Source: PhilStar from A LAW EACH DAY (Keeps Trouble Away) By Jose C. Sison
|Photo Source: Ipaglaban Mo|
Undoubtedly, the most controversial and divisive bill ever introduced in Congress is the “Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, Population and Development” bill (RH bill). The title itself is already questionable as it covers several subjects, contrary to the universally accepted and ideal standard of statutes requiring only one subject.
The sad thing here is that this paralyzing disunity among us now is not of our own making. It is due to the machinations of international organizations and foreign entities which are trying to impose on us their own agenda of population control by means of a law (the RH bill) providing for universal access to artificial methods of birth control like contraception and sterilization.
More unfortunate is that in pushing for this RH bill, its foreign funded proponents and supporters concentrate their attack on the Catholic Church for its allegedly outmoded teachings against contraception and sterilization. And when the Church prelates responded to the attack by defending the Church teaching, they are even branded as “bishops at war”. Actually, the bishops are opposing the bill merely because, as good shepherds, they have to protect their flock from going astray or sinning, and from the known evil effects and dire consequences of contraception promoted by the bill.
By blocking the passage of the bill, the bishops are not likewise violating the principle of separation of church and state. As CBCP President Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu says in his letter to the congressmen dated August 2, 2012, “the Church is opposed to the bill not because it wants the State to become the enforcer of its teaching against contraception. The Church is simply asking that no law be passed trampling upon its religious convictions and beliefs”.
On the other hand, it is actually the State which is violating this principle if the bill is passed because it appropriates and uses the money of taxpayers who are 80 percent Catholics, to support contraception and sterilization even if they are contrary to their religious belief and moral values.
To be sure, as repeatedly pointed out before, the more vital issues surrounding this bill are matters of fact and of natural and human law, not a matter of faith or religious belief.
These facts are: (1) that it is not necessary to control our population growth in order to achieve economic progress. Indeed this administration itself claims that our economy is improving right now even if our population is still growing; (2) that the solution to poverty lies not in controlling the number of poor people but in providing for their basic needs to get out of poverty; and (3) that reproductive health is abortion because it provides access to artificial contraceptives that cause or lead to abortion and other serious health problems. This is proven by the actual happenings in countries which have reproductive health measures similar to the bill being proposed here, where abortion, broken marriages and broken families abound.
Contraception violates natural moral law because it tampers with the natural process in the transmission of life as designed by God for man. “Natural law is based on human nature and on God’s plan for the good of humankind and is therefore applicable to all men and women no matter what religion they profess” Fr. Robert A. Latorre, Catechesis on Contraception, 13-14).
The human law violated is Section 12, Article II of the constitution requiring the State “to protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution” and to “equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception”. Obviously, since contraception results in abortion and cause cancer and other serious ailment on the mother, it violates this provision. And assuming that contraception merely prevents conception, Congress cannot pass a bill promoting it because the constitution only orders the State to protect the life of the unborn from conception but does not empower it to prevent conception. So, the RH bill is definitely unconstitutional. Of course family planning can still be practiced. But it should be done by naturally avoiding conception instead of artificially preventing it.
The meddling foreign groups with their sinister agenda have apparently created a deep wedge among the Filipino people and their leaders, using media and poll surveys to show that more than a majority of Catholics support the bill though it runs counter to the teachings of their Church.
This rift created more impact, when one hundred ninety two (192) professors from Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) recently published a position paper expressing their support for the RH bill claiming that it “is a vital piece of legislation that needs to be passed urgently” because, among others, “it promotes the reproductive health and reproductive health rights of Filipinos especially those who are most marginalized on this issue — our women, poor families and young people”. While these professors made it clear that they are speaking for themselves in their “individual capacities”, their move still caused more turmoil because Ateneo is a Catholic Institution.
The professors would like to make it appear that they are giving “preferential option for the poor”. This is a noble end indeed. But the end does not justify the use of illegal and immoral means like contraception and sterilization. Granting that they have academic freedom, it is still unbecoming of them as professors to ignore or feign ignorance of the facts and the law on the RH bill they are endorsing.
Indeed, according to ex Senator Tatad, the timing of the publication of their position paper gives rise to speculation that the foreign lobbyists also corrupted the academe because “it is not known whether the professors had prepared the statement themselves or the foreign funded PLCPD, which has been doing much of the pro-RH propaganda and paper work had written it, and the professors were simply asked to sign it”.
So at this stage, unity in our country can be restored only if we junk this foreign sponsored RH bill once and for all. We don’t need such kind of bill anyway.