Some of us may have already seen the DOH-sponsored Family Planning advertisement shown at the major networks. In the ad, a child is singing a nursery-rhyme kind of song where she narrates her and her families struggles against poverty all because her parents failed to use a family planning method to limit their children. The ad itself is loaded with reproductive health propaganda, some of which we have already debunked completely the past few years. The DOH, and in effect, this government, is peddling the same anti-poor programs that will leave the poor even poorer in the next few years.
We would like to go on record: the ad was pointless, and it reveals the true nature of this government, and it is NOT in helping the most needy.
But first, let us get some things out of the way. We are not saying that it is wrong per se for the government to say that we should be planning our families. Even the Church says, that for just reasons, like health or economic reasons, the parental task of siring children can be postponed. Postponed is the operative word here. It means that siring children can be postponed, but never be cancelled or forsworn, which iis very different from the government-led family planning program we see on TV. The Catechism of the Catholic Church also says:
CCC 2368 A particular aspect of this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood.
Elizabeth Angsioco of the Democratic Women of the Philippines argued that “the unborn has no rights” and that said that we are making mothers like incubators for unwanted babies. This feminist view regards childbearing as an inferior value compared to the life of the mother. We wonder what she could do to the unborn whom she thinks has no rights!
Now back to the advertisement, which is really more propaganda and brainwashing. There is a heavy implication in that said ad that the reason for poverty was a lack of family planning. Let’s think about that for a moment.
The line of reasoning goes like this: lack of family planning = poverty. As we have said, there’s really nothing wrong per se in spacing and planning one’s family, but to equate it with poverty, and push the contraceptive mentality, buttressing it with claims that failure to plan one’s family results in poverty? That’s wrong.
Let us have the numbers speak for themselves, shall we?
Figure 1, a statistic coming from the National Statistical Coordination Board, clearly tells us that the growth of the population has clearly gone down. This is to put into perspective many people’s notion that our country’s population is ballooning, ergo people (AKA the poor) really need to plan their families (read: stop breeding like rabbits).
Figure 2 below tells us that a growing population does NOT contribute to poverty. In fact, poverty incidence lessened as the population grew. Statistic again courtesy of NCSB.
Further proof to support the pro-life claim comes from Wong Hok Tsen and Fumutaka Furuoka. Basically what they did was to study the effects of population in some countries and how they affect their respective economies. The result of their studies shows that for China, Singapore, and the Philippines, population growth causes the economy to grow too.
Of course, there will be people who would argue that family planning is necessary for improving the health of women. We are all for women’s health; we are pro-LIFE, after all. We do have issues, however, when the DOH starts giving out contraceptives that are cancerous and are known abortifacients and spend billions upon billions on them instead of investing on real solutions like NaPro technology, the science of women’s fertility and health.
We would like to urge our government: give us concrete solutions that will have lasting effects in our lives. There is so much poverty in this country, and the solution you put your funds on is the RH law? Don’t cop out on your responsibility to make this country a better place for our children and grand children. Give us better solutions or we will continue to live in utter poverty, no matter how much we plan our family.