The Irrelevance of RH
The Irrelevance of RH
Yes, the RH law is irrelevant to the Filipino people, but we actually meant Risa Hontiveros.
Yes, the video above shows how the bumbling Risa Hontiveros failed to answer a very simple question. It shows that she neither has the smarts nor the class of Cong. Mitos Magsaysay.
A week later and Hontiveros, who is running for a seat in the senate, did not take well the news that she was included in Bacolod’s ‘Team Patay’ because of her promotion of the RH bill. She wrote an open letter, which is found in the link below, and below it was the response of Filipinos for Life president Anthony James Perez.
Here is the link to her open letter: https://www.facebook.com/notes/risa-hontiveros/an-open-letter-to-bishop-vicente-navarra-on-the-team-patay-campaign-of-the-dioce/10151329984253182
This was the text of her open letter, in bold:
“I write this letter to express my sadness deepest disappointment with the decision of the Diocese of Bacolod to launch its ‘Team Patay’ campaign. As a Catholic, I believe that the campaign fans the discord between the Church hierarchy and the lay members of the Church, a significant majority of whom supports the RH law. It sharpens the divide and makes dialogue more difficult, ironically in a time when the nation is moving forward now that the RH law has been enacted.
As an advocate of the RH law, however, what I find alarming is the relentless assault on the proponents and the merits of the new law based on allegations that have been refuted repeatedly with evidence. In the course of our efforts to push for the RH bill’s passage, we found ourselves addressing the same issues using the only tool that we can wield: the truth, and our very own conscience.
For standing up for the RH law, we have been accused of curtailing life since contraception is equated with abortion. Nothing could be farthest from the truth than this claim, and not a single provision in the new law decriminalizes abortion.
On the contrary, the truth is that the new law is an affirmation of life and human dignity. The RH law aims to stop a narrative of death and desperation for many Filipino families. If fully implemented, it will curb and eliminate maternal deaths caused by preventable pregnancy-related complications. These deaths could be curbed if mothers are given access to reproductive health services prior to pregnancy, during pregnancy, and even while raising our children.
We have also been criticized for allegedly promoting the culture of contraception, which promotes promiscuity and abortion.
The truth is, the new law will curb abortion and will promote healthy, safe, and responsible sexual behavior. The main driver of abortion is unwanted pregnancy, a result of the lack of knowledge and awareness on reproductive health and family planning. In short, it is ignorance that causes unwanted pregnancies, and if we wish to address the so-called abortion crisis in the country, we must provide Filipinos, especially the youth, with evidence-based reproductive health information and services instead of keeping them in the dark about sex and sexuality.
The fear surrounding the proposed sex and sexuality education program is likewise unfounded: it will teach our youth responsibility as they navigate their own sexuality. Indeed, opponents of the RH law wrongly attribute to education what ignorance is known to perpetrate.
Lastly, we have been branded as anti-poor because we are allegedly blaming the poor for their own poverty.
As a solo parent, I can empathize with the hopelessness that mothers or parents sometimes feel when they are raising their families. We always want to strive for a better future for our children – the best schools, decent health services, and a better fate. In many Filipino households, this aspiration is immediately crippled by unplanned births, by sick mothers, or sick babies. Such situations breed desperation, and it robs families of their chance to improve their conditions. It is not their doing that they are in these conditions; they are in fact compelled to be in these situations, because poverty is also about the lack of choice.
The RH law aims to restore that chance. It is not imposing any ideal family size to Filipino families, but it gives them the information and the tools that they need so that they themselves can decide how they are going to plan their families. The RH law doesn’t blame poverty on the poor, and it doesn’t claim to solve poverty on its own by reducing our population size. But it does aim to give the poor the information and services that they need so that they can exercise their own choice, according to their conscience and their own contexts.
We have been accused that our support for the RH law is meant to protect certain vested interests. To the good Bishop of Bacolod, and to other leaders of the Catholic faith, the one thing that stands between me and my support for the RH law is my own conscience, one which is also shaped by my Catholic beliefs.”
And this was Perez’ reply, in Italics:
As a Catholic faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, let me make some point-by-point comments on what you said here.
1. //As a Catholic, I believe that the campaign fans the discord between the Church hierarchy and the lay members of the Church, a significant majority of whom supports the RH law.//
First of all, Catholic teaching does not depend on numbers. Right is right even if almost nobody believes it. Wrong will always be wrong even if majority wants it. If it were true that majority of Catholics support RH, I would think you are dreaming, Ms. Hontiveros. I have not seen any pro RH rally that musters the kind and quantity of the crowd that anti-rh rallies muster.
2. //what I find alarming is the relentless assault on the proponents and the merits of the new law based on allegations that have been refuted repeatedly with evidence.//
Funny but I did not see anyone refute these ‘allegations’ logically nor correctly during the 3 televised RH debates featuring your best speakers. You lost all 3 debates on the major networks – losing the TV 5 debate royally, need I remind you, with a whopping 100% of the audience voting to trash the rh bill.
3. //For standing up for the RH law, we have been accused of curtailing life since contraception is equated with abortion.//
The act of contracepting is not limited to the act itself; it breeds a culture where children are unwanted. Remember that all contraceptives have a failure rate – a fact which even you yourself will not deny. With a mentality that says “I DO NOT WANT CHILDREN”, what happens if the contraceptive fails and you have a pregnancy? What is the next logical step? Abortion.
4. //In short, it is ignorance that causes unwanted pregnancies, and if we wish to address the so-called abortion crisis in the country, we must provide Filipinos, especially the youth, with evidence-based reproductive health information and services instead of keeping them in the dark about sex and sexuality. //
And you need an RH law for that? Need to spend 21 Billion for this? When in fact people can go to medical centers and get this information freely?
5. //The fear surrounding the proposed sex and sexuality education program is likewise unfounded: it will teach our youth responsibility as they navigate their own sexuality.//
If you are indeed teaching the youth to be responsible, teach them to abstain from sex until they are married – maybe not for religious reasons, but for practical reasons too.
6. //It is not their doing that they are in these conditions; they are in fact compelled to be in these situations, because poverty is also about the lack of choice.//
This is perhaps the crux of the problem. You tend to confuse people by saying that by having a choice, they will be alleviated from poverty. Let us examine this clearly and with common sense: let us say that I have finally been informed on how to space births, use contraceptives, etc. How is that going to affect all the other factors that promote poverty in the first place? How is it going to provide education and jobs? How is limiting people going to affect an economy that relies on people?
If one is going to really analyze your statement deep down, Ms. RH, your statement is about choice, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, this infatuation with choice, and in retrospect the infatuation for Reproductive Health, falls very short of the expectations of the Filipino people on people like you who will be wooing their votes in order to make laws that will take them away from their poverty. RH does not and will not put food on the table, bring poor kids to school, nor give jobs to their parents. While you recognize the fact that RH will not do the aforementioned, the fact remains that these are the main concerns of the poor and you just admitted that you are not addressing them, thereby making RH, and its promotion, irrelevant to the lives of the Filipino people.
Today, as we celebrate the anniversary of People Power, I hope the likes of you will be reminded why this momentous holiday is called such: it is because our power as a nation belongs to its people, and the sooner we realize that people deserve more than contraceptives, the sooner we take a step forward towards seeing a nation of prosperity and peace.