PHILIPPINES: Working Women Add Voice in Support of RH

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
abs-cbs News
South Eastern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Human Rights

Working women have added their voices to the clamor for the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, amid strong opposition from the Catholic Church.

In a press release, the Partido ng Manggagawa said the bill is “critical given the impact of the global financial crisis on working people and the poor, especially women.”

The group said the rapid increase in population, due to lack of access to family planning services, is a “growing concern.”

“As to the Catholic Church's irresponsible statement that modern contraception is a form of abortion, this distorts the scientific fact that pregnancy happens at implantation and not during conception as it boldly claims,” the group said.

The view is “archaic” and brings the country back to centuries-old controversies, it added.

It likened the case to those of Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake, and Galileo Galilei, who spent the rest of his life under house arrest,
for contradicting the medieval Church. Both contradicted the belief that the Earth is the center of the solar system.

It was only in 1992 that Pope John Paul II acknowledged the mistake.

The group said it “hopes that it will not take that long for the Church to admit that it is making the same mistake.”

It's not as if women are being forced into accepting the RH bill. There is an implicit demand for such reproductive health care, the group added.

Quoting the 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey, the group said women actually want fewer children.

The survey also cited an ideal family size of 2 children.

The 2006 Family Planning Survey also noted that 2.6 million Filipino women would like to have some planning of sorts but lack the necessary information, the group added.