Sunday, March 4, 2012

RH bill will only burden, not help Filipinos—anti-RH

MANILA, March 4, 2012—Proponents of the reproductive health (RH) bill base the controversial piece of legislation on wrong premises that tend to burden — not genuinely aid — Filipinos, according to those who reject the measure.

One of the basic ideas that have come up in Congress debates and in news reports is the “unmet need for contraception,” which bill sponsors and supporters have claimed exists and which would justify the RH bill being made a top priority.
“‘Unmet needs’ should apply to basic deprivation and not to contraception. Unmet needs for decent shelter, food, education. Unmet need for protection against floods. Unmet need for decent jobs, justice, equal protection, real basic health care, and so on,” Willy Jose, a Human Resources manager, pointed out.
Jose explained that rather than taxpayers’ money going into the delivery of such basic services which Filipinos are in dire need of, billions of pesos would be poured into financing bedroom-related activities and their consequences.
Safe? Satisfying? Selfish?
“In effect, they want taxpayers to subsidize the irresponsible satisfaction of uncontrolled sexual urges. Certainly that is not the duty of the State, but they want us to believe otherwise.
“The right to a ‘safe and satisfying sex life’ is an invention of the UNFPA, which carries with it an implicit right to have ‘access’ to contraceptives. The RH bill authors lapped it up,” he continued. “For them, access means not only allowing but advocating and subsidizing these by force of law. This right is fictitious. For if it really were a ‘human right’ to be given contraceptives or contraceptive sterilization, it would follow that anyone who refused to provide them would be guilty of a human rights violation. There is no principled basis for this, as ‘authentic’ human rights claim no exception.”
“Selfish” has been the description given by some uninformed RH advocates to the refusal to shoulder expenses – by way of taxes – for other people’s use of contraceptives, for the distribution of such birth control supplies, and for programs that work to instruct even the youth on how to achieve a “safe and satisfying sex life.” Would this conviction be selfish?
“Hindi siya selfish kasi sa iyo morally wrong siya, eh ba’t ka magbibigay? Paano kung may poor na gambling addict na lumapit sa ’yo tapos humihingi ng pera – kung hindi mo ba bigyan madamot ka na?” (It’s not selfish because it’s about something that’s morally wrong, so why give your money (to pay for it)? What if a poor person who’s a gambling addict approaches you and asks for money – if you don’t give him money, does that make you selfish?)” said writer Nicole Bautista.
Being forced on the people
“I believe contraception is a moral evil. And since I’ve chosen no to contraception, I should not have to be forced to pay for it by way of taxes. The point is this – I’m being forced to pay for it. No one should have to be forced to pay for something one finds morally repugnant,” Jonjon Villaruel, a graduate student, pointed out.
“Furthermore, it is not true that people are not going to be forced to use contraceptives. It says right there in the bill – the contraceptive mentality will be included first in the education of children via sex education modules that, again, are morally objectionable and unconstitutional as well.”
Among the most staunchly rejected portion of the legislative measure – especially by parents, child development specialists and family advocates – is the comprehensive sex education program being imposed on all public and private schools, starting from Grade 5.
The six-year program – which does not consist of one subject but is to be integrated in six subjects including social studies and even math – is not mandatory, insist House Bill 4244 proponents and its uninformed supporters, owing to amendments they say have been made.
What many still fail to realize is that expressing an intention to make amendments and actually making such amendments (which incidentally can be done only during the period of amendments based on parliamentary procedures) are two different things. Since the House of Representatives is still in the period of interpellation as far as the RH bill is concerned, the version that includes mandatory sex education is the one that stands.
Warping the youth’s values via a 6-year program
“We all could use help in educating children but this is not mere biology or physiology. Sexual education is an endeavor reserved for those who have a personal relationship with children because it is a subject matter that deserves utmost prudence and knowledge about the maturity level of the children being educated. And who else knows their children better than their parents?” dentist Dicky Boncan stressed.
“With regard to the issue of maturity, my problem with school-based sex-ed is this: Boys and girls have different psychological maturity stages even if they are biologically the same age. How is one to deal with co-ed schools?” he continued.
Empower (not burden) the parents
“Other variables which cannot be addressed in this system are differences in parental arrangements at home, and teacher lifestyle/orientation bias. Most of the arguments I hear that favor sex ed in school is that many parents don’t know how to go about it. Well then, tap the schools to provide parent education classes on sex ed,” Boncan suggested.
“This will have two effects: One, it will allow parents to choose, based on their knowledge of their children, how to address their children’s needs, and second, it will create an atmosphere of parental involvement in the home.”
Sandra Villamor, M.D. is skeptical about the effectiveness of State-mandated sex education as a solution to the problems that the RH bill supposedly addresses. Most crucial in this equation, after all, are the children and their well-being, whom the State cannot deal with, with a view to individual personal formation.
“Tell me, when the government teaches my children sex education, do they have my children’s values formation in mind, or the country’s economy and population? The burden is not my children, but the huge government taxes and rising cost of living,” the physician said.
“The government can help me raise my children by cutting back on taxes so we can bring home a bigger paycheck, not by increasing our taxes to accommodate the RH bill.”
The ‘RH = development’ delusion
Regardless of values formation and issues of choice (or the lack thereof), the RH bill, some pro-free birth control Filipinos say, ought to be passed immediately because numerous Western and developed nations have their own RH laws already. Essentially, they see the Philippines as lagging behind, RH legislation as jumpstarting the country’s advancement, and thereby vital in catching up with the rest of the world.
“I guess if ‘advancing’ means being open to pole dancing kits for kids, Plan B vending machines in the school campus, and tax money going to abortion mills, then I guess we really are behind. But honestly, I don’t want that kind of advancement because I don’t want to live in a country that insists I have to use a condom to be called responsible. Last time I checked, responsibility builds character,” Bautista stated.
“Distributing contraceptives and making them available to just anybody, regardless of age and status, is counter-productive. We have countries that have adapted this method, such as the United States, to prove that. They have provided free contraceptives and medical care to the youth, and this has just encouraged promiscuity and as a result, countless ‘unwanted,’ out-of-marriage and teenage pregnancies occur,” observed photographer Karen Ilagan.
“Abortion clinics generate millions of dollars each year,” she added. “People have now become so desensitized and are now killing their unborn children just because they are found to have birth defects or just because there is a big chance that they might be born with defects. Is this the future we want for the Philippines?” (CBCP for Life)


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