By Pet Melliza/ the Beekeeper
Rep. Janet Garin breezed through three straight elections notwithstanding her authorship of the Reproductive Health Bill. She won all elections in the first district of Iloilo Province despite tags denouncing her, a doctor of medicine, “pro-abortion”.
Oppositors equate the RH Bill to abortion though all that you can read in the draft are measures to empower women, giving them control of their bodies and access to maternity health services.
Intentional abortion is killing a fetus inside the mother’s womb by ingestion of drugs or clinical method. Preventing fertilization of the egg by the sperm or neutering the sperm before it reaches the egg is contraception but it appears oppositors can’t distinguish one from the other.
Oppositors, incidentally, are not women. They belong to the men’s world, majority of them flaunting their divine mandate as deputies of the god to save souls from sin and eternal damnation.
Oppositors, incidentally, are not women. They are men and don’t have mattresses nor have experienced the agony of pregnancy.
Oppositors are not women. They are men who never experienced being treated like baby factories, virtual domestic prisoners, unable to engage in productive work beyond their homes so to augment the family income, because poverty necessitates them to stay with their kids whose number ranges from five to a dozen.
Anti-RH Bill activists are not women. They are self-annointed guardians of the faith, fellow Catholics at that who recycle the hubris that the RH Bill is “evil” because it is “immoral”. It is immoral because it is against the law of god. They know god so hates the RH Bill because basta lang. Lately, they adopted ersatz scientific findings, scientism if you may, claiming that contraceptives especially the pill are carcinogenic.
Unsatisfied, these self-annointed guardians of the faith, rabid defenders of patriarchalism, sound like civil society advocates crying out against the RH Bill because it promotes corruption. Accordingly, spending taxpayers’ money to buy contraceptives is corruption.
Of course, the sheer volume of family planning practitioners only shows one fact: Filipinos are waking up and are not about to surrender their capacity to think to these self-annointed guardians of the faith who want to throw us back to the Dark Ages.
Sen. Vicente Sotto III, one of the most rabid anti-RH Bill activists, is himself the biggest argument for the passage of the bill, the measure that to begin with, is just one of the steps for the Philippines to comply with its commitment to an international agreement, the Millenium Development Goal that 197 other states signed in 2000.
The MDG aims to attain eight goals, among them enhance child survival and reduce maternal mortality. The Philippines’ maternal death is 48th in the world.
In 2009, the UN reports that 230 Filipino mothers die in every 100,000 childbirths. Compare that to 110 in Thailand, 62 in Malaysia and 14 in Singapore. That also means, in every 100,000 births, 230 Filipinos babies are motherless.
The RH Bill not only spaces births using contraceptives. It also gives couples, especially women, access to information and health care to ensure their own health and their children.
The Philippines commits to the MDG to reduce maternal mortality to 55-60 per 100,000 by 2015 but given the lackadaisical procedure at the Senate, the RH Bill is unlikely to pass this year.
“Causes of maternal deaths are hemorrhage, sepsis, obstructed labour, hypertensive disorders in pregnancy, and complications of unsafe abortion â most of which are preventable with proper diagnosis and intervention,” health specialists said.
Sotto is filibustering in the Senate, delivering kilometric speeches, stretching the privileged hour indefinitely, so to prevent discussions on the bill.
Sotto though is like proverbial fish that was caught in the mouth. His own words betray him as an intellectual pretender parroting the writings of other people as his own. In other words, his speeches are plagiarized from works of writers.
A senator not only getting away with plagiarism but emboldening himself to plagiarize some more, is just befuddling. He not only plagiarizes; he lifts paragraphs verbatim from the writings of the likes of Robert Kennedy and his daughter who is pro-RH Bill, and twists their import to support his anti-RH Bill stand.
Pass the bill now!