RH groups launch vigil; SC ruling due Tuesday-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Monday, April 7, 2014
REPRODUCTIVE Health advocates tied purple ribbons in trees and signposts along Session Road Sunday morning kicking off their advocacy vigil staged in front of the Supreme Court’s compound Monday morning.
Reproductive Health advocates all over the country called for a favorable Supreme Court decision Sunday morning. The high court decision is expected to be issued today, April 8.
Pro-RH groups composed of women’s groups and other concerned sectors were joined by Baguio artists Sunday morning. They created an art installation of a feminine symbol made up of flowers and candles to symbolize the struggles of women in the country without a reproductive health law.
Forum for Family Planning and Development Inc. advocacy officer Chi Vallido said since the passage of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act December 2012, it has not been implemented due to the Temporary Restraining Order filed by groups allied with the influential Roman Catholic Church.
According to the Forum for Family Planning and Development the TRO filed by Pro-Life groups has sustained the death of many women due to lack of reproductive health programs.
The non-government organization disclosed the 92.34 million population of the country is expected to grow to 140 million by 2040.
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.
The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 was challenged by Pro-Life Philippines Foundation, Inc. and groups affiliated with the Catholic Church which resulted in more than a year of debates among pro and anti RH bill groups.
Commissioner Percival Cendaña of the National Youth Commission said the status quo order on the bill resulted to hampering of government’s plan for reproductive health education especially to the youth considering some 600 teenagers get pregnant every day in the country.
Cendaña said the government has also long prepared for the implementation of the law with curriculum readied for various age groups but the long awaited decision has resulted in the delay in the plans and programs on reproductive health by the national government.
RH advocates promised continued vigilance to guard the crucial decision of the high court as it affects the country’s population.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 08, 2014.