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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Handbook of truths behind the RH Bill- ETHICAL ARGUMENTS

handbook

Introduction

This is the revised first edition of this Handbook. The most important consideration to be given when using this is that it was made with the “unamended” version of the RH Bill in mind. Although the authors were quite aware that amendments have been proposed by the proponents of the RH Bill, the formal amendment of the Bill has not actually happened either in Congress or the Senate. Thus, the authors thought it more prudent to include even arguments that may not actually be applicable anymore once the  Bill has been finally amended – assuming it makes it through its present status. Anyway, these arguments may actually be useful in other situations.

This Handbook was made for the Filipino people. It was written to help honest minds understand what the  R.H. Bill really is and cut through the jungle of confusing arguments to expose the most essential truth about the Bill: it short changes the Filipino person and the Filipino nation. Due to the very limited time that was given for writing this Handbook, however, it was not possible to include the voluminous amount of other undoubtedly valuable material that could have likewise strengthened the points mentioned here. Also, there are no doubt more nuances in the reasons and arguments that have not been written. However, the authors hope that they could include whatever may be lacking when the occasion comes to revise this Handbook. Suggestions and materials are most welcome.

The authors would like to thank the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, through Archbishop Jose Palma, for giving them the opportunity to serve the country in a small way through the writing of this Handbook. Special mention goes to Dr. Antonio Torralba who put the team together. Lastly, many thanks go to the millions of men and women all over the world who have defended and continue to defend the cause of LIFE through their prayers, writings, spoken word, and living example.

The Authors

September 12, 2012

Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary

The Authors

Bernardo M. Villegas, Ph.D. (Harvard University), Economist

Rosa Linda L. Valenzona, M.A. (University of the Philippines), Demographer

Jo M. Imbong, Esq. (University of the Philippines), Public Interest Lawyer

Roberto E. De Vera, Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh), Economist

Raul Antonio Nidoy, S.Th.D. (University of Navarre), Educator

Robert Z. Cortes, M.A. (Columbia University), Educator

 

Handbook of truths behind the RH Bill

 

The RH Bill, being merely palliative and based on faulty assumptions and facts, falls short in giving the Filipino what he or she truly deserves, both as a human person with dignity and as a proud citizen of a sovereign nation. Worse than that, several key provisions of the RH Bill are harmful to individual Filipinos and the Filipino nation.The RH Bill will result to the rending, warping and despoiling of Filipino culture. These, in summary, are the reasons that Filipinos should reject the RH Bill.

This handbook provides the interested reader arguments for doing so based on human science and reason.

 

SECTION 3: ETHICAL ARGUMENTS

The RH Bill is harmful to Filipino society because it completely disregards authentic ethical principles that are at the heart of Philippine society.

1. Contraception by itself is unethical – not from a religious, but from a human point of view.

2. Promoting a law that runs against ethical principle is itself unethical: it goes against the basic principles of social ethics and will eventually destroy society.

3. The distribution of contraceptives that have abortifacient properties (as mentioned in the Medical Arguments above) goes against the unborn Filipino’s human right to life.

4. The distribution of contraceptives that harm the health of the Filipino citizens and the environment goes against the Filipino’s human right to health.

5. Facilitating the mutilation of healthy body parts through vasectomy and ligation is  violation of the dignity of the human body and the human person. Indeed, it is most ironic that “the only medical procedures intended to destroy or inhibit healthy organs are those aimed at the male and female reproductive systems” making male and female sexual sterilization the 2nd most common medical procedure after abortion (Human Life International’s Pro-Life Talking Points, 2010).

6. The mandate to educate children in a government’s sex education curriculum goes against the Filipino parents’ human right to educate their children in their own legitimate values.

7. Considering how there are other laws (e.g., the Magna Carta for Women) that cover the acceptable parts of the Bill, the risk the government is taking to expose its officials and citizens to occasions of corruption and to endanger the sovereignty of the nation is unacceptable.

8. The driving force behind the RH Bill is unethical: it is population control.

 

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 1. Contraception by itself is unethical – not from a religious, but from a human point of view.

a. Peñacoba (2012) elaborates step by step why contraception is humanly unethical.

i. “Ethics is not based on numbers… nor on religious beliefs…but on reason.Ethics is all about the truth of being human –the truth about what makes up to the dignity of each and every human person.

ii. “Holistic Ethics identify three of those amazing capacities in man –our intelligence to pursue the truth, our free will to pursue the good and our sexuality to pursue love and family.

iii. “Let us now focus on human sexuality. The starting point is the observation of a fact: we all consider human sexuality as loaded with a special dignity –as intrinsically connected with the dignity of the person… We can find in all cultures and legislations countless examples of this universal recognition: there is something to human sexuality that makes it an intrinsically important part of the dignity of the person.

iv. “The extreme case of rape (vis-à-vis married love) can help us to identify the key meaning/value (of human sexuality)… in one case the husband and wife are expressing marital love through their sexuality: a love with the high qualities of total self-giving (till death), unconditional love (for better or for worse) and life-giving love (open to form family with you). Such quality love is recognized, sung and praised unceasingly in all cultures of all centuries as expressing not only a top human dignity but even sacred or connected with the divinities. On the other case, the rapist is not loving the woman at all but rather using her –her sexuality– for his own satisfaction. The feeling of rage we feel when sexuality has been abused by a rapist is symmetrical to the highest regard we give to marriage and conjugal act. In one case the person is used in her sexuality while in the other she is loved sexually with the highest human love.

v. “We have arrived now at the most basic principle of sexual ethics: Sexual activity is ethical and meaningful –it is really human and great– in as much as it expresses marital love.

vi. “The key to the high dignity of the conjugal act between husband and wife…(is) that with their bodies they are expressing a total, self-giving love; in a sense, with their body language they are saying: Here I am, I am giving my all to you, all of myself –including my possible fertility– to you. And so, the ethical evaluation is that the natural conjugal act is fully human –in keeping with high human dignity. On the other hand, if they practice contraception they are not expressing total love as if “saying by doing”: I enjoy this but I do not want to give myself totally to you –I will withhold my/your possible fertility. And so the ethical evaluation is that contraception detracts from the high dignity of human sexuality –that of expressing a total, unconditional and life-giving love.”

 

2. Promoting a law that runs against ethical principle is itself unethical: it goes against the basic principles of social ethics and will eventually destroy society.

a. It is true that a country’s laws cannot forbid unethical behaviour, especially if it does not affect other people; however, social ethics demand that the government not promote such unethical behaviour.

b. A case in point is indulging in pornography. It is one thing for the government not to stop teenagers and married individuals from engaging in pornography in the privacy of their rooms. It is altogether another story if the government were to promote pornography by freely showing these on government-run television.

c. The government does not distribute free cigarettes; it even warns people that “cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health”; and yet there is absolutely no general consensus on smoking as being unethical. On the other hand, as has been demonstrated above, contraception is unethical. Would it be too much to ask for the government, if it refuses to warn people about it, at least not to promote it by distributing contraceptives for free, much less “to mandate education of the upcoming generation for them to consider contraception as normal and good for health and country?” (Peñacoba, 2012)

d. In other words, a law like the RH Bill is a “type of law (that) would be encouraging citizens to harm their personal dignity (while at the same time making them consider) it neutral or even good. The final effect is already visible in the Western countries. Losing the sense dignity of the human sexuality can only weaken marriages and families.” (Peñacoba, 2012)

 

 3. The distribution of contraceptives that have abortifacient properties (as mentioned in the Medical Arguments above) goes against the unborn Filipino’s human right to life.

 

4. The distribution of contraceptives that harm the health of the Filipino citizens and the environment goes against the Filipino’s human right to health.

 

5. Facilitating the mutilation of healthy body parts through vasectomy and ligation is  violation of the dignity of the human body and the human person. Indeed, it is most ironic that “the only medical procedures intended to destroy or inhibit healthy organs are those aimed at the male and female reproductive systems” making male and female sexual sterilization the 2nd most common medical procedure after abortion (Human Life International’s Pro-Life Talking Points, 2010).

 

6. The mandate to educate children in a government’s sex education curriculum goes against the Filipino parents’ human right to educate their children in their own legitimate values.

a. Princeton Professor Robert P. George and Melissa Moschella (2011) affirm that everyone from either side of the political divide and of whatever religion should refuse the proposal that government force parents – even those in public schools – “to send their children to classes that may contradict their moral and religious values on matters of intimacy and personal conduct… (as) such policies violate parents’ rights, whether they are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist or of no religion at all.”

b. Parents have the natural right to protect their children from psychological damage. The latest findings of neurophysiologists and psychiatrists on the teen-age brain that is well documented in the website of Dr. Judith Reisman show that the human brain does not reach full maturity until 21 years old. When children are exposed to graphic sexual material their brains are unable to process them and in some cases it can cause permanent trauma that is psychologically harmful to the child.

c. Situmorang (2011) in one study in Indonesia mentioned that “In-school late adolescents who get the information of sexual reproductive health from family are less likely to have premarital sexual intercourse.”

d. The study of Silva (2011) on the effectiveness of school-based sex education programs on abstinent behavior (though it admitted of some limitations) found that “the overall mean effect size for abstinent behavior was very small, close to zero.” On the other hand, one of only two moderators (that) appeared to have a significant effect is parental participation.

 

7. Considering how there are other laws (e.g., the Magna Carta for Women) that cover the acceptable parts of the Bill, the risk the government is taking to expose its officials and citizens to occasions of corruption and to endanger the sovereignty of the nation is unacceptable.

a. It has long been acknowledged that the U.S. in particular has been promoting worldwide a campaign for population control among the least developed countries (LDC’s) – among which the Philippines belongs in their list – in order to preserve their political and national interests (Kissinger, 1974).

b. It is no small wonder that the Philippines received huge sums of money from USAID to promote a population control program which included, among other things, artificial contraceptives (Pedrosa, 2012).

c. Aside from the U.S. government, huge moneys are likewise pouring from private citizens with the same contraceptive and abortion agenda. Hoopes (2012) writes about the Gates Foundation is raising and pouring in millions of dollars to:

i. “Convince the world that the best way to fight poverty is to prevent poor people from being born.

ii. “Put systems in place to make every conceivable contraceptive available to the poor at all times.

iii. “Ease the way for legal abortion.”

d. A study by Lu, Schneider, Gibbins, et al. (2010), ironically funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, showed “that DAH (development assistance for health) to government had a negative and significant effect on domestic government spending on health.” Roodman (2012), though a critic of this work, nevertheless revealed the implication of its finding: “health aid could be entirely displaced into non-health uses.” The study’s finding was later defended by one of the authors as remaining “remarkably robust both to new data and the testing of an extremely wide range of models” (Murray, 2012).

e. In fact, the supposedly “neutral and objective” Philippine media has already been compromised through millions of dollars, and very specific individuals have been identified as having been “coopted by the well-oiled RH lobby and PR machinery.” (Sangalang, 2012)

f. This is the new form imperialism“contraceptive imperialism” – which the Philippines is being subjected to. Clowes (n.d.) paraphrases the Senegalist novelist Himidou Kane when he wrote “A more permanent solution is to get the people to accept new attitudes through a systematic program of propaganda. Once the saturation campaign has succeeded, the populace controls themselves. The best part is that they will think that they arrive at important decisions on their own — when, in reality, they are being manipulated in subtle but powerful and effective ways.” This is what Kane called “colonization of the mind” and the fact that so many Filipinos are going against the culture of life by promoting the RH Bill or thinking that they are promoting life precisely by pushing it, simply means that this colonization has begun to succeed.

 

8. The driving force behind the RH Bill is unethical: it is population control.

a. Rep. Edcel Lagman, one of the main proponents of the RH Bill categorically denies that it is for population control. According to a report by Patria (2011), Lagman said, “There is nothing in the law that promotes population control. The mitigation of population growth is only incidental to the effects of RH program.” In fact, the Bill does not contain phrases like “birth control,” “population control,” “reduction of population.” Instead, what it has are the following: “family planning,” “population development,” “manageable population,” “balanced population distribution.” Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that despite the absence of the language of control, the RH Bill is, in fact, a population control measure.

b. Oplas (2012) demonstrates how two sections of the Bill, in particular sections 7 and 20, can only be interpreted as government means for population control. In fact, one author of the Bill, Rep. Kimi Cojuangco, actually admitted this herself when, according to a report by Cassandra (2011) she confirmed that “Definitely…it’s a population measure” adding afterwards, though she wasn’t asked, that “…it’s not population control.” However, both terms are practically synonymous as the meanings of the words “measure” and “control,” that can be found in any standard dictionary, imply. Moreover, RH Bill authors Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan and Rep. Emmi De Jesus of Gabriela demanded that provisions in the bill that promoted population control “must be deleted” (Gabriela Women’s Party, 2011). Pagaduan-Araullo (2012) after referring to several sections of the RH Bill succinctly stated, “All told, HB4244 is undoubtedly a population control bill in the proverbial reproductive health clothing.”

c. This understanding of the RH Bill as a population control measure is not confined to local commentators only but even to foreign observers as well. Baklinski (2012) quotes the director of Research and Training at Human Life International, Brian Clowes, as saying that the language of the Bill “seems to be written by the big international organizations like Center for Reproductive Rights, Marie Stopes International, and International Planned Parenthood Federation….The language you see [in the bill] is the language of the international population control cartel, not the language of the Filipino people,”

d. The reason that population control is unethical is that it treats human beings as mere numbers and statistics instead of persons with dignity and removes from themtheir natural right to self-determination (UNESCO, 2011), i.e., to determine “the content of (their) willing” (George & Lee, 2008). As Columbia University History professor, Matthew Connelly (as quoted in Eberstadt, 2012), said, “The great tragedy of population control, the fatal misconception, was to think that one could know other people’s interests better than they knew it themselves”.

e. Historically, population control movements all over the world have been full of abuse. For example, from the 1960s all the way to the 1980s, “nations from Mexico to India implemented coercive population control policies that forcibly sterilized millions of women, forced millions more to have abortions, and also forcibly sterilized millions of men” (Human Life International’s Pro-Life Talking Points, 2009).

f. Right here in the Philippines, Antonio de los Reyes (2011), who served as Chief Executive Officer of the Commission on Population (POPCOM) in the Marcos era, testifies to “a subsystem of indirect coercion that capitalizes on the vulnerability of people in poverty-stricken countries” which came in the form of male vasectomy and tubal ligation. In his testimony he describes the inhuman conditions in which patients were rounded up from their homes and then gathered by the scores into small clinics to be sterilized. They were bribed into doing so by attractive incentives. To be added to these were the different contraceptives that were likewise distributed.

g. This is but a realization of an ideology that started in the West and moved forward through “cooked calculations to ‘prove’ that Third World children actually had negative economic value” (Zubrin, 2012). In his impressive essay, author Robert Zubrin, enumerates the main qualities that characterize these population programs until now: top-down dictatorial, dishonest, coercive, medically irresponsible and negligent, cruel, callous, and abusive of human dignity and human rights, and racist.

h. Clearly, the nation’s past as a subject to blatant population control is something that the Philippines would not wish to begin to relive by passing the RH Bill.

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Source:

http://alfi.org.ph/handbook-of-truths-behind-the-rh-bill-defending-a-culture-of-life-using-human-reason/

 

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