The RH Bill has been something intriguing me ever since I first heard it a little over two years ago in 2008. Professionally speaking, it is the Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008, aimed to control population growth, promote reproductive health, and to exemplify responsible parenthood. It is a bill that provides the legal use of all contraceptives. Currently, it is at its second stage: being evaluated at the Congress. It is a highly controversial bill, as the use of contraceptives prevents reproduction, or the creation of life, and we are in a predominantly Catholic country.
However, seeing as the Philippines has a democratic government, no matter how much protest and riots are caused, the approval of this bill will ultimately be up to the government, as we are not a theocracy. As stated previously, the RH Bill allows legal use of contraceptives. It holds no bias for people who prefer modern family planning over natural or vice versa. It encompasses the free giving of condoms, a type of contraceptive, to the people, to promote reproductive health. This is to give “freedom of informed choice”, which is central to the exercising of any right.
Another of the bill’s guiding principles is the protection and promotion of gender equality, especially women empowerment, to allow women to exercise their right to control their own bodies. With all of the research I have done, and my own moral will, I fully agree with the bill, and if I were a major, would vote for its passing. While the Philippines isn’t technically overpopulated, merely having a high population density in highly urbanized cities, the Philippines is poor. This is due to the, (previously stated) population density.
There is a high population, with an equally high demand for basic necessities, yet an insufficient amount of supplies to meet this quota. While not having children won’t cure the economy, the long-term effect of the bill will be population control, meaning the government might just finally have enough funds to support the country and minimize corruption. Moreover, women are entitled to the right of their own bodies. They should be able to choose whether they wish to have a family or not.
If the child within a woman was the product of rape or incest, would you vouch for him/her? If the woman was your daughter? Sister? Cousin? Most people who tend to disagree with the bill’s aims and means argue that “Condoms aren’t effective,” or “The bill prevents the gift of life from being given,” and “But abortion is wrong! ” But truly, if condoms weren’t effective, why would they be sanctioned by the WHO (World Health Organization), the largest international medical organization? By professionals? By world-class doctors?
And for the second argument, as stated before, some women do not wish to give that large a gift to the world yet. Some, young and innocent, still wish to be free. And for the last one, it is stated specifically in section 3 of the bill, sub-section m, that “While nothing in this Act changes the law on abortion, as abortion remains a crime and is punishable, the government shall ensure that women seeking care for post-abortion complications shall be treated and counseled in a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate manner. If I were to meet the people who created this bill, I would criticize them for their use of certain terms in the bill, such as “reproductive health”, which is one of the reasons as to why this bill received such hostility and controversy. However, I would congratulate them as scientists and as politicians for creating a bill that could actually aid in the progress of the Philippines. As a Catholic, Filipino student, I would protect my “reproductive health” by only having sex after the holy sacrament of matrimony. This would ensure I only have one sexual partner and minimize the chances of me contracting an STD.