASAP so that we can see if it will really deliver results or not. Period.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 11:10 pm

     
  103. Katrina says:

    MM, I agree with all the points you made, as well as many of the points in the comments above, both for and against the RH Bill. We could all go on and on, debating about the bill’s pros and cons. However, in a democratic country, which ours supposedly is, only one point should matter: the constitutionally mandated separation of Church and State. Any argument based on religion has NO place in this discussion. I say this categorically: I will not consider opinions based on religion, and neither should anyone in government who is voting on this bill.

    For the record, I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic schools, etc. My mother is very devout; she is an active member of prayer and bible study groups, and even counsels according to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Yet, even she said that the law must NOT be written to favor Catholics, because she acknowledges that not everyone in the country shares her faith, and she believes in respecting other Filipinos’ beliefs.

    Our laws guarantee every citizen — I repeat, EVERY citizen, regardless of religion — the freedom to act according to their own conscience. Therefore, preventing anyone from access to information, health care, and, yes, contraception, because you PERSONALLY think it’s wrong, is — no ifs and buts about it — unconstitutional and illegal.

    Aug 7, 2012 | 11:29 pm

     
  104. friedneurons says:

    Ultimately it boils down to this: If you are against contraception for whatever reason (religious, moral, scientific), then by all means don’t use contraception youself. But you do not get to prevent other adults of sound mind and body from using it. It’s neither your right nor your business. “The church says so” or “the Bible says so” is not license for anyone to impose their morality on others’ reproductive decisions. The populace has to be given the information to make their own conscious choices, and – if they’re needy, which the vast majority of Filipinos are – the help to act on those choices.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 12:08 am

     
  105. KC says:

    @nadia: I’m not sure if those caps were directed at me specifically…but let me try to address your question. I didn’t mention NFP because most people won’t even consider it, so there’s no point in bringing it into most discussions. But I can clarify your issue with NFP being used to essentially avoid pregnancy.

    The Catholic church doesn’t recommend NFP with the view of preventing life.

    Again–NFP used with a contraceptive mentality is NOT in line with church teachings.

    This is a very important distinction to make as NFP becomes more well known. It is not to be used as a tool to avoid procreation. This kind of contraceptive mentality is potentially just as damaging to a practicing Catholic as the use of contraceptives, because it skirts the issue at hand, which is openness to life.

    Couples who use NFP are educated as to a woman’s natural cycle and may choose to have intercourse during those times when the wife is less likely to become pregnant IF AND ONLY IF it is not her aim to avoid pregnancy; the couple must be just as open to life as at any point in her cycle. Using it with a contraceptive mentality is wrong; as wrong as contraception in intent if not in deed.

    The comparison between NFP and contraception (let’s take condoms for example) doesn’t quite hold, namely because it’s difficult to assign a different motive to using a condom besides that of preventing pregnancy. NFP, if I’ve explained it well enough, is not used to avoid life, because a couple using it continues to be open to life.

    I hope that helps your understanding of the role of NFP in a Catholic marriage.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 12:08 am

     
  106. MT says:

    I’m no longer a Christian, having left after realizing that I was practicing only because it was a religion that I inherited from my parents. This does not make me any less a believer in the sanctity of life, in human dignity. Where’s the sanctity and dignity of life when crimes are committed on innocent children by priests who are supposed to protect them?

    We can parse all we want about the RH bill’s pros and cons but they mean nothing, just a whole lot of BLAH, BLAH, BLAHs until we undertstand what it means to live in abject poverty with no means to pull oneself out of it. Do we truly know what it means to live on the streets, to look for the next meal in a garbage can and live near a garbage dump? Where’s “dignity of life” when you live in makeshift home, with nothing but tattered clothes on your back nor shoes or tsinelas to protect your feet? Do we truly know what it means to beg or be called a beggar if only to survive? To be a child and living on the streets? To have no access to basic necessities such as water, shelter and health care? To have no voice?

    Aug 8, 2012 | 12:36 am

     
  107. Tercer says:

    I am not familiar with the current Philippine constitution but I am under the impression that it is not a theocracy, but a democracy where there is still a separation of state from church. The state’s responsibility is the physical and mental well-being and greater good of the nation’s residents, environment and resources, whereas the church deems itself the keeper of our souls as (?) guaranteed by the constitution’s freedom of religion. In all the arguments I’ve read, this simple point of fact seems to have been lost. If the church – any church – should preach politics from the pulpit, then that body transitions to a political organization and thus lose their tax exemption and become subject to all the laws applicable to political action groups. Could it be that the Philippines is and has been all along a theocratic government masquerading as a democracy?

    Aug 8, 2012 | 1:14 am

     
  108. Meg says:

    We need to stop poverty in the Philippines. I’m 100% for RH bill

    Aug 8, 2012 | 2:20 am

     
  109. Katrina says:

    Tercer, that is exactly the point I was making in my comment above. :-) All the other points can be argued endlessly, except for that very basic one: because of the separation of Church and State, as mandated by our Constitution, no one has the right to impose their personal beliefs on the rest of the country.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 2:37 am

     
  110. marilen says:

    Thanks, KC, for the link. I do want to be careful about citing statistics that ‘bear’ out/reinforce only my point of view.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 2:38 am

     
  111. juls says:

    “7. Everyone has the right to have as many kids as they want. But my point is, shouldn’t all kids have at least the basic right to sufficient food, decent housing, a solid education, etc.? They DIDN’T ASK to come into this world, their parents caused them to come into this world. And yes, I believe we each should be responsible for raising and providing for our OWN offspring. ”

    TUMPAK!!!!

    Aug 8, 2012 | 3:01 am

     
  112. Lava Bien says:

    Knowledge is power!
    Start with this, where in, any holy books, scriptures be they Christian, Catholic or Jewish that it says “PURGATORY” (in any language) is real, forget real. Where is it even mentioned? With Google and Bing in our hands please show me where in the BIBLE does it say “PURGATORY”? Yet millions of people believe this made up place. Jesus never mentioned it. Heaven is mentioned directly many times, why not PURGATORY? Ohh it kinda did hehehe yeah sure.
    Truly, the truth shall set you free!

    Aug 8, 2012 | 5:10 am

     
  113. mum2beagain says:

    I have yet to understand why the basic right to plan our own lives draws so much controversy. Is it not honouring and raising the sacredness of the family unit to ensure that each child is given the best there is – health, education and quality of life – regardless of race, social class and religion?

    The RH Bill is not a finite solution to all the problems. It is, though, a step towards giving everyone a fighting chance at designing and affecting their futures.

    http://www.no-controversy.com/ makes for an interesting read.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 7:30 am

     
  114. Nadia says:

    KC: Good morning and thanks for replying to my question/s. I understand and respect your arguments about contraception. But in relation to your last comment, my question now then is…If NFP “is not used to avoid life”, then what is it for? For the woman to rest? To space out children properly by timing pregnancy? But when you do make that decision, aren’t you avoiding life at that current moment and just delaying it to a time when the woman feels right to create life and develop it in her body? What if I use NFP to delay having a child for say the next 3-4 years, but I am still open to having children after that period because I will be more ready? I am still open to life…just not at the present time. So is that still contraception?

    Aug 8, 2012 | 8:30 am

     
  115. KC says:

    @Nadia:

    Good morning to you too, and thanks for your questions. I think a good start is a quote from the encyclical “Humanae Vitae” (which, by the way, you might be interested in reading in its entirety, since selections from the discourse don’t do justice to what the work as a whole means to communicate): “Neither the Church nor her doctrine is inconsistent when she considers it lawful for married people to take advantage of the infertile period but condemns as always unlawful the use of means which directly prevent conception, even when the reasons given for the later practice may appear to be upright and serious. In reality, these two cases are completely different. In the former the married couple rightly use a faculty provided them by nature. In the later they obstruct the natural development of the generative process. It cannot be denied that in each case the married couple, for acceptable reasons, are both perfectly clear in their intention to avoid children and wish to make sure that none will result. But it is equally true that it is exclusively in the former case that husband and wife are ready to abstain from intercourse during the fertile period as often as for reasonable motives the birth of another child is not desirable. And when the infertile period recurs, they use their married intimacy to express their mutual love and safeguard their fidelity toward one another. In doing this they certainly give proof of a true and authentic love.”

    I’ll mention my thoughts on this part of the encyclical and welcome yours.

    Restricting intercourse to the infertile period of the wife’s cycle is not a guarantee that she will not become pregnant. If NFP is practiced carefully, then it might almost always guarantee that she will not become pregnant, but “always” is a tricky word and usually not accurately applied. However, like I said, it can reduce the likelihood of pregnancy to a very small probability.

    A husband and wife, from “well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances” (quoted from the same encyclical) know their intent and know their specific situation better than anyone else could. We can gather that such a couple might choose to practice NFP and be guided by natural processes based on their particular situation, whatever that might be. You are correct in saying that this active avoidance of fertile times is avoidance of pregnancy itself. But this is where I revert back to the phrase “contraceptive mentality”–is the couple (and each couple knows their true intent) open to life should conception occur? does the couple wish to avoid children, or are they availing themselves of a natural cycle of infertility? The intent of using an IUD or condom or BCP is clearly contraceptive, while the intent of using NFP is very dependent on the husband and wife taking care to foster well-informed consciences in order to avoid the contraceptive mentality that I mentioned.

    I hope that sheds some additional light on the first comment; NFP is a very interesting topic even if solely because of the grey area it runs the risk of introducing, and I do welcome your thoughts.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 9:32 am

     
  116. Aya says:

    As someone working in the health sector–that oral contraceptive pills cause cancer is a great mistake. Before women are allowed to use OCPs by their healthcare provider (who, by the way, should be trained to dispense FP commodities), they’re to undergo a series of check-ups, including Pap-smear to determine her reproductive health. This then increases the detection rate for cervical cancer which, in turn, is most likely to make people think that “OCPs cause cancer.”

    It’s just sad that this perspective is often overlooked, and that OCPs are immediately accused of causing cancer in women.

    Oh- and for the record, contraception pertains to both natural and artificial methods. It’s wrong to say “natural family planning and contraception.”

    Aug 8, 2012 | 9:41 am

     
  117. KC says:

    @Aya: I had just finished posting another comment on NFP when I saw yours, so I wanted to take the opportunity for comment-readers to distinguish NFP from being classified as contraception in the framework of my comment (intended for Catholic audiences in particular) due to the moral grounds associated with the use of NFP vs. other “standard” means of condoms, BCPs, IUDs, sterilization, etc.

    Marketman, most mentally-taxing post you’ve put up yet, for me at least, and I’ve been reading for years! Can we get a good fluff post next? ;]

    Aug 8, 2012 | 9:51 am

     
  118. Heck says:

    Wow. This is one interesting post. And the comments provided by readers even made it a worthwhile read. Anyway, what I cannot understand or find confusing about this issue is why the catholic church would not allow the government to do its obligation / responsibility to its citizen. Population management is, and would remain to be a concern that needs to be administered by the government and not by the catholic church. The catholic church clearly needs to respect this and acknowledge the fact that there really is a line separating the church and the state.

    I definitely understand that the catholic church cannot comprise on certain sensitive issues in the bill. But, I am also certain that they can be more progressive, proactive and INVOLVED in the issue of population management. For one, they can launch their own family management program where they can both preach and educate (especially those who are truly poor / poorest of the poor). Aren’t they supposed to really reach out to those who need enlightenment and guidance (even in family management)? Perhaps one of the issues they can enlighten people on is that – go forth and multiply – need not be taken too seriously and too literally.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 10:13 am

     
  119. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    @KC – LOL…’most mentally-taxing post’…indeed! I’ve either contemplated or have written and then deleted responses to continuing posts. The subject matter covers so much.

    But its important and such things should be discussed openly. And that’s another enabler for so much ignorance. That issues such as reproduction and opposing views on faith are not openly discussed because of ‘taboo’ or saving face. If you think about it, most folks would quote from the Bible rather than the encyclicals as to how doctrine applies to the real world.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 10:25 am

     
  120. KC says:

    @Getter Dragon 1: haha, I’ll attribute my liberal references to “Humanae Vitae” to the fact that some comments had a few (admittedly common) inaccuracies about the Catholic view of contraception, and I thought, what better way to see what the Catholic church says about contraception than linking to her published documents?

    I’ll take it that you would rather me draw direct quotes from the Bible than encyclicals…another mentally-taxing challenge! but for a different purpose ;]

    Aug 8, 2012 | 10:35 am

     
  121. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    @KC – Nah, if we start quoting from the Bible, then I think it might be saying that it would be ok to keep slaves.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 10:44 am

     
  122. Marketman says:

    The type, breadth, depth and tone of the comments is wonderful. I am swamped at the moment, hence no new posts, but will try to get some up soon.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 10:54 am

     
  123. Cecile says:

    Good morning! I love the comments to this post. Mas binasa ko pa ang comments kesa post ni MM (ooops! :) sori po no offense meant!).
    But I totally agree with comment #20 of Part Time Homemaker: …I am anti-abortion but this bill is not about abortion, it is anti-ignorance and will help alleviate poverty. It gives people a choice and is something our country desperately needs. A controversial opinion: only taxpayers should have a voice anyway! <<<I am for the RH bill and I think since taxpayer's money funds any form of assistance that the gov't extends to those in need only taxpayers should have a voice on issues that will eventually use taxpayer's money!

    Aug 8, 2012 | 11:07 am

     
  124. RV says:

    It’s not fishpan or a chainsaw post but the comments are overwhelming. I had to read each and every comment just to see what the majority has to say.

    I believe in ensuring that the people are informed and are given the choice as this is one step to a progressive country. I am still positive that this country can become like Singapore.

    @Cecile: I totally agree with your controversial opinion. As taxpayers we should have a say on where our hard-earned money is going to be used.

    I am a Catholic and I don’t agree with what the CBCP is doing. I am Pro-RH bill and believe on the separation of the church and the state. They should not threats to anyone as it is unbecoming of a person who talks about loving and respecting one another.

    I am hoping that the lawmakers pass the RH-Bill ASAP! Let’s end ignorance once and for all.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 12:05 pm

     
  125. Aya says:

    I seriously wish more people would actually read the bill. It’s not like it’s so hard to access it. Plus, it’s super easy to read. Walang undertones or subtexts.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 1:11 pm

     
  126. Papa Ethan says:

    Hello to all. Yesterday I received a text message which essentially made a forced connection between the numerical date (8-7-12) to the corresponding biblical scripture (Genesis chapter 8, verses 7 o 12). The passage refers to a portion of Noah’s story — a very timely topic.

    Taking that incredible “coincidence” further, purveyors of such thinking then conveniently drew the conclusion that the present calamity that we are suffering is a direct consequence of the state’s RH Bill proposal. In other words, we are reaping God’s punishment for even entertaining such notions!

    Many comments above mention the prevalence of ignorance (lack of knowledge) regarding sex education in general, and indeed, that is a major factor behind our overpopulation problem. But the other side of ignorance — possessing false or misleading information, as in the “flood” example yesterday — is equally dangerous.

    The problem with church-sponsored campaigns is that these quickly degenerate into blind fundamentalism and mass hysteria because the arguments are delivered by provoking religious sentiment instead of articulating the issues point by point in a clear and rational manner that the multitude can understand.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 1:16 pm

     
  127. Dodi says:

    MM, I teach in a Catholic-based medical school but when it comes to the RH Bill, I cannot bring myself to teach the wrong ideas and lies that the religious groups wishes us to teach to our MEDICAL students. What I teach in the college is the true information on reproductive health and the reproductive system focusing on the course of life from conception to birth.With that, I hope that the enlightened students would have the wisdom to be able to teach other people as well. I do not add to the “fire and brimstone” nor do I feed to wrong perceptions. This is how reproductive health ought to be taught to our people. Religious groups keep on harping that our people are “conservative”, in thought maybe, but truthfully, not in real life. I have sat beside a couple of 10 year old girls in an internet cafe, surfing pornographic sites without batting a eyelash!! And the number of young, single mothers in our country is escalating!! I have spoken to non-medical students and young people whose knowledge about sex and the reproductive system are so twisted and convoluted that it leaves me exhausted just to correct them! How can the religious still contend that our people are conservative? It is now a myth which basically flew out the window when the colonizers left! I believe that the RH Bill will give our people the access to right information and eventually, the right to able to decide for themselves what they can do with their bodies. And our people’s knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases are still based on “barkada” knowledge, third-hand information and stories; utterly wrong information for example, on how HIV and AIDS come about. Majority of our parents do not know what to tell their kids just on that matter alone, worse! Sadly, our politicians pander to religious sentiments instead of letting their constituents be informed of the real content of the RH Bill.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 1:55 pm

     
  128. Dodi says:

    MM, thanks for this post. This is why I subscribe to you…its not all food for the stomach, but you give us food for thought as well. Again, salamat!

    Aug 8, 2012 | 2:08 pm

     
  129. Cecile says:

    @#117, RV: Yes po it really is controversial and I know the constitution won’t allow it but that thought is also a shared sentiment by some (like post #20 Part Time Homemaker who inspired me to comment)…:) This post is electrifying! It’s good to know that most Filipinos are very observant and willing to “help” make things better…bakit di na lang pagbotohan ng mga mamamayan ang desisyon sa RH Bill? :)

    Aug 8, 2012 | 3:38 pm

     
  130. ntgerald says:

    Position statement of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society on the Reproductive Health bill.
    http://www.pogsinc.org/v2/index.php/component/content/article/10/53-pogs-position-statement-on-rh-bill

    Aug 8, 2012 | 4:30 pm

     
  131. Connie C says:

    More contraception, less corruption? an interesting correlation:

    http://www.rappler.com/nation/9865-more-contraception,-less-corruption

    MANILA, Philippines – According to the Conference of Catholic Bishops of the Philippines, contraception leads to corruption.

    But does it really?

    Health consultant and Johns Hopkins University graduate Oscar Picazo posted on his Facebook page the graph ( see link) that argues otherwise.

    Picazo wrote on his wall: “The Catholic Church in its rally yesterday claimed that contraception leads to corruption. I tried to see a statistical basis for this assertion and gathered a few random countries’ contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) and corruption perception (rankings).”

    “It turns out that the Philippines, with the lowest CPR is the most corrupt, and countries with high CPRs (US, Turkey, South Korea, Australia) were the least corrupt. What this means to me is that contraception is associated with the dissipation of corruption, contrary to what the Catholic clergy says.” (Read: Catholics clash over controversial RH bill)

    The CPR data were downloaded from the United Nations website while the corruption perception index (rankings) is from global corruption watchdog Transparency International.

    Picazo, an independent consultant in health financing and systems with experience in the US, Kenya, and South Africa, told Rappler that he is “not out to prove anything” but the information “shows an interesting thing that social analysts need to explore further.”

    Aug 8, 2012 | 6:47 pm

     
  132. corrine says:

    Wow, this is what I call “nose bleed” discussions. I can’t say I am pro or anti because I haven’t read any thing in detail about both arguments. But, the link to the POGS’ stand was helpful and so was KC’s. Personally, I think what is more alarming is the loss of values of women (and men, pero if the woman says NO, the man won’t pursue, generally) through the years. It is true that there is a high percentage of pre-marital sex, unwanted pregnancies, separation rates, and live-in arrangements (even among those above the poverty line). Just looking at my staff, more than 50% of them are single mothers (other women “snatched” their husbands), or had unwanted pregnancies with their boyfriends (Ate, di ko akalaing mabubuntis ako.” — true story). It may be true that the RH bill is more for the poor because those who can afford to buy contraceptives can do so quite easily. So, RH bill or not, contraception has been happening among the educated, working, and financially capable, not necessarily rich. I think ONE of the steps to be undertaken is to instill good values in our children, us parents together with the school. Then again, there is already the problem of population growth and abject poverty which we also have to address. So I think both sides has its own merits.

    Interestingly, here is an example for a government’s population control efforts: CNN reported that China, with its one child policy and strong belief that sons are better than daughters (hence, baby girls are aborted) , may experience a future population comprised mainly of men, which could result to some problems. Read this interesting article… http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/09/could-chinas-one-child-policy-change/.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 8:26 pm

     
  133. MP says:

    I agree with Tercer and Katrina, the Church should not meddle with the issues of the State! I walked out when a priest said in his sermon that “kayong mga maka-RH bill ay makasalanan”… Seriously??? I haven’t been to church after that.. I refuse to be insulted by an ignorant person again!

    KC, if you truly want dignity for all human life, how do you propose we do this when millions of men and women procreate without even knowing how to give their kids decent lives? My question is not premised on a view that opposes yours but I am truly interested to know what you think we should do to arrest our overpopulation problem (which you acknowledge to exist) and the unfortunate by-products of such.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 8:30 pm

     
  134. britelite says:

    I wish all priests will think like Fr. Bernas S.J.—well most if not all.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 9:09 pm

     
  135. lee says:

    Interesting read. From where I am right now, reading such mind opening exchange of thoughts about issues of my home country really helps. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Keep the thoughts flowing :)

    Aug 8, 2012 | 9:10 pm

     
  136. marilen says:

    This has been the most forthcoming civil intelligent discussion on the RH bill. Please keep the conversation going. Thank you, MM, for facilitating and thank you everyone for all your insight.

    Aug 8, 2012 | 9:41 pm

     
  137. netoy says:

    @GetterDragon1 – it is not my intent to be heretical about nuns and breast cancers or any form of cancer for that matter. I am of Christian faith and in the nursing field and will consciously not smear the images of these God-servants (talking about pedophile priests is another matter!). However, the correlation between nuns and breast cancer is well-known – it is related with the female hormones. Here are some links:

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2011/12/08/should-nuns-take-the-pill-for-health-reasons/

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21253-nuns-should-go-on-the-pill-for-anticancer-protection.html

    http://www.parade.com/health/askdrrosenfeld/womens-health/nuns.html

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/5777491

    Aug 8, 2012 | 9:48 pm

     
  138. boo says:

    I am a catholic and i am pro-RH bill.

    I believe the the church is relying on its antiquated vatican codes and it needs updating to address the issues of the realities before us.

    Further more there should be separation of powers of the church and state. It seems like the Church is back with their old tricks they have used on us Filipinos since the Spanish times. Nothing has changed

    I also believe the Pres Aquino is a very brave man for going against the Catholic church for the greater good of Filipinos. He risks excommunication as a Catholic. But then Id like to see if the church can really do that.

    Aug 9, 2012 | 1:08 am

     
  139. Chris says:

    This is probably the most level-headed discussion I’ve read online about the RH Bill. Thank you for opening it up and for providing a civil venue for everyone to participate in.

    I was about to link the post to twitter/Facebook but thought to ask your permission first. Do let me know if that’s ok. Thanks again!

    Aug 9, 2012 | 1:31 am

     
  140. kaye says:

    I am for the RH Bill as well.. seeing tons of kids flocking the streets to beg or sell sampaguita or whatever they can breaks my heart. I always ask my husband how come they are able to produce tons of kids while living on the streets, how do they do it and where and why don’t they think of the child’s welfare once it’s delivered. He would always tell me coz they don’t have television to keep them company, it makes me laugh but it’s really an issue that needs to be addressed right away. I don’t know why they still have to dispute about it. I can also use some of those stickers MM! thanks!

    Aug 9, 2012 | 1:55 am

     
  141. kristin says:

    I AM CATHOLIC, AND I AM PRO RH BILL. For the future of a better Philippines!

    Aug 9, 2012 | 4:45 am

     
  142. Marvin says:

    interesting discussion we have here. i guess majority of the people here believe that the Catholic Church is wrong with regard to the RH Bill.

    frankly speaking, i am really confused – you know that part, where ideas get so heavy and clashing, you wish to get out rather than be embroiled?

    it seemed that i have been following a false/bad/evil religion for the past 23 years of my life.

    Aug 9, 2012 | 6:54 am

     
  143. Marketman says:

    Chris, yes, please go ahead and link… I have only had to moderate two outrageous comments from the same new commenter, otherwise, all comments here are as is… that really says a lot for the level of discussion on this topic… and I thank readers for that.

    Aug 9, 2012 | 7:28 am

     
  144. Marketman says:

    I AM SENDING OUT OVER TWO DOZEN ENVELOPES WITH STICKERS FOR ALL THOSE WHO EMAILED ME THROUGH THE CONTACT FORM OF THIS BLOG. THEY ARE GOING BY MAIL, SO HOPEFULLY YOU WILL ALL GET THEM IN A FEW DAYS TIME. I WAS AMAZED BY THE VARIETY OF DESTINATIONS, FROM BAGUIO TO PAMPANGA, BACOLOD TO CEBU, AND ALL OVER MANILA FROM TONDO TO QC TO ALABANG…

    I still have a few more stickers if anyone else would like some.

    Aug 9, 2012 | 9:37 am

     
  145. Robert Alvarez Hyndman says:

    Your post is just what we need to get back at the Catholic Church and their BRAINWASHED, politician/subalterns. Yes, I would appreciate any number of stickers you can send me. I also love the comment: CBCP GET OUT OF MY BEDROOM! Perhaps we can come out with these stickers, too. More power to continue your crusade.

    (Address removed for privacy)

    Aug 9, 2012 | 12:04 pm

     
  146. Papa Ethan says:

    Marvin, let’s remain sober while being critical. To call the anti-RH camp as a “false/bad/evil religion” is to be no different from what MP (comment #127 above) described. If you notice, many of the erudite comments supporting the bill come from devout, God-fearing Catholics. Let us not confuse the message with the messenger.

    Peace, man! =)

    Aug 9, 2012 | 12:48 pm

     
  147. Lil says:

    I am a catholic and I am PRO RH bill, you should see the mothers of my patients (I am a pediatrician by profession ) .. Last month alone i have 5 newborns born to mothers under 16 years old , most of them dont even know what they’re getting into… I also commend Pres Aquino for making a stand. This should be top priority!!

    Aug 9, 2012 | 3:57 pm

     
  148. quiapo says:

    One result of overpopulation is warfare. The Korotayev/Turchin hypothesis is that there is a link between overpopulation and warfare. Other responses of overpopulation have been epidemics/pandemics facilitated by overcrowding, poor hygiene and malnutrition. If we do not take corrective action to provide properly for our people, there are mechanisms that will result in horrific outcomes.
    `I grew up in a Manila that had pure drinking water straight from the faucet. Now I understand you are lucky to get any water at all, and you drink it at some risk.
    There has been a bit of safety valve in that some of our excess population has been able to find employment overseas, at substantial personal cost. Older european states coped with their population excess by exporting people to the colonies. Migration overseas is now limited, there are no colonies for us.
    One response to overpopulation in closed societies such as Pacific Islands has been horrific conflict, such as Easter Island. Other societies practised a form of infanticide. Repressive hierarchies to preserve property rights among elites resulted in mass starvation on some islands.
    We need to limit our population. There really is no choice.

    Aug 9, 2012 | 4:52 pm

     
  149. ros says:

    A little known fact from 1997:

    “In humans, it has been estimated that between 30% and 70%
    of conceptuses are lost before or at the time of implantation, without
    women being aware that they were pregnant.”

    http://publish.uwo.ca/~kennedyt/t108.pdf

    and in this 2008 study : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18681994

    … only 20% of natural cycle IVF achieved implantation.

    As Prof. P.Z. Myers(developmental biologist, i.e. an embryologist) sums it up:

    “Implantation is one of those critical phases in development: one half or more of fertilized zygotes fail to implant and are spontaneously aborted, and the woman wouldn’t have even known fertilization had occurred, her body wouldn’t have begun the physiological changes of pregnancy, and if the process ended here, she wouldn’t have even noticed a delayed menstruation.”

    “The odds favor this zygote ending here or shortly afterwards, even without any intervention. Nature spawns these embryos freely, and throws them away casually, almost with the wild abandon that we produce gametes(eggs and sperm cells) in general. It is not a precious little person, it is an experiment, a trial run, a test probe, a pilot study, a beta run. No one should care if it aborts or not; most of them do, and we are completely unaware of most of them.”

    “No one does abortions at this stage.”Source

    So I really do not understand the Catholic Church’s love affair with zygotes(BTW I’ve read the 1968 encyclical) and the “Personhood Movement” in America, e.i. the re-definition of the word “Person”, to include zygotes/embryos, thereby any form of action after fertilization that would not result to full term birth would be considered and punishable as murder. I really do not hope that we will be treading on the same path.

    It’s the “Information Age” people! Inform thyself, do not be chained down by misinformation, hearsay and personal anecdotes. The three main things when reading info from the Internet is: Citation, citation and citation. :D

    Aug 9, 2012 | 5:20 pm

     
  150. John says:

    As it is configured today (socio-economic-political structure, moral fabric, archipelagic geography, technological adaptation), Philippine society is hard-pressed to support 97 million people. Any measure that will allow our society to help each Filipino achieve full potential is welcome. Such measures include initiatives from all sectors — education (for the youth with extra emphasis for women), poverty alleviation (CCT, feeding programs, livelihood, micro finance), employment generation, values enhancement, anti-corruption drives, and other programs that contribute to a sense of social justice. Our leaders (religious, political, civil society, business) and their constituents have adamantly expressed their views and positions on Bill No. 5043. I am sure that our elected leaders will have discerned enough on the implications of such a state policy on the future of our Philippine society! Vox populi vox Dei.

    Aug 9, 2012 | 7:44 pm

     
  151. satomi says:

    I saw this on Facebook…. Manila in the 1920’s, population 600,000!! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151329976114488&set=a.226285759487.174521.772454487&type=1&theater . Look at how

    Aug 9, 2012 | 9:57 pm

     
  152. Joseph says:

    5. I personally give staff birth control seminars which they attend on a voluntary basis. Over the hundreds of folks I have personally come across, the vast majority were NOT AWARE of even the basic arguments for or against contraception or contraceptive methods. Many had no clue beyond the most basic description of why or how anyone gets pregnant.

    This is the best remedy! The State has never been good at helping people- but good people like you have. The State has been fighting poverty forever, promoting education forever, and graciously supported with the help of states from around the world…has it really made a difference? Individuals like you make the difference not the state, thank you!

    Aug 9, 2012 | 10:09 pm

     
  153. raven says:

    I’ve learned more about the RH bill here than anywhere else. :)

    I am pro-RH bill, but it is great to see the other side of the coin (even though I still disagree). At the core of it, I am pro-education and pro-choice.

    @KC, thanks for providing a well thought-out argument against the RH bill.
    If I may, I am curious about your opinion (it is the middle of the night, so please bear with me) —

    Since people will make a choice one way or another (using contraceptives, for example), why not help them make an informed decision? What harm is there in educating people and letting them decide for themselves? Being educated about reproductive health, you choose not to use contraceptives. Shouldn’t everyone be equally educated and allowed to make their choice from there?

    This may seem like a limited view, and I know there is more to the RH bill than that, but I am curious on this particular point. Thanks for your thoughts :)

    Aug 10, 2012 | 1:01 am

     
  154. Getter Dragon 1 says:

    @Netoy – Thanks for clarifying and yes, I am familiar with the nun study. Not to detract from the original post, but there are several long term studies invoving priests and nuns because of tennants of their vocation. Further to the arguement that science and religion are not different, but one in the same.

    Aug 10, 2012 | 1:43 am

     
  155. YB Masdal says:

    Definitely, overpopulation could lead to economic woes as income generated by the country, no matter how wide, could merely be diluted or even unevenly distributed; this becomes ultimately unideal.

    Though in my mind, I believe in finding a middle ground on this issue.

    Aug 10, 2012 | 7:28 am

     
  156. psychomom says:

    @ raven, i agree with you! no one bill will suit everybody’s needs since we are all individuals. but at the very least, offer the education (risks/benefits/alternatives) and then they can make their choices/decisions. that is what is called INFORMED consent.

    Aug 11, 2012 | 12:01 am

     
  157. Marichu says:

    Dear MarketMan,
    First of all, I would like to greet everyone with a happy, blessed day. It is so great to live in this age where we can discuss our opinions with anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Though it’s not the same as meeting in person (with interjections and interruptions erupting throughout), I can definitely hear the passion in each argument.
    Second of all, may I just say it is this type of interaction that has me checking your site first. I only have once a week to browse the internet at leisure (such is the price to pay for living in a go-go-go world). This is the site that makes me stop and smell the adobo.
    Third of all, regarding the topic, I am pro-RH bill. I grew up as a (non-practicing) Catholic, questioned God, and with the help of my husband, chose to become closer to God. Such a word that is: choice. To have a choice means we have been granted free will. Is that what the (human) powers-that-be are afraid of? Choice/free will? Once the people are given this free will to choose, are the (human) powers-that-be afraid the people will then ask to have more choices (in such matters as who to elect and all of the responsibilities that come with the job)?

    Aug 11, 2012 | 3:19 am

     
  158. tercer says:

    Many (if not all) the issues raised about the RH bill and it’s impact on a Catholic nation has already been extensively debated by the Brazilians, the largest Catholic nation on earth. Here is an excerpt from a news article from CBC Canada:
    “Brazil’s government is cutting the price of birth control pills to less than 25 cents for a month’s supply so poor women can afford the contraceptive. The move comes just two weeks after a visit by Pope Benedict XVI, who used his time in the mainly Roman Catholic country to condemn abortion, contraception and sex outside marriage.
    On the eve of the Pope’s arrival, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva issued a statement saying he opposes abortion personally but he views it as a public health issue. Brazil already gives out millions of condoms, especially just before the annual Carnival celebrations, to prevent the spread of AIDS.” Read the full article here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2007/05/29/pill.html

    Many of you already know that Brazil’s economy is today spoken of in the same hushed awe as China and India, and yet we still remember Brazil of old as a waste pit of overpopulated cities, rampant crime and corruption, a veritable petrie dish of diseases and AIDS, unparalleled depravity in the slums they call favellas.

    Brazil may be a very good specimen for the Philippines to study because of so much commonality. A study published in PBS: “Despite having the most Catholics in the world, 80 percent of Brazilian women of childbearing age are using some form of artificial contraception. In partnership with National Geographic Magazine, special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro examines the declining fertility rate, which has dropped to just 1.9 children per woman.”
    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/july-dec11/brazil_08-30.html

    Now, even the order-loving Germans are touting them as a shining example of good governance, as thye wrote in this article http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/good-governance-series-how-brazil-became-a-model-nation-a-843591.html

    So what happened in less than a generation? Many changes were implemented and they had a run of really good leaders. Chief among them was Lula Da Silva who was probably the most popular politician in the world in his time. He was the one who changed the attitudes of his people, fought the corruption and even more heroically, fought the Catholic church. He succeeded and if not for the constitutional term limit, he would have won a third term. But as tempted as the Brazilians were to amend their constitution, they stood by their constitution and its principles. A very rare quality especially among developing nations.

    We don’t have to blindly follow Brazil’s path, but certainly we also shouldn’t be blind to what they’ve done and continue to do.

    Aug 11, 2012 | 3:36 am

     
  159. aggy says:

    well said, MM!

    Aug 11, 2012 | 7:01 pm

     
  160. jingle says:

    Marvin, even within the catholic magisterium, there is disagreement re contraception. The majority report of the 1966 Papal Birth Control Commission (first commissioned by Pope John XXIII in 1959) was in the opinion that contraception is NOT against the catholic teaching. Pope Paul VI, however, took side with the minority and wrote the Humana vitae.

    Aug 12, 2012 | 9:55 am

     
  161. Dave B says:

    i enjoyed reading this post and its comments. i’m glad that although the topic is potentially divisive, this thread proves that there could be a rational, intelligent discussion on the rh bill. i’m pro-rh, but i really appreciate the arguments on the issue made by my co-readers, especially kc’s.

    Aug 12, 2012 | 12:09 pm

     
  162. shiko-chan says:

    Thanks for this Marketman. For the record (but as anyone with access to my FB Wall can easily deduce), I am also in favor of an RH Law. Brain got overwhelmed and shut down halfway through the voluminous comments, but I always appreciate an intelligent and articulate discussion, which is terribly hard to find among Filipinos on this topic, and you, Marketman, have provided the space (and the rules!) for it to happen. :)

    Aug 12, 2012 | 1:16 pm

     
  163. shiko-chan says:

    also, I’d love a sticker but I don’t have a car or other large, publicly visible object to display it on :( hehe just to show that not asking for one doesn’t necessarily mean not wanting/needing one. :)

    Aug 12, 2012 | 1:25 pm

     
  164. shiko-chan says:

    And sorry to spam, and I know this is several days late, but for what it’s worth–

    @KC: “But supporting measures like the RH bill is a quick fix that doesn’t attempt to preserve morality and the dignity of human life while addressing such problems.”

    Thanks for your efforts. So does this opening statement of yours mean that you don’t agree that education and information “preserves morality and the dignity of human life”?

    Unless I’ve misunderstood you, your opposition to the Bill appears to stem from your essentially Catholic convictions. Which is all well and good for you individually–after all, we are a republic that is theoretically, fundamentally, democratic–but are you not basically imposing your religious beliefs on the rest of the theoretically, fundamentally, democratic country?

    Or do you believe that we should not, in fact, be a fundamentally democratic country, but rather one that is theocratic?

    @Alan: “Why can’t we just remove the highly debatable parts of the bill and just pass the parts that most everybody agrees upon?”

    Yes, we certainly can. Thanks to the vigorous, no doubt divinely inspired efforts of our people and our politicians, the RH Bill is still and only in the amendments stage. It is still, practically speaking, a very long way off from enactment.

    I for one understand for your objections to the particular provisions of the Bill. However, on grounds of practicality, I cannot agree with them. I believe we should pass the Bill immediately, even with these imperfections, for the sake of the poor women (who cannot afford the condoms etc. that are in stores! Between buying condoms and buying instant noodles for their starving children, what do you think they would choose??) who stand to benefit the most, and stand to benefit immensely. Employers and other aggrieved parties can then disobey the law if they like (as if that doesn’t happen everyday for many other laws), and if they get caught, then they can question the provisions before the Supreme Court.

    Mine is a more practical than theoretical approach to the matter than, perhaps, yours, but I believe our country needs practical people now. We have theoretical people coming out of our ears (which is why we have so very many lawyers and politicians!) and it has not gotten us very far at all. Our women need help faster than our oh-so-brilliant perfectionist approaches can give them.

    Aug 12, 2012 | 1:48 pm

     
  165. mary chen says:

    yeheyyyy!!! enough said! RH bill supporter din ako!

    Aug 12, 2012 | 6:14 pm

     
  166. Katrina says:

    http://manilatimes.net/index.php/opinion/columnist1/28666-sometimes-the-catholic-church-falters-badly

    Full disclosure: Maribel Ongpin is my mom’s cousin, but that has nothing to do with the fact that I absolutely agree with her on this issue.

    Aug 13, 2012 | 3:33 am

     
  167. Im says:

    Bakit hindi magbigay nang pera ang Catholic Church sa manga mahirap na maraming anak kung ayaw nila nang RH bill? Karamihan sa mga mahirap na ina ay dumadami ang anak dahil wala silang pambili nang birth control pill o kaya condom. Sa palagay ko kaya ayaw nang Catholic church ang RH bill para dumani ang mga myembro nila, di ba? Salamat MM sa post na ito.

    Aug 13, 2012 | 9:31 am

     
  168. Alan says:

    @ shiko-chan …I believe we should pass the Bill immediately, even with these imperfections, for the sake of the poor women (who cannot afford the condoms etc. that are in stores!

    I am all for giving poor MARRIED women condoms but it should not be handed out in schools or given out to un-married people. I mean there are my OTHER ways, and sexual actions (wink-wink) that will lead to the Big O without the risks of getting pregnant. Come on, do I have to spell it out here…think, get creative; use your brain, mouth and hands if needed. I do not know if people who are married by the courts are required to have sexual education and family planning classes, but they should. They can learn ways of getting each other satisfied without need of full on, “Baby Making” penetration action.

    And another thing, provisions in the bill that may allow products that are abortives is not an imperfection, it is MURDER. Everybody thinks about the rights of a woman and her body. What about the rights of a defenseless embryo / fetus? He/She did not ask to be made but through our actions he/she was made. As adults we have to take responsibilities for our actions. Yes..yes there are exceptions to every rule like if the pregnancy is life threatening, rape,…etc. but these are exceptions; they should be made the rule.

    @Im Bakit hindi magbigay nang pera ang Catholic Church sa manga mahirap…

    May mga programa ang mga simbahan para sa mahihirap tulad ng feeding program, scholarships at livelyhood projects. Kaya hindi rin ninyo dapat sabihin na walang ginagawa ag simbahan para sa mga mahihirap. Maraming paraan makipag-sex na hindi hahantung sa pagkakabuntis na hindi nanganga ilangan ng condom….magisip ka na lang kung papaano o buti pa pumunta sa Barangay Health Center para magtanong at matuto ng mga paraan.

    Just because something is legal does not mean it is right and moral. It is the Catholic Church’s responsibility to uphold what is moral and not what is popular. We tell our teenagers not to give in to peer pressure and yet we expect the Church to give in to peer pressure. Just because other countries are doing it does not mean it is right and that we should do it too. Many of our greatest heroes and thinkers and business tycoons are a product of poor and humble beginnings so there is something to be said for being poor.

    Aug 13, 2012 | 4:45 pm

     
  169. izang says:

    Another thought, I remember before getting married that my partner and I were required by the munisipyo to attend a family planning seminar to complete the requirements prior to the issuance of the marriage license. We were 9 couples then, and we were the eldest at 26yrs old. Two girls (literally, they were 18yo when asked) were heavily pregnant. Others were in the range of 21-22yo. During the course of the discussions, I remember seeing the heavily pregnant girls giggling with their partners when the speaker started to demonstrate how to use a condom on an eggplant, with further giggling when the words jumbo hotdog was mentioned. Yes, I too, found it awkward and funny. Despite the age gap, we were probably on the same wavelength. Knew nothing much about family planning than what was discussed among friends.

    Aug 13, 2012 | 8:09 pm

     
  170. ros says:

    @#160 Alan

    Wow! First off, pardon me if you will, but I am just utterly confused by your post that I am compelled to inquire/reply to your post.

    On your 1st paragraph you mentioned “OTHER ways, and sexual actions (wink-wink) that will lead to the Big O without the risks of getting pregnant”. I assume you’re Catholic? If you are I think you’ll need to consult your parish priest regarding this opinion of yours. Or at least kindly review this site: http://www.catechism.cc/articles/marriage-bed.htm

    “But any acts which would constitute sexual acts if brought to completion, such as oral sex, anal sex, or manipulative sex, are not foreplay; these acts are explicit sexual acts, which lack the unitive and procreative meanings, and so these acts are intrinsically evil”

    Regarding your 2nd paragraph, kindly refer to my post, post #141.
    Now with this verified scientific facts in hand. Would you still consider that a few clumps of cells has the same “rights” as the mother or any other person? Will the Catholic Church perform a funeral service for a zygote that naturally failed to implant and ended up on a feminine-napkin. Will it hold the same level of veneration that given to a corpse of a deceased person?

    “May mga programa ang mga simbahan para sa mahihirap tulad ng feeding program, scholarships at livelyhood projects. Kaya hindi rin ninyo dapat sabihin na walang ginagawa ag simbahan para sa mga mahihirap.”

    Lets face it, religion IS business, and these programs are first and foremost missionary in nature; e.i. intended to procure/persuade new business(members), which will bring more money to the Church’s coffers. The humanitarian side of it is just a desirable side effect.
    Oxfam, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Médecins Sans Frontières are examples of truly humanitarian secular institutions. And yeah Marketman’s feeding program, coz last time I checked there isn’t a “Church of Marketman”, which takes advantage of undernourished elementary students.

    “It is the Catholic Church’s responsibility to uphold what is moral and not what is popular.”
    Wow! So the Catholic Church is the sole arbiter of what is moral and what is immoral?
    What of the 1 billion Muslims, 1 billion Hindus, 700 million Atheists/Agnostics or Christianity’s other flavors? Where do they get their morals? Are they moral in the eyes of the Catholic Church?

    “We tell our teenagers not to give in to peer pressure and yet we expect the Church to give in to peer pressure. Just because other countries are doing it does not mean it is right and that we should do it too.”

    How about this argument: “Just because The Holy Roman Catholic has been well established in Europe and everybody is doing and accepting it under the pain of death or excommunication, it does not mean it is right and that we should do it too.”

    The last US ship left Subic in 1992 that would make our country a truly independent nation of 20 years old and a Third World Country(a former colony). We didn’t have an Age of Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Scientific and the Industrial Revolution. Very young indeed. And that is why we should look at other countries with older histories, to learn from them. What works and what does not. And as a developing country, we simply cannot afford to take chances and make the same mistakes other older countries have endured, it would be a shame and an affront to History.

    Lastly: “Many of our greatest heroes and thinkers and business tycoons are a product of poor and humble beginnings so there is something to be said for being poor.”

    That’s Selection Bias. How many “Manny Villar”s do you think the current pool of people; who are under the poverty line, would produce? Does this reasoning justifies their current suffering? Is it moral to further balloon their numbers in order to further increase the rate of producing “Manny Villar”s?

    Thanks for reading and your consideration.

    Aug 13, 2012 | 11:13 pm

     
  171. Im says:

    From # 153“May mga programa ang mga simbahan para sa mahihirap tulad ng feeding program, scholarships at livelyhood projects. Kaya hindi rin ninyo dapat sabihin na walang ginagawa ag simbahan para sa mga mahihirap.” Kung ito ay totoo at hindi pakitang tao lang , sa dami nang pera nang Catholic church, bihira na siguro ang mga batang nagugutom at karamihan sa kanila ay nag aaral para sa kanilang kinabukasan. Totoo ba na maraming bilyong pesos ang investment ang Catholic church? Baka nag kakamali lang ako. MM sorry off topic na yata ito.

    Aug 14, 2012 | 9:12 am

     
  172. crackinthewall says:

    @Im
    They have around 17 billion.
    http://www.pinoymoneytalk.com/church-philippines-rich-wealth-stocks/

    They do feeding programs but how often do they do it for one community? Unless they do it everyday until these kids turn 18, those poor kids will be malnourished, succumb to sickness and some would even die at a young age. Yes it is the parent’s responsibilities to clothe, feed and shelter their children but when you have eight kids and you earn less than minimum wage irregularly, it would be a miracle if all your kids grow up well-adjusted, literate and healthy. A month of feeding will not do much for these children and the Catholic Church is not willing to support EVERY poor kids till adulthood. We can teach the community proper nutrition but when they only have a hundred pesos for their whole family in a day, they would rather be able to feed their children anything than worry about their children’s nutrition.

    @ros:
    Couldn’t agree more!

    Aug 15, 2012 | 5:47 am

     
  173. Im says:

    crackinthewall, Tama pala ako kaya ayaw suportahan nang Catholic Church ang RH bill para dumami ang mga meyembro at maski 10 porsyento lang ang mag abuloy tuwing simba, may dagdag pa rin sa 17 bilyon na naipon.

    Aug 15, 2012 | 8:28 am

     
  174. shiko-chan says:

    @Alan

    “I am all for giving poor MARRIED women condoms but it should not be handed out in schools or given out to un-married people.”

    And WHERE is this in the (not yet amended) RH Bill, exactly? This indiscriminate distribution in, lemme see, schools and to the unmarried? Hmm, can’t seem to find anything…….. MarketMan in his infinite decency has kindly provided a link in the post to the full text.

    “And another thing, provisions in the bill that may allow products that are abortives is not an imperfection, it is MURDER. Everybody thinks about the rights of a woman and her body. What about the rights of a defenseless embryo / fetus?”

    So you are proceeding on the assumption that an embryo/fetus = PERSON who is susceptible of MURDER. If that is your RELIGIOUS belief, I respect that (I’m Catholic too yet I know how to respect different beliefs–how about that!). But unfortunately this is not a legally correct thesis, and ours is still–theoretically–a country of LAWS and not of men (unfortunately, not even of women, it seems). Maybe you and your church should instead push a Bill to amend our Civil Code, instead of throwing everything but the kitchen sink at this perfectly useful, helpful, sensible Bill.

    interesting that the pro-RH Bill commenters so far in this thread apparently still believe that their (religious) beliefs should prevail in a theoretically non-religious state. Maybe instead of going against this Bill, you should back Charter Change instead–change us from a republic to a theocracy.

    Aug 15, 2012 | 11:09 am

     
  175. MP says:

    Alan, I find it tragic when someone uses the Church’s irregular and limited feeding and livelihood programs to promote their “good deeds” and sort of use it as a justification for their opposition to the RH bill. Unless the Church formally commits to providing healthy meals to each and every impoverished child until they reach the age of 18 and send them to school then I will continue to support any measure that will provide individuals proper RH information and make informed responsible parenthood choices.

    Tito Sotto’s latest senseless pronouncements are equally tragic. Manny Pangilinan volunteered to resign when he was caught plagiarizing speeches of various personalities. One can only hope that Sotto will resign as he and his speech writers plagiarized someone’s blog.

    Aug 16, 2012 | 12:33 pm

     
  176. Marketman says:

    MP, just read about that. As usual, outrageous. And he has denied copying the text, despite it being nearly IDENTICAL for sentences on end… tsk, tsk.

    Aug 16, 2012 | 5:09 pm

     
  177. Giancarlo says:

    Thanks for this post MM.
    We all have to show our support.
    RH NOW!!

    Aug 19, 2012 | 4:16 pm

     
  178. Mike says:

    good to know your position on this issue, MM…the cause needs more visible supporters like you… now i like you MORE! :D

    Aug 19, 2012 | 6:00 pm

     
  179. Shalimar says:

    MM… I have been away for a while and manage to catch up with news.. do you realised that there is also a high rate of teenage pregnancy among the Filipino youth in Athens?

    These kids were mostly raised in Greece, have access to doctors and pills but their parent do not educate them.. I used to do it but I am barely there now..
    My own gyno used to say, ” don’t these kids have mothers?”

    Aug 22, 2012 | 12:04 am

     
  180. Alan says:

    @ #162 ross

    Hi, Ross. When I mentioned “OTHER ways, and sexual actions (wink-wink) that …”, I am assuming that the RH bill is for all religions and faiths. So if your religion or faith is against it then don’t do it. I was just suggesting that there are other ways of achieving sexual gratification that does not need contraceptives and has a considerably lower chance of getting pregnant.

    as to post #141 All I get from that is that it is not necessary to perform an abortion at that stage because for one, the mother did not know there was a fetus and two, no need for abortion because the fetus was already aborted naturally. The difference between getting an abortion or taking an abortive and the fetus being aborted naturally is the knowledge and intent. I mean there is nothing one can do if the fetus was not viable or did not successfully implant itself. It is an abortion if you deliberately took actions or medicines to ensure that any fetus has little or no chance to implant or kills the fetus directly.

    Also, when you say “Would you still consider that a few clumps of cells has the same “rights” as the mother or any other person? ” We are not taking about a finger nail or cyst or a toe here. The fetus has the potential to become a fully functioning human being. A toe or fingernail, until science can grow a fully living human from a single cell, does not. Besides the “…the Philippine Constitution itself mandates that it shall “equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.” (Article II, Section 12, 1987 Constitution)” from http://www.likhaan.org/content/dswd-position-protection-unborn-child-act-hb-13. So you see the unborn has rights from the moment of conception, it is in our constitution.

    And as for funeral services, I know of people who have had Church funeral services for miscarriages.

    “Wow! So the Catholic Church is the sole arbiter of what is moral and what is immoral?
    What of the 1 billion Muslims, 1 billion Hindus, 700 million Atheists/Agnostics or Christianity’s other flavors? Where do they get their morals? Are they moral in the eyes of the Catholic Church?”

    Yes, for Catholics, just as Muslim leaders/priests also decide what is moral in their religion, ect. In fact, the laws we pass decides what the non-religious consider moral and immoral. So in a sense being non-religious is a religion in itself, the religion of non-religious.

    “How about this argument: “Just because The Holy Roman Catholic has been well established in Europe and everybody is doing and accepting it under the pain of death or excommunication, it does not mean it is right and that we should do it too.”…
    The last US ship left Subic in 1992 that would make our country a truly independent nation of 20 years old and a Third World Country(a former colony). We didn’t have an Age of Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Scientific and the Industrial Revolution. Very young indeed. And that is why we should look at other countries with older histories, to learn from them. What works and what does not. And as a developing country, we simply cannot afford to take chances and make the same mistakes other older countries have endured, it would be a shame and an affront to History. ”

    Exactly my point. Is there any evidence that first world countries have lower abortion rates and teen pregnancies or unwanted pregnancies because of contraception use? See post #170 Shalimar There are also studies that show that population is not a determining factor in poverty levels. You are also very quick to point out the mistakes that, as you put it, “The Holy Roman Catholic” Church has done in the past. How about the mistakes that our government leaders have made? Some government officials and leaders have multiple families, affairs, are corrupt and yet you are willing to follow them. There are the people who have wronged you directly or indirectly in your lifetime. The church of the medieval times is so different from the Church now, for one no more inquisition. When was the last time you were threatened with death by a priest for wanting to join another religion?

    “That’s Selection Bias. How many “Manny Villar”s do you think the current pool of people; who are under the poverty line, would produce? Does this reasoning justifies their current suffering? Is it moral to further balloon their numbers in order to further increase the rate of producing “Manny Villar”s? ”

    I was just pointing out that being born poor does not mean that they are doomed to being poor all their lives. And I did not mean that it justifies uncontrolled population growth,nor am I belittling their suffering.

    As I stated my earlier post. I do want a reproductive health bill passed but not the current one with its flaws and vague generalizations.

    Aug 22, 2012 | 6:04 am

     
  181. Tara says:

    In an ideal world, the church should not really meddle with the business of the state. But, I suppose, that’s next to impossible in the Philippines.

    From what I have read on the RH Bill, one has to be mad to be against it.

    I have one child and the financial implication of having one is felt by us and we are both professionals and living in a country where health care is free and (good) education is free.

    What is the percentage of Filipino mothers leaving their children behind to work as nannies and domestic helpers in richer countries in order to provide for their children back home? If they had all the information about family planning, had access to contraception, would they have had so many children only to leave them with relatives and work abroad?

    The argument that this will lead to loose morals? Really? Seriously? Isn’t it more ‘immoral’ to have children and not able to provide them with good nutrition, good health and future?

    (I have not been to the Philippines since 1989, I have no desire to get involved with its politics, but personally, as a woman, this Bill is important. The UK’s NHS is not perfect, but when I was pregnant with my son, I did not spend a penny. I had my regular check ups, I was given leaflets to read and when I had back pains, I was offered weekly accupuncture. This is a state, with its imperfections, taking care of its citizens/tax payers, and I hope one day it will be like this in the Philippines too and this Bill is a good starting point as any).

    Aug 22, 2012 | 6:28 am

     
  182. ros says:

    @Alan, thanks for the response.

    “I am assuming that the RH bill is for all religions and faiths. So if your religion or faith is against it then don’t do it.”
    –Precisely, that is the essence of having a “Secular State”. A State that is legislating laws that doesn’t favor or discriminate any religious institutions. Laws that are applicable to ALL of its citizens regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, faith or lack thereof. So if you are a Teacher or an OB/GYN employed by the State. And the State recognizes that sex-ed and access to contraception are “rights” of its citizens. Then the State has all the right to ax you, if you are denying other citizens of his/her rights, based solely on the grounds of your religious(supernatural) belief. Like you say “…if your religion or faith is against it then don’t do it.”. QUIT. Blame your religion for the “guilt trip” and stop asking a “Secular State” to bend and follow every whim of your religion.
    Also why is then a particular religious group, *cough* *Roman Catholic Church(RCC)* *cough*, is spreading misinformation and is meddling with the legislation of a Secular State? And acts as if they have a monopoly on morality and are paying taxes?

    “I was just suggesting that there are other ways of achieving sexual gratification that does not need contraceptives and has a considerably lower chance of getting pregnant.”
    –”Other ways” which are unfortunately labeled by the RCC as “intrinsically evil”. Ergo WE are moral, THEY are not. Or WE are “true”/”real” Catholics, THEY are not.
    Anyways, yeah, I got it, I am no stranger to “Modular Catholicism”; e.i. choose/take/follow whatever suits your lifestyle/financial state as long as you still keep your business(donations, weddings, baptismals, funerals, house blessings, fiestas, etc.) with us. Pardon, but I am not just really fond of, of this “WE vs THEM” religious mentality. It’s an antithesis to Humanist values, ever heard of the term “Pogrom”?

    “All I get from that is that it is not necessary to perform an abortion at that stage because for one, the mother did not know there was a fetus

    and two, no need for abortion because the fetus was already aborted naturally.”
    –Really? The numbers/statistics doesn’t bother you? You’re not experiencing any form of “Cognitive Dissonance”? I mean the way I see it, the RCC theology dictates(in 1968) that “life”(ensoulment actually) begins at fertilization and a zygote is as precious as any person. Yet modern empirical science (Reality/Nature) shows us that, as I quote once again: “Nature spawns these embryos freely, and throws them away casually, almost with the wild abandon that we produce gametes(eggs and sperm cells) in general.” Using the RCC’s theology then this is tantamount to mass killings of “innocent” zygotes, how precious are they now? Are you just taking/dismissing this information on faith? Or is this one of those times when the “all powerful” desert god of the RCC has a free pass on everything that he does? The “Might makes it Right” theology? Anyways I’m not compelling you to answer that personal question. Your consideration would be enough.

    “The difference between getting an abortion or taking an abortive and the fetus being aborted naturally is the knowledge and intent. I mean there is nothing one can do if the fetus was not viable or did not successfully implant itself. It is an abortion if you deliberately took actions or medicines to ensure that any fetus has little or no chance to implant or kills the fetus directly.”
    –See my earlier post, #52
    Being raised on an egalitarian home, I believe that any person or institution that would deny this right from women and/or would demonize this “choice”, will be not be good on my book. Convince me(with “real world” evidence/rational reason) otherwise.
    Also: “Imbuing fertilized eggs with rights isn’t a serious philosophical position, it’s a convenient rhetorical tactic to justify subjugating women.” –

    -“The Scrambled Logic of the Egg-As-Person Movement” by Lindsay Beyerstein

    ”We are not taking about a finger nail or cyst or a toe here.”
    –I believe you meant “talking”? Anyways, Yes, one is mainly keratin, another is a clump of misinformed cells(if you are referring to cancerous cysts), the last one is an external appendage. And there are no religious ideologies as far as I know of, that glorifies those body parts as being a person and proclaims that it has the same/equal rights as me. If there is, then let me know and I’ll be hacking away at it.

    “The fetus has the potential to become a fully functioning human being.”
    –Yes, but apparently not all, (WARNING! to the squeamish) “Sirenomelia”: usually with no kidneys. “Anencephaly”: no cranium. So what now does the theology of the RCC says about these “precious” fetuses? Should they be treated like a finger nail or cyst or a toe? Or a person?
    Personally using their own theology it simply declares the capriciousness of their made-up desert god.

    “A toe or fingernail, until science can grow a fully living human from a single cell, does not.”
    –Theoretically it does can. Ever heard of cloning? Dolly, a sheep grown from a single mammary cell. Heck even chimeric human/pig embryos are possible now. –New Scientist:”Pighuman Chimeras Contain Cell Surprise”
    But until religious organizations end this love affair with zygotes and fetal stem-cells and quits its meddling with scientists doing good research(that may cure cancers, genetic and auto-immune diseases), it may never happen.
    I fully understand their grim, because a cloned human and even IVF babies of today, conflicts with their tenet of Ensoulment. They will have to concoct another story that is fully consistent with their medieval theology, if ever a human clone is born in the modern age. And theology can be very taxing indeed.

    “So you see the unborn has rights from the moment of conception, it is in our constitution.”
    –If only the authors of the 1987 Constitution had access to that 1997 published research and modern medical science. But it cannot be helped they didn’t have the foreknowledge. Unlike Sen.Sotto, citing outdated medical books from the 1970’s. –Rappler:”The Other Sins of Senator Vicente Sotto”
    Like real science, laws are/should be open to revisions and amendments using the most up to date, “real world” information. The U.S. Constitution have gone through 27 of such amendments, so far. And I believe we are very much in need of one. Just because it is the law it doesn’t mean that it’s not open to questions/discussions/revisions. I know this may be hard to grasp for those who grew up dealing with the “absolute laws”/dogma of their religion. Where questioning equates to blasphemy. But this is how a democracy functions, this is not a theocracy.

    “And as for funeral services, I know of people who have had Church funeral services for miscarriages.”
    –So a dead zygote on a feminine-napkin/tampon could be accepted then? Wow! I even heard that for the right price, those who died of suicide, can now be admitted in Church for the funeral service. But hey “any business is business” right?

    “Yes, for Catholics, just as Muslim leaders/priests also decide what is moral in their religion, ect.”
    –”what is moral in their religion”, Yes, I totally agree, as long as it stays that way; “in their religion”. But when a particular religious group is influencing a secular State’s legislation, that will affect citizens of varying faiths/beliefs, then we have a problem. Would you agree if the State mandated that pork and meat products are illegal because of Islamic and Buddhist principles? NO.

    “In fact, the laws we pass decides what the non-religious consider moral and immoral.”
    –No. Religiosity and Morality are two different things and I think you’re conflating the two. There are atheist who breaks the law. There are religions with immoral principles and Secular Morality that doesn’t include any religious principles/supernatural reasons.
    I believe we have a differing beliefs on the origin of morality. I for one believes that it is NOT through “revelation” but mainly through the Evolution of social animals.
    –Click here

    “So in a sense being non-religious is a religion in itself, the religion of non-religious.”
    –Like “NOT collecting stamps” is like stamp collecting?
    Being non-religious is the default position; a state of non-choice. The moment you choose a particular religion to follow, that action/choice would now automatically makes you a religious person.
    Yeah, it happens especially when the term “religion” is loosely and vaguely defined and changes from person to person; argument to argument.

    “Is there any evidence that first world countries have lower abortion rates and teen pregnancies or unwanted pregnancies because of

    contraception use? See post #170 Shalimar”
    –Abortion rates, none, it’s hard to determine statistically, would you report an action if it is being demonize by a powerful and obscenely rich religious organization? And be ostracized/stigmatized because of it? But on “teen pregnancies or unwanted pregnancies” and proper sex-education, there is. And I believe you agree that all three are intimately related. –Click here

    I believe post #170 of Shalimar is pointing out the perceived lack of sex-education of kids born to Filipino parents in Greece, and not the high incidence of teen pregnancies of Filipino kids in spite of having an easy access to contraception. Shalimar can clear that up.

    “There are also studies that show that population is not a determining factor in poverty levels.”
    –Which one? On the other hand religiosity may be used as a determining factor of poverty levels. –Click here

    “…as you put it, “The Holy Roman Catholic””
    –Nitpicking are we? Mea culpa. Sometimes it’s difficult and errors creeps up when transcribing what is racing in my mind, into key-strokes. I believe you can relate. You’re also human after all.

    “You are also very quick to point out the mistakes that, as you put it, “The Holy Roman Catholic” Church has done in the past. How about the mistakes that our government leaders have made? Some government officials and leaders have multiple families, affairs, are corrupt and yet you are willing to follow them. There are the people who have wronged you directly or indirectly in your lifetime.”

    –And that is a perfect example of a “Red Herring” argument. The mistakes of the government officials or the moral standards of politicians that may/or not have wronged me directly or indirectly; that I may be willing to follow (I do not know how do have all this personal knowledge of me), IS IRRELEVANT as to whether or not the RCC have made mistakes in the past. All the while claiming it has moral superiority.

    The mistakes of the RCC(a FACT), is not even my original point. I am merely pointing out the irony of your argument that “Just because other countries are doing it does not mean it is right and that we should do it too.” And yet at the same time you seem to be supporting a FOREIGN religion, and seems to be not questioning whether it is right or its truth-claims correct.

    “The church of the medieval times is so different from the Church now, for one no more inquisition.”
    –Uhmm, sorry to break it to you, but there still is; “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”. Old Ratzy even served as its Prefect once. A change in name does not imply its dissolution. E.g.: MECS –> DECS –> DepEd. If you are referring to the atrocities of the Spanish Inquisition(by/with the consent of the RCC); that it’s no longer being perpetrated today. I blame the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” of 1948, born out of Humanist values and not of the RCC. Besides it would be very bad for

    the business for not supporting it. Especially after a Catholic ordered the extermination of 6 million Jews.

    “When was the last time you were threatened with death by a priest for wanting to join another religion? “
    –I couldn’t remember the last time. But when I was an impressionable young boy, every 5th Sunday of Easter when John 15:6 is read:

    “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

    Can you conceive the effect of that on a child’s imagination? “Whole body, every square inch of skin being burned for not believing.” And they

    say video games of today are too violent. Somehow “Born Again Xtians” are also parroting the same verse to me, waiting for a reaction that I do

    not know. But when asked about this particular logical progression:
    “An infinite love will not allow eternal damnation. An eternity of torture requires infinite hate”; they would slink away and leave me with leaflets/flyers, like telling me somehow that the leaflets/flyers will be better at conversation than them.

    “I was just pointing out that being born poor does not mean that they are doomed to being poor all their lives.”
    –Of course, no one is contesting that. This is not about Class Conflict or Poor vs Rich as being perpetrated/circulated by certain groups. Last time I checked, the Bill doesn’t include any systematic extermination of the poor, it’s about proper sex-education for better reproductive health and population control as a means to alleviate poverty.

    “And I did not mean that it justifies uncontrolled population growth,nor am I belittling their suffering.”
    -Point taken, but then it’s very hard to empower the masses when a religious principle that glorifies suffering, pain and poverty as a virtue is rampant.
    “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” –Matt. 5:5

    “I do want a reproductive health bill passed…”
    –Agreed

    “… but not the current one with its flaws and vague generalizations.”
    –Whose side is not giving up an inch? Stop the delaying tactics so that the Bill can go through the period of amendments, you know maybe change/revise it without “flaws and vague generalizations”.

    Again thanks for reading and your consideration.

    Sep 9, 2012 | 5:29 pm

     
  183. john says:

    With all the fervor for an overreaching government-run program such as the RH bill, what now with the cybercrime law? Yes, this will be the same government apparatus that tells you what is the right way to talk and think will run the people control program. Surrender to the government.

    Sep 28, 2012 | 1:28 pm

     
  184. Cora Ronquillo says:

    Please send me some stickers so I will put on my car and on my jeepney.
    my address details:
    Cora M Ronquillo
    2315 Dolores
    Capas, Tarlac

    Thanks in advance

    Oct 12, 2012 | 9:28 pm

     
 

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