Pass the RH Bill

OUR exploding population is among several major reasons why our nation is mired in poverty and ignorance.

This aggravating situation is unfortunately compounded by the local Roman Catholic Church leadership’s archaic dogma concerning population growth. It has opposed all measures to ease, if not correct, the economic suffering brought about by our burgeoning population through the sly manipulation of the facts.

I suspect that the Roman church’s opposition to the Reproductive Health Bill is essentially not really about its being “anti-life” as the proposed law is clearly against such measures. I believe that it is the empowerment of women which they are really against.

This “enmity against women liberation” also led the Roman church hierarchy to prevent priests from marrying or women from being ordained priests. For this church, the woman apparently symbolizes corruption.

According to author Sara Ritchey in an article published in the New York Times early this year, by the time of the First Lateran Council in 1122-23, the priest’s wife had become a symbol of wantonness and defilement. The reason was that during this period the nature of the host consecrated at Mass received greater theological scrutiny.

The author added that medieval theologians were in the process of determining that bread and wine, at the moment of consecration in the hands of an ordained priest at the altar, truly became the body and blood of Jesus Christ. The priest who handled the body and blood of Christ should therefore be uncontaminated lest he defile the sacred corpus.

It is not far-fetched that this line of thinking which was drilled in them subconsciously affects Filipino Roman church leaders of today hence their consistent refusal to allow the empowerment of women.

For what is wrong in giving women the choice to practice or not family planning, to give state support to mothers or fathers who wishes to plan their family, to teach sex education to teenagers in schools, to promote the use of contraceptives like condoms to prevent accidental pregnancy, to ensure that all women needing care for post abortion complications shall be treated and counseled in a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate manner?

Contrary to the lies being spread by the princes of the Roman church, the proposed law does not legalize nor encourage abortion (underground abortion clinics are already in existence long before the proposed RH Bill). The RH Bill does not promote sexual promiscuity or violence among the youth or prostitution, we already have the numerous television shows and movies that effectively do that.

Bishop Efraim Tendero of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches in the Philippines correctly stated that the “RH Bill is pro-life, pro-development and pro-poor. It protects the life of both the mother and the baby in her womb. Supporting the bill is more pro-life. Life begins at fertilization. Therefore if there is no fertilization there is no life. The use of artificial contraception is not taking away life because life has not yet started.”

Note not all religious support the Roman church in its stand. The Interfaith Partnership for the Promotion of Responsible Parenthood which includes the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI o Aglipay), Episcopal Church of the Philippines (ECP), Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), United Church of Christ of the Philippines (UCCP), Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), United Methodist Church (UMC), Philippine for Jesus Movement (PJM), Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches of the Philippines (CMACP), Seventh Day Adventist (SDA), Salvation Army (SA) at ng Catholics for Reproductive Health (CRH) supports the RH Bill.

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Does boredom wear you down or is there just a nagging feeling that you want to get away from the metropolis and be with mother-nature? Then go and visit Bato Springs in barangay San Cristobal, San Pablo City.

Located at the foot of the mystical Mt. Banahaw, Bato Springs is just one hour and 30 minute drive from Manila. You have a spacious parking space that could even accommodate tourist buses and first class amenities for all your business and pleasure needs.

For more information call Ms. Elaine Garchitorena at 0495620976.

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