Read the RH bill-A A +A
Monday, August 6, 2012
THE three Cebu English dailies could not agree on the number of people who attended the anti-RH bill rally of the Roman Catholic Church last Saturday, their respective estimates ranging from a low 5,000 to a high of 60,000. Regardless, let us assume that, including those who did not attend the rally for one reason or another, there are one million voting-age Cebu residents who are taking the Church’s side on the issue of responsible parenthood.
So why doesn’t the Church organize its own political party and field candidates in the next and succeeding elections? Don’t give me the crap about the separation of the Church and the State as an excuse; that constitutional principle operates one way only-–always in favor of the Church.
Let’s not settle for half-measures. Church leaders and their self-appointed civilian mouthpieces shouldn’t just content themselves with threatening those who support the RH bill with inclusion in their blacklist. If they’re certain that they have the numbers, they should run for public office and save us from the infidels, if not, the Devil Incarnate themselves as some firebrands in the Church would like us to think of pro-RH bill public officials.
This would also be fair. As it is, bishops and priests enjoy an unfair advantage in any debate because they can lie like politicians (“contraception is corruption”) and the latter cannot talk back in kind because of traditional reverence accorded to men of the cloth. If they venture into the mud, they should at least have the sporting sense to allow themselves to be dirtied in return.
I have already written about this but I am appalled at the continued and repeated attempts at distortion and misinformation in the current discussion on the RH bill that I find it necessary to repeat myself.
For example, there is the claim that the proposed law encourages or, worse, legalizes abortion. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Section 3 (j) of the bill (HB No. 4244) expressly declares that “abortion is illegal and punishable by law.” It does add that “all women needing care for post-abortion complications shall be treated and counseled in a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate manner.”
That should not be construed as consenting to abortion because all it says is that a woman who had an abortion should receive adequate medical attention like any other patient. She could still be jailed if the abortion was intentional.
Then, there is the claim that, under the proposed law, a couple can only have two children, otherwise they will be punished. There is no such thing. What the bill (Sec. 20) says is for the State to “encourage them to have two children as the ideal family size.”
But the same section says that the ideal family size is neither mandatory nor compulsory and that no punishment shall be imposed on parents for having more than two children. In short, the number of children is still a matter of choice for the parents, regardless of whether they are rich or poor.
The next time someone tells you this, ask him to read the RH bill.
I was in the south over the weekend when I heard rumors that as many as ten mayors in the province’s second district are jumping over to the Liberal Party this week. I must add that I have not been able to verify these reports.
The first district is represented by Rep. Pablo Garcia, the patriarch of Cebu’s most powerful political clan. His son, 3rd District Rep. PJ, has been named One Cebu’s candidate to succeed his sister, Gov. Gwen.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 07, 2012.