MANILA, February 1, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Catholic bishops of the Philippines are threatening to walk away from talks with the government after Filipino legislators aligned with President President Beñino Aquino reintroduced a population control bill that promotes abortifacient contraceptive use and sterilization.
Although the bill’s name has been changed from the “Reproductive Health” bill to the “Responsible Parenthood bill,” the substance, according to critics, is the same.
According to local reports cited by LifeSiteNews on January 25, the Aquino regime appeared to be backing down from its advocacy of the controversial measures, offering to create a new bill that would satisfy the concerns of Catholics and other advocates of sexual morality.
However, the new bill has been declared unacceptable by the country’s Catholic bishops, who warn in a new declaration that “we are at a crossroads as a nation.”
“Before us are several versions of a proposed bill, the Reproductive Health bill or sanitized as a Responsible Parenthood bill,” the bishops write. “This proposed bill in all its versions calls us to make a moral choice: to choose life or to choose death.”
Referring to the church-state talks, which the bishops say they may abandon, the bishops “thank the government for affording us an opportunity to express our views in friendly dialogue,” but add that “sadly our dialogue has simply revealed how far apart our respective positions are.”
The bishops go on to blast the claim of population controllers that “the RH bill promotes reproductive health.”
“The RH Bill certainly does not,” they write. “It does not protect the health of the sacred human life that is being formed or born. The very name ‘contraceptive’ already reveals the anti-life nature of the means that the RH bill promotes. These artificial means are fatal to human life, either preventing it from fruition or actually destroying it. Moreover, scientists have known for a long time that contraceptives may cause cancer. Contraceptives are hazardous to a woman’s health.”
As an alternative to the government’s proposed measures, the Catholic bishops have advocated the teaching of Natural Family Planning, which allows couples who face difficulties in raising more children to avoid new births by abstaining from sexual activity during the fertile period of the woman’s cycle.
Willy C. Gaa, Philippines Ambassador the United States
Embassy of the Philippines
1600 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
United States of America
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Jose Brillantes, Philippines Ambassador to Canada
Embassy of the Philippines
130 Albert Street, Suite 606
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5G4
E-mail: [email protected]