We say ‘No!’ to the RH Bill – KMU

THE problem with the Reproductive Health Bill lies not in its particular provisions but in the population control framework, to which the government of Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III adheres and within which it will be implemented should it be signed into law, the Kilusang Mayo Uno said.

This framework presents itself as pro-women and pro-poor but is actually anti-women and anti-poor in blaming poverty on the country’s population and population growth.

“In the guise of “empowering” women and the poor, it focuses on the responsibility of women and the poor to limit the number of their children – without addressing basic social problems such as feudal oppression in the countryside, unemployment, low wages, contractual employment, eviction of poor communities, and lack of social services,” the group said in a statement.

“It claims to be progressive, revolutionary even, but strengthens and does not challenge the rotting socio-economic system ruled by imperialists, big comprador-capitalists and landlords – which is the real reason for the worsening poverty in the country.

“While claiming to promote the power of the individual against powerful institutions such as the Catholic Church, it serves the interests of multinational pharmaceutical corporations, as it means governments’ massive purchase of contraceptives, and of bureaucract-capitalists in the government, who will be able to increase their loot, the group said.

The RH Bill may pay lip service to education on reproductive rights but will not address the long-standing problems of the country’s educational system being retooled by the Aquino government to condemn the youth and the poor to cheap and contractual labor.

The Aquino government claims to champion the people’s health with the Sin Tax Law and women’s reproductive health with the RH Bill, but has continued to reduce subsidy for health services and is now pushing for the privatization of government hospitals, KMU said.

Population control has been a long-standing dictate of imperialist institutions like the International Monetary Fund and World Bank on Third World countries, and is different from and detrimental to women’s decades-long struggle for reproductive rights.

“We condemn the Aquino government for hijacking women’s struggles for reproductive rights to suit imperialists’ dictates within the framework of population control.

“We condemn the anti-poor Aquino government for rejecting calls for genuine relief from poverty – for a significant wage hike, the junking of contractual employment, decent housing, greater state subsidy for education, health and other social services,” the group said.

KMU called on the Filipino workers and people to intensify our struggles for an end to poverty – for national independence, land reform and genuine democracy in the country.

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