Palma: RH bill not the answer to country’s maternal deaths-A A +A
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
STRENGTHENING and improving access to medical services is the answer to addressing maternal care issues, not the reproductive health (RH) bill, said the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
“The issue of maternal death, as it has been mentioned, is a serious concern. But the solution does not lie in suppressing births as provided in the RH bill,” said CBCP president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma in a statement issued yesterday.
Pro-life advocates have organized a prayer life on Aug. 4 to express their sentiments on the matter.
On Aug. 7, members of the House of Representatives will vote on whether to continue the debate on the RH bill, or the Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011, or to close it.
Archbishop Palma told CBCP News they will use the rally to defend the sanctity of life and family.
Filipino bishops criticized the statement of President Benigno Aquino III during his State of the Nation Address, where he said responsible parenthood may solve the problem of education backlogs.
Catholic Church leaders oppose the RH bill as it contains provisions that are contrary to church teachings, such as the use of artificial contraceptives in family planning and adolescent reproductive health education.
“The country’s robust population is a big push to our economy, according to former US president Bill Clinton, local and international financial institutions and the public sector. It is therefore quite disturbing when the country is told that having too many school children is a burden to the national budget,” the bishops said.
“There is a grave reason to worry when the government would rather suppress the population through RH bill instead of confronting the real causes of poverty,” they also said.
In a separate interview, Human Life International country director Dr. Rene Bullecer said he is one of the organizers of the prayer rally on Saturday.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 31, 2012.