Editorial: RH Bill in the dark-A A +A
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
THE implementation of the controversial Reproductive Health law may never see the light of day.
But RH Bill advocates are not giving up the fight just yet and has urged the high court of the land to start the debate and enforce Republic Act 10354.
It’s been almost one year since President Benigno Aquino III allowed the state to use public funds to educate the youth on RH matters, improve maternal health and provide couples with contraceptives but the law was never fully implemented after the Supreme Court issued its first temporary restraining order in March and extended indefinitely its order stopping the government from implementing the controversial RH law.
Voting 8-7, the high court extended the status quo ante order (SQA) it issued for 120 days on March 19.
An SQA is issued to preserve the last uncontested status before the litigation or filing of a petition, which means it is as if there is no law to implement yet.
A number of bishops and pro-Church groups want the tribunal to declare the RH law unconstitutional.
According to the Forum for Family Planning and Development Inc., the SC has yet to issue guidelines on the debates for both pro and anti RH advocates.
The group added further deaths for mothers and children may be experienced if the implementation of the controversial law is shelved longer.
The group added the current 92.34 million population of the country is expected to grow to 140 million by 2040 and may eventually double the mortality rate which is currently at 221 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births or some 14 mothers dying every day due to pregnancy related and childbirth related complications. Among ASEAN regions, the country is ranked third in terms of teen pregnancy and has increased through the years.
An alarming rate of increase in HIV infection is also cited with every 85 minutes attributed to the increasing number of Men Having Sex with Men (MSMs).
The RH Bill was carved for the country to address the growing number of reproductive health problems with the increasing population. But how can this law be fully implemented if it is not given a chance to be even for just one day?
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on November 06, 2013.