Friday, December 19, 2008

RH Bill: -"fertility control bill" says bioethics experts

Source: CBCPNews

MANILA -- The much hyped controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Bill 5043, that is being deliberated in Congress, is more of a “pregnancy prevention” or "fertility control bill" than maternal health bill, say bioethics experts.

In a colloquium held November 13 at the Dominican-run University of Santo Tomas (UST) - Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, leaders of the Southeast Asian Center for Bioethics, Medicine's Department of Bioethics, the Bioethics Society of the Philippines, Catholic Physicians' Guild of the Philippines, and the Philippine Nurses Association made a "consensus statement" that opposed the RH Bill in its present form.

The bill cleverly, although erroneously, styles itself as anti-abortion while promoting birth-control methods that are "potentially abortifacient agents," said bioethics experts comprising doctors and other health professionals.

Fr. Fausto Gomez, OP, president of the Southeast Asian Center for Bioethics and a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life of the Holy See, said maternal health problems should be solved not by an "anti-birth policy" but by "means that are socially and economically based."

Gomez added that all the means to be employed should respect the dignity of life and of persons, citing the consensus statement:

"In the pursuit of the authentic common good, let us appreciate the obligation to ensure that no other aims or goals, no matter how pressing, obscure will overshadow our value of and respect for life and the dignity of the person and the family."

"The advocates of the RH bill exaggerate maternal health problems contrary to the government's own statistics that show pregnancy complications are not a leading cause of death among Filipino mothers," UST's student paper, The Varsitarian, reported.

As health professionals, the bioethics members said they are of the same intention in protecting the mother during her reproductive years. "This bill, however, does not address the problems of reproductive health in a holistic manner and focuses mainly on pregnancy prevention," a statement said.

They also criticized that the bill "must consider the rights of others involved, specifically the unborn, and those tasked with their care." The statement also stressed that "the anti-abortion stance of the bill is contradicted by the promotion of contraceptive agents (IUD and hormonal contraceptives) which actually act after fertilization and are potentially abortifacient agents."

The bill is self-contradicting on abortion but advocating methods that hinder conception, said Dr. Josephine Lumitao of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and UST Hospital, which is a country's premier health service institute.

While the bill denies support for abortion, it promotes hormonal contraceptives and intrauterine devices, which prevent conception, and abortifacients, that destroy the fertilized egg, Lumitao said. She explained that hormonal contraceptives, in the form of a pill, skin patch, or injection -- all widely available in the market -- contain hormones that prevent ovulation, and render the outer layer of the uterus
unfavorable for implantation of the fertilized egg, which leads to its death due to lack of nutrition.

Intrauterine devices, a contraceptive placed inside the uterus, prevent implantation.

"Is it not contradictory if the bill promotes abortifacient methods?"


Bruce in Iloilo said...

One of the worst parts of the RH bill is the child quota. It will be officially government policy that each family shall have 2 children.

Of course, it will start off as just a recommendation, not enforced by any policy, but government intrusions into the family always start out that way. Stop this social engineering.

Besides, what is the point of society? Of life? Is it to get rich? Then support the RH bill which promises (falsely) to make the country rich. Or is it to hang out with family and friends? If family is the point of society and life, oppose the RH bill, for it chooses wealth over family.

Gerald said...

The brainwashing of young people that the most "ideal" family size is to only have four members started many years ago. Notice TV and post advertisements where families are pictured of having only four members.

Bruce in Iloilo said...

Or look at the American sitcoms, such as the classic Leave It to Beaver, which had the two children. Often the stereotype is one son and one daughter. There was the stat that the average American family had 2.2 children. I wish it was so now. It is currently less then 2, as it is in most developed countries. The world's wealthiest societies are literally dying because they are not having enough children.

Bruce in Iloilo said...

Is the below a wealthy, healthy society? Is this the society that you want to live in, one without children, without aunts, uncles and cousins? Is this what we want for our country (we know it is what the "international community" wants for us)?

"Thirty per cent of German women are childless; among university graduates, it's 40 per cent."


Personally, I think that we chart our own course and not follow Europe down the road of a child deprived future.