The blog of a group of Filipino Catholics and their frank commentary on anything that affects their lives as a citizen of the Philippines and as a Roman Catholics.
I have read the latest version of the RH bill. I have no conscientious objection on providing medical care to women victims of abortion, provisions for accessible obstetric and gynecological care. There is also some reasons for voluntary access to methods of fertility regulation. However I am completely opposed to any State dictated population education program that does not provide any provisions for conscience. If Lagman et al respects conscience, then the word "mandatory" must be dropped. No Temporal authority has authority over conscience. I am opposed to the idea in the bill that 2 children is the ideal family size. Perhaps at our stage of our demographic development, two may be good. But that recommendation is based on a faulty understanding of a Malthusian idea. In the future we may end up like Singapore whose population is way below replacement rate. In Singapore's case 4 is the ideal size! Now why put 2 in the letter of the law?Also, faulty understanding of Malthusian theory is apparent by linking population management solely with reducing poverty. Some sort of resource and opportunities redistribution is needed in minimizing poverty. Also why give conscientious objection rights to the healthcare provider alone and not to the individual? Can the State force a condom on my reproductive organs? The present RH version suggests it can. This is violation of my reproductive and freedom of religion rights!And what is this "population officer" which to be placed in all LGUs? Since reproductive health means the dispensing of contraceptives that are considered medicines, shouldn't be my physician, nurse or any other health professionals who are obliged under professional ethics of confidentiality be the ones to advise me and my wife about reproductive health. Mere providing of information is not enough in fertility management. If the population officer is a physician, can I trust in him/her? There is always a moralistic dimension in what the RH bill aims for. The mere provision of contraceptives is not enough.The State has to work with the religious groups to provide the moral environment. And I have news for the Celdranites, there are many people from the non-Roman Catholic churches and from Islam who oppose it! I know not a few Episcopalians who oppose it with heart and mind!These are some of my major points of disagreement with the RH bill. You need not be enlightened by Roman Catholic teaching on the matter to oppose it. You only need Reason exposed to Science to oppose it. The Celdranites (who I believe think they are scientific) are stuck in mere stereotypes. No amount of Celdranitic bowlderization of the issues can solve poverty and manage our population for development.The RH bill does not even tackle the best and guaranteed way of reducing fertility. The Roman Catholic Church cannot oppose this method and this is keeping children longer in school. This means a meaningful redistribution of wealth and opportunity. If we want development, we have to give more than we take. We have to give life more than we take it.THIS IS AT THE HEART OF CATHOLIC TEACHING!