MANILA, March 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Filipino legislators are on the verge of voting on a population control bill that would impose abortifacient contraceptives on private medical facilities and that critics say could silence opponents for speaking out against the law.
A scheduled vote in the nation’s House of Representatives was canceled on Tuesday due to failures in the building’s air conditioning system, but is expected to be taken up again shortly.
The act, which is called House Bill 4244, penalizes those who “knowingly withhold information or restrict the dissemination” of information about “reproductive health,” which includes contraceptive measures that can cause abortions, especially the contraceptive “pill.”
Although the act claims that “conscientious objection of a health care service provider based on his/her ethical or religious beliefs shall be respected” it goes on to require such doctors to refer the patient to another doctor who will provide the service.
The bill would also penalize “any person who maliciously engages in disinformation about the intent or provisions of this Act,” a provision that opponents fear will be used against them if they speak out against the law.
Those who violate the prohibitions of the act will be subject to one to six months of imprisonment and a fine ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 pesos (approximately 230 to 1,150 USD).
The bill also states that the “ideal family size” is two children and that couples will be “encouraged” to limit themselves to this number, while claiming that the goal will not be compulsory. In order to achieve this “ideal,” the bill mandates the creation of a “Local Population Officer” for every municipality in the country.
Although President Benigno Aquino III ran on a population control platform, he has sought to negotiate with the Catholic bishops of the country, who, along with the country’s pro-life movement, oppose the bill. He has recently changed the bill’s name to the “Responsible Parenthood” act to placate the opposition, but critics say the bill is even worse than before. He has still not said if he will sign it if it passes.
A crowd of 50,000 people from various religious traditions, including Catholics, Protestants, and Muslims, marched against the bill last Friday.
See the powerful video, “NO TO ABORTION” produced by Fr. Anton Pascual who speaks strongly against the RH Bill as leading to a contraceptive mentality and, therefore, eventually to the approval of abortion. He hails the Congressmen and Senators opposing the RH Bill as true “kinatawan ng mamamayang Pilipino” (true representatives of the Filipino people).
Embassy of the Philippines in the USA
1600 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
United States of America
Email: https://www.philippineembassy-usa.org/philippines-dc/contact-us-dc/ (scroll to form at bottom)
Embassy of the Philippines in Canada
130 Albert Street, Suite 606
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5G4
Email: [email protected]
(this news story was brought to the attention of LifeSiteNews by Michael Voris’ Vortex episode which can be seen here )