Bishops wary of Aquino’s version of RH bill

CATHOLIC bishops are wary of the “responsible parenthood” bill proposed by President Benigno Aquino III, threatening to continue opposing it if it is just a rehash of the reproductive health (RH) bill.

While some bishops want more explanations on “responsible parenthood,” others directly demanded that the new bill leave out contraceptives.

“It is not in the name. If you have a good name but the contents would be a rehash of the RH bill, then, definitely the Church will reject,” Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines secretary general Juanito Figura said.

The Catholic Church has been vocal against the use of artificial contraception, which the RH bill pending in Congress allows.

Instead, the Catholic Church wants only natural methods of family planning.

Pampanga Archbishop Paciano Aniceto added it is not the name that matters but the content of the measure.

“He should really explain what he means by responsible parenthood,” said Aniceto, who chairs the CBCP Commission on Family and Life.

For his part, Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes said the government must exclude in its responsible parenthood bill the provisions opposed by the church.

“(The principle of) responsible parenthood does not include artificial contraceptives,” Reyes said.

Last week, President Benigno Aquino III sought to come up with a win-win version of the RH bill.

He ordered his Cabinet to draft its own version of the bill. Julian Labores


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