HOUSE BILL NO. 4244

While a debate is so strongly raised in this issue, I would just like to say that for people to make a stand on the matter, they should be able to read the entire article first and not base their choice from second hand opinion, no matter how much power and authority they seem to have. (For your own peace of mind, it is here: http://philippinenewsonline.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/house-bill-no-4244-latest-version/)

While it is truly noble that the state provides a legislation for responsible parenthood and reproductive health, it is to my dismay that there are still some sections that have not been revised. From the original draft of the bill, I must say the latest version (August 2012) is a big improvement from the first. However, there are still some points that I wish to be amended.  In this light, I am hoping that the anti-RH bill supporters will be enlightened as well that the bill is not entirely “evil” nor “corruptive.” I am all for comprehensive obstetric and neonatal care. Who wouldn’t want that? I am all for equality in the distribution of benefits and responsibilities for parenting and reproductive health care. And while it is true that the bill specifically denounces abortion, it is the “vagueness” of artificial family planning methods that confuse me.  To classify contraceptives as essential medicines is quite obscure, and I do not even care whether life starts on or before conception.By categorizing them as “medicine,” we recognize them as means to treat or ensure maintenance of health. Are we saying that by engaging in sexual behaviors, we are in danger of compromising our health, whether we are in a marital or non marital relationship?

Moreover, the promotion of mandatory age-appropriate reproductive health and sexuality education peeves me. For example, the revision on: “values formation with due regard to religious affiliation” says a lot about the moral implication of the reproductive health and sexuality taken together.  While it is observed that we are no longer a predominantly  Catholic nation, morality isn’t confined to religious affiliation, isn’t it? I think this revision was done to “pacify” the religious groups protesting against the bill. However, it failed to appease me because it made the bill appear to be more devious than it already is.

Just my two-cents worth in this case. The thing that really annoys me is how people clamor to be advocates of whatever stand they’re taking without providing their personal take on it. So if it appears to be unclear to you, I am against it, until further amendments are addressed. Thank you and God bless our country.

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