Pro-RH group aims to gather 1 million signatures-A A +A
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
A GROUP of Catholics supporting the Reproductive Health (RH) bill aims to gather one million signatures in its campaign in Cebu Province.
“As Catholics we continue to push for the passage of the bill and we hope the Catholic hierarchy will stop exerting pressure on our lawmakers,” said Leny Ocasiones, a member of the Catholics for Reproductive Health (C4RH) – Cebu Chapter.
She said the group will bring the campaign to schools and various communities in the province.
“We hope (to gather) one million signatures and we are urging other C4RH chapters to do the same,” said Ocasiones.
This is the second signature campaign for the Cebu-based group. The first was conducted in June last year at the height of the debate over the provisions of the bill.
Ocasiones said the current campaign is still in support of the RH bill and the amendments that will be incorporated into the proposal.
The Lower House voted to end debates on House Bill 4244 last month.
Catholic Church leaders oppose the Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011, or RH Bill, saying these contain provisions contrary to Catholic teachings.
These provisions include distribution of contraceptives and implementing adolescent reproductive health education.
Last year, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) issued a disclaimer against the C4RH group.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP president, said church officials are merely upholding the teaching of the Catholic Church.
He said the bishops are not joining the technical working group organized in Congress to tackle various issues related to the bill.
“In principle, we are against the bill. If we participate, we are saying that we agree with the RH bill. We are against the bill, we are against the amendments,” said Palma.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 11, 2012.