City councilor: Open eyes to RH bill-A A +A
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
ANGELES CITY – “Sad” is how Angeles City Councilor Maricel Morales describes the likelihood that not one legislator from Pampanga is expected to vote for House Bill 4244 or Reproductive Health (RH) Bill that will be put to a vote soon.
Morales simply rationalizes that, “some of them if not all fear of losing support of the electorate especially now that the 2013 elections is but some six months away. The country’s populace is likely being read as generally conservative, and that the general misconception that the RH bill promotes abortion when it does not.”
Morales added that, “One of the RH bill’s main objectives is actually to set a mechanism so as to help women and couples in union not to be pushed against the wall and opt for abortion.”
So far, of the four district representatives of Pampanga, three Partylist incumbents and a senator, only one legislator has remained silent regarding the HB 4244.
Second District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo tops the Pampanga congresspersons in going against the RH bill that has won her some favor points from the Catholic Church which has been up against it since day one.
Representatives Carmelo ‘Tarzan’ Lazatin (1st District) and Aurelio ‘Dong’ Gonzales Jr. (3rd District) are both expected to vote against the RH bill titled ‘The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011’.
Congresswoman Anna York-Bondoc (4th District) is also against the bill perceived by its authors and advocates to be highly protective of women’s reproductive health rights.
Another woman representative, Catalina Bagasina of the Party-list Association of Laborers and Employees (ALE) is also against the RH bill.
Former presidential son Juan Miguel ‘Mikey’ Arroyo who is supposed to represent the interests of tricycle divers and security guards through Ang Galing Party-list is also against the bill.
Only Butil Partylist representative Agapito Guanlao has remained silent of his position despite the debates that continuously rocked the legislative floors of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
On the side of the Senate, Senator Lito Lapid for the first and only time spoke on the floor to question the RH bill.
Asked whether she worries not that the Roman Catholic church is actually campaigning on the electorates not to vote for the candidates who are supporting the RH bill, Morales -- who intends to run for a third term in the city council -- said she is a mother of two kids and a solo parent, and as such she is fully aware of what the bill aims to offer to women and their reproductive rights.
Morales who chairs the city council’s Committee on Women and Children, said she had several times heard that she is being questioned by the Catholic community why is she supporting and in fact championing the bill at the city council.
The former beauty titlist noted that a lot of country’s marginalized sector lack the knowledge and understanding of their reproductive rights. They have the right to be informed, they have the right to know to be able to make informed choices.
The RH bill endorses the use of both natural and artificial modes of family planning, and shall provide for health care services and increased public awareness on reproductive health particularly to the poor and needy, among others.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on September 12, 2012.