In recent years, experts such as Paul Erlich have claimed an extreme population growth all around the world, and The Philippines is no exception. In this East Asian country, 25 % of the population lives below the poverty line and the fast-paced population growth greatly affects these underprivileged citizens .
The Reproductive Health Bill was created in the House of Representatives, under supervision of President Aquino. This bill will legalize contraception, provide family planning and educate citizens concerning the subject. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church has claimed contraception to be the equivalent of abortion, thus creating a great debate throughout the country.
The country of The Philippines is 90% devout Roman Catholic which has allowed campaign slogans such as “Say yes to life, and no to RH bill” and “Obey the will of god, no to RH bill” to influence many citizens . However, does it seem justifiable that ‘god’ would desire for a country to contain more than 23 million people living below the poverty line ? To allow innocent souls to lie restless with hunger night after night? No, god could never wish for a child to be born into a family where they are kicked to the streets and deprived of their necessities. So why, then, does the church claim him to? Contraception will allow families to give quality rather than spread thinly the wealth they have among numerous children. The Reproductive Health bill would also allow for the Philippine’s poverty rate to reduce over-time due to the lowered population growth rate.
In addition to this, the church’s campaigns contain many flaws. For example, contraception simply prevents the risk of pregnancy during sexual intercourse. However, the church has claimed it to be the equivalent of abortion, the termination of a fetus, which goes against the ethics of the church and the laws of the Filipino government. This error could be a key point that would change the vote of many people.
A key benefit of the bill is the affect it will create for the women of the Philippines. Due to the lack of contraception and abortions, the majority of Filipino women were deprived of a higher education and access to productive occupations. However, given access to this, women would be able to provide for themselves and their families, in turn reducing the poverty rate in the Philippines.
Another beneficiary for women would be the improved maternal and infant health aspects. The hospitals that the majority of mothers give birth in are crowded, un-sanitary, and chaotic. As stated by Arlene Matanguihan “At the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial hospital 300 proud mothers lay three to a bed, cradling their newborns. With up to 100 babies born every 24 hours here, this is one of the busiest maternity wards in the world.” With hospitals such as this one, mistakes are easily made and can drastically affect the health of a mother and child. Essentially, the bill would reduce maternal and infant mortality.
Along with numerous other benefits, the Reproductive Health Bill would curb the poverty and population growth rates. It is essential to the health of this country and its people that this bill is passed. It would bring me great sorrow to think that lies and ignorance from the church would allow for our country to be deprived from what would bring us back on our feet. Vote yes for the RH bill.