Advocates call for RH Bill debates-A A +A
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
START the debate and enforce the law now.
This was the battle cry of Reproductive Health advocates as they urged the Supreme Court to start the debates and enforce Republic Act 10354 or the Reproductive Health Bill.
Chi Vallido of the Forum for Family Planning and Development Inc. said while the Temporary Restraining Order is still in effect, the 60-day period set by the Supreme Court to submit additional documents and evidence for both petitioners and respondents lapsed October 28.
She said by this time, close to a year since the bill’s passage last December 2012, it has not been implemented due to continuing debates at the SC and the TRO.
She said this places a burden especially to women and their children suffering due to lack of alternative choices on reproductive health.
She said the SC has not given a timeline on when the debates among petitioners against the RH Bill implementation and RH Bill advocates will be conducted but advocates remain optimistic this will happen soon stressing the effects of the non-implementation of the RH Bill result in more maternal and child deaths.
According to the Forum for Family Planning and Development, the 92.34 million population of the country is expected to grow to 140 million by 2040.
The group also said maternal mortality remains high at 221 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births or some 14 mothers dying every day due to pregnancy related and childbirth related complications.
The Philippines also ranks third with the highest teen pregnancy in ASEAN region with the country’s teen pregnancy rates only increasing among other countries.
She raised the alarm over the one Filipino infected by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus every 85 minutes while this rate increases every year especially among Men Having Sex with Men (MSMs).
The group offered flowers and candles through a spirit boat released at Burnham Lake last week as an offering to the souls of departed mothers and their children who have died from maternal and childbirth complications.
The activity called ‘Atang ti Karurwa’ or ‘Offering to the Spirits’ is their third stop in campaigning for the Supreme Court to finally decide for the implementation of the RH Bill.
Organizers said they have finished similar campaigns in Iloilo and Bacolod with Baguio as their third stop. She said they will be conducting similar activities in Cebu, Surigao and other key cities to call for debates to push through at the Supreme Court to finally implement Republic Act 10354 after being signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III on December 22, 2012.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on November 06, 2013.