Pro-life advocates: Population control cartel behind Philippines’ Reproductive Health Bill?
MANILA, Philippines, 3 August, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – As a Reproductive Health Bill faces yet another vote before the Filipino Congress, not only are the country’s Catholic Bishops opposing the controversial bill, but even Wall Street analysts have condemned the legislation, calling it “jarring.”
The Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, House Bill 4244, which faces an imminent vote by Congress, aims to appropriate billions of pesos in taxpayers’ money for “reproductive health services” which include promotion of contraception, sterilization, and Western sex education programs.
The proposed law would force medical professionals and businesses to promote and perform a full range of “reproductive health services,” regardless of conscientious objection. The country’s pro-life leaders are particularly concerned about Section 28.e of the Bill that promises to jail and fine any person who “maliciously engages in disinformation about the intent or provisions of this Act.”
Pro-life leaders have argued that language will move the Philippines one step closer to legalizing abortion, a procedure which is currently illegal in all circumstances in the country.
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Brian Clowes, director of Research and Training at Human Life International, pointed out that the bill’s language “seems to be written by the big international organizations like Center for Reproductive Rights, Marie Stopes International, and International Planned Parenthood Federation.”
“The language you see [in the bill] is the language of the international population control cartel, not the language of the Filipino people,” he said.
The country’s Catholic Bishops have come out strongly against the measure. They have organized a massive prayer rally on Saturday to protest the legislation, pointing out that “suppressing birth” will not solve poverty. The prayer rally will take place from 1:00-7:00 pm local time at the EDSA Shrine in Manila.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, head of The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), called upon the lay faithful to attend the rally and defend the sanctity of life and the family “because, more than anybody else, you are the target of the RH Bill.”
“This will be a demonstration of our sentiments and our advocacy for life,” said Palma. “Let us show that what we believe in is for the common good.”
Palma called the RH Bill “immoral” and “unconstitutional,” adding that it “erodes a lot of treasured Filipino values.”
President Benigno Aquino III has said that population control is the answer to the backlogged educational system. Palma has stressed that, on the contrary, the country’s “positive” birthrate is not a hindrance to the country’s success.
“The country’s robust population is a big boost to our economy,” he said. “The population control policy of the RH Bill would only stall our economic growth. The problem of countries with former robust economies is the lack of young workers for their industries and inadequate support for their aging population.”
A recent survey put out by the country’s Catholic Bishops found that 140 of 215 congressmen surveyed would vote against the controversial initiative. Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes pointed out that their poll indicates the true sentiments of many of the country’s lawmakers toward population control measures as a solution to the country’s problems.
The Wall Street Journal article raised concerns about Philippine President Benigno Aquino’s promotion of the Reproductive Health Bill, which would “put the Philippines in danger of following China’s path into middle-income development followed by a demographic trap of too few workers.”
“The Philippines doesn’t have too many people, it has too few pro-growth policies,” the article, titled “Keeping the Philippine Dream Alive,” suggested.
Various versions of the bill have been filed and defeated in Congress since 1989.
Human Life International (HLI) has asked pro-life supporters “around the world” to join the Filipino people in prayer on Saturday to “defeat the RH Bill.”
“Now is the time to defeat this bill, which threatens rights of conscience, the dignity of human life, and protections for life and family under the Filipino Constitution,” said HLI president Father Shenan J. Boquet in a press release on Thursday.
“Supporters of life and family have worked tirelessly to stop this Bill from moving through Congress, but on Saturday I invite all those dedicated to building a culture of life to join in prayer with our Filipino brothers and sisters to ask for the Lord’s help and protection.”
Note: Human Life International has produced an eye-opening video about how Bill 4244 will devastate the life, family, and faith affirming values of the Filipino people.