MANILA, March 15, 2005 ( – Archbishop Fernando Capalla of Davao, the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said in a weekly radio broadcast aired today, “To me the murder in abortion is graver than the murder of an adult.”

The archbishop’s comments come in response to a Philippine population control bill which the bishops warn will lead to the legalization of abortion. 

Bill 3773, “Responsible Parenthood and Population Management Act,”  mandates a rule that restricts families to two children, introduces sex education for children and the distribution of artificial abortifacient contraceptives.

“Some of these people think that after conception, you can abort the fetus to get rid of that human life. That we say is not correct. It is really murder,” Archbishop Capalla said.

The head of the bishops’ conference noted that the fact that some poor people resort to abortion reflects a failure on the part of the bishops.

“In that sense, we have failed in some way to educate our people about the issues of abortion and population. I know some people are tempted to abort because of economic reasons, but they are misinformed and weak in their moral conscience to say no to the temptation,” he said.

Archbishop Capalla noted promoters of the bill were receiving financial backing from foreign agencies. 

The Philippine bishops have in the past pointed to the fact that in the declassified 1974 US document, National Security Study Memorandum 200, the Philippines was included in the list of countries whose population growth, and consequent growth in prosperity would threaten U.S. security and overseas economic interests. The solution recommended was the imposition of population control measures through pressure from United Nations and World Bank aid programmes.

The archbishop pointed to the looming economic downturn of countries with no population growth as a warning against population control. 

“Again, they think that development and progress can be done by cutting the population. But look at countries that have now zero population.  They have no manpower, they have no more people,” he said.


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