Thaddeus Baklinski

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Philippines’ anti-life Reproductive Health bill passes final reading in House and Senate

Thaddeus Baklinski
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MANILA, December 18, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – After a 14-year and often-heated battle, the Philippines House of Representatives and the Senate passed the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill on third and final reading on Monday, December 17. The legislation, which calls for government-funded contraception and sex education classes, now goes to final committee before heading to the desk of President Benigno Aquino, who has supported the bill.

“This is terrible news for the Philippines and for the world,” said Human Life International President Fr. Shenan Boquet in a press release. “The wealthy Western elites who find in the children of the developing world only a threat to be eliminated appear to have won their most coveted crown. They used their billions to exploit the famously corrupt political environment of the last pro-life and pro-family nation in Asia.”

The House of Representatives passed the RH bill on final reading by a vote of 133-79.

The Senate, voting 13-8, also passed its version of the measure on final reading. The final vote came right after senators passed the bill on second reading during its session on Monday afternoon.

The bill now goes to a committee that will work out a final version before sending it to President Aquino, who said he hopes to sign it before the end of the year.

Among the senators who voted against the bill was Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, who said after the passage of the legislation, “May I ask God the Father to forgive us for we do not know what we are doing.”

He added that he believes that the bill would not have passed if the late President Corazon Aquino, the mother of the country’s current president, were alive.

Sotto had criticized the bill as nothing more than an attempt by the government to impose a Western-style agenda of population control through contraception and other “reproductive health” services that are backed by International Planned Parenthood Federation and international pharmaceutical companies.

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A co-sponsor of the bill, Rep. Kimi Cojuangco of Pangasinan province, actually admitted during an exchange with Rep. Ma. Milagros Magsaysay of Zambales, that the RH Bill, widely criticized by Filipino pro-lifers and the Catholic Church, is a means of population control.

The Catholic Church along with the country’s pro-life movement have strenuously opposed the legislation, warning that legalized abortion will follow quickly on the heels of the acceptance of contraception.

“We hope that the Catholic Church in the Philippines will redouble her efforts to publicly protect the faithful,” said Fr. Boquet, “and that she will support lay leaders and politicians who will continue the fight on the streets and in the courts. The battle is not over, it is only entering a new stage.”

Fr. Boquet noted that when contraception was widely adopted in the United States, the “calls to fully legalize abortion immediately increased, despite the assurances of the promoters of contraception that its acceptance would lead to a cease fire in the already raging war over abortion.

“Not only did this cease fire not happen, but there were no grounds on which the Church could effectively oppose its legalization. We now have some of the most liberal national abortion laws in the world.”

“Prayer and fasting remain the greatest weapons in our arsenal, and will help shape the practical steps that must be taken,” Fr. Boquet stated, adding in conclusion that, “Human Life International stands proudly with the Church and the champions of life and family in the Philippines as the battle enters this new stage.”

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