Philippines president pushes court to lift ban on free contraceptives
MANILA, Philippines, January 18, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a proclamation ordering all government agencies to supply free contraception to six million Filipino women starting with the poorest two million by 2018.
The executive order is an attempt to pressure the Supreme Court to lift its temporary restraining order on the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act passed in 2012 by the previous government.
The law had the same goal of ensuring “zero unmet need for modern family planning.” But in 2015 the court ruled it violated the law against abortion and constitutional protections for unborn children. Pro-life organizations such as the Alliance for the Family convinced the court that many of the contraceptives provided at huge discount by international aid agencies such as the Gates Foundation were actually early-acting abortifacients.
However, after Duterte signed the proclamation, his socio-economic development minister, Ernesto Pernia, told reporters, “But with this EO from the president, we hope that the Supreme Court will act expeditiously in terms of lifting the TRO.”
In the meantime, Pernia added, the government might hand its contraceptive supplies over to non-government agencies. “With the EO, some, you know, there might be some municipalities or local governments that can, you know, get around the TRO by letting NGOs implement or, you know, yeah, implement the RPRH Law because the private sector is not covered by the TRO,” he told reporters. “It’s just the government agencies. So, in fact, there are some implementation of the RPRH Law, but it’s very limited.”
Dr. Ligaya Acosta of Human Life International told LifeSiteNews that implementation of the order would be against the law but that Duterte often acts with disregard for the law, such as when he called for the execution of drug traffickers without trial.
Duterte included his contraception drive as part of a 10-point development plan. Pernia added a disputed health argument, saying fewer unplanned pregnancies will mean 11 Filipino women will no longer die each day from complications arising during pregnancy and childbirth.
But Acosta said the Philippines was advancing out of poverty while its fertility and population growth rates were reducing naturally. “The question of unmet need is — Whose need is it?” she said. “Certainly it's not the majority of the Filipino people.”
She said Duterte was being pressured by “population controllers who have vested interest in our country and our natural resources, international death peddlers who are using mind-boggling amounts of money to entice and corrupt our government and other non-government organizations to aggressively kill our progeny.”
Acosta added that contraceptive use is low in the Philippines “because people don't want it!! They don't want it because Filipinos are pro-life and pro-family … [and] because people feel the side effects.” Only 40 percent of Filipinos use birth control, the government reports, but 65 percent is the target of the program.
As for the health argument, Acosta scoffed at Pernia’s numbers. “Eleven women die each day from complications of pregnancy? If this is true, then the population of the Philippines would have had a nose dive. … Who are these women?”
On the other hand, she said, “The ill effects of contraceptives are very well documented. … The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an attached agency of the World Health Organization, has long classified [birth control] pills as a Group 1 Carcinogen, which is the highest classification for carcinogenicity.”
“Massive distribution and use of contraception will not improve the health and well-being of people, but will actually make them sick and kill them,” she added.
Using numbers provided by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, HLI calculates that 725 women die each year out of every one million users of birth control pills.
Acosta said that if the government were truly interested in women’s health they would improve the delivery of health services, not deliver contraceptives.
Likewise, she said, “The way to address poverty is not by getting rid of poor people by not allowing them to be born, but by giving them genuine livelihood opportunities.”
The Virginia-based Population Research Institute argues on its webpage against the need for expansion of contraception. While the Philippines’ economy is growing at 6 percent a year, its population is increasing at 1.6 percent, it notes, supporting the belief that a growing population is needed to sustain a growing economy.
The United Nations’ projection shows the Philippines’ population, which is now 103 million, peaking in 2060 without any expansion of contraceptive use.
“The Philippines is headed into complete extinction in a couple of centuries, not by atomic bombs or biochemical agents but by a more lethal weapon of mass destruction: antinatalism,” the Population Research Institute predicts.