What is the RH Bill? House Bill No. 5043 or the Reproductive Health & Population Development Act of 2008 is an act providing for a national policy on reproductive health, responsible parenthood & population development.
Why am I blogging about this? Well you see, last week, I had the chance to meet with Liberal Party senatorial candidate & AKBAYAN representative, Risa Hontiveros. On a personal note, I was really impressed with how Risa Hontiveros greeted us. She could have just seated and said her piece, but she went around the room and shook our hands one by one. Now that’s what we call courtesy.
So anyway, one of many things that Congresswoman Risa Hontiveros (now senatorial candidate) talked about and is focused on, is a platform on Health & Women. The RH Bill, which she discussed in depth during our meet, fall into that.
Here are the guiding principles of the RH Bill:
- freedom of choice with no bias for either modern or natural method of family planning;
- it is about health and rights, not demographics;
- individuals are provided free, full access to relevant, adequate and correct information on reproductive health and human sexuality by the State and professional private practitioners;
- gender equality and women empowerment and their protection, promotion and guarantee are central elements;
- aims to ensure birth and care of healthy children;
- promotes responsible parenting;
- promotes breastfeeding through joint effort between local government and national government.
- abortion remains a crime and is punishable by law *but* post abortion complications shall be treated, counseled in a humane, nonjudgmental and compassionate manner.
- respect for, protection and fulfillment of reproductive health rights of children to adults are guaranteed
- aims to uplift the quality of life of people, especially the poor, the needy and marginalized;
- aims to seek active participation of government and non government organization;
- the RH Bill does not legalize Abortion.
- aims active participation between government, non government and people’s organizations and communities
Basically, the RH Bill aims to resolve our population problem. If we don’t act now, we will double our population not in 20 years but in 10 years.
Personally, I believe the main goal won’t be resolved with this bill. What is lacking here is not just education but discipline. If we don’t impose, people will just continue with their old habits and our current problems will not go away.
I do understand where the legislators are coming from when they passed this bill. We are a catholic country. Even with how conservative this bill was made, there were still some bishops/priests lambasting politicians who support the RH bill.
Risa’s point of view is that free will is a gift of God. The church can preach and teach but what doesn’t take well with her is the bishops’ bullying. Though we all think that most politicians tend to keep mum about the RH bill because they wouldn’t want to lose Catholic votes, Risa mentioned surveys actually say most Filipinos are for the RH Bill. She also mentioned that the Catholic vote is a myth.
You can also read the article at Blogwatch.PH.
- Videos –http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=A5485D8BC9C30A77
- Pictures –http://www.flickr.com/photos/rochellesychua/sets/72157622666667043/