Reading up on the RH Bill and its debates

When it comes to divisive issues such as this, I have only two requests to make of my students:

  1. Whatever position you make, arrive at it on your own. Do not be for or against an issue because a teacher, priest, or elder said so. Find peace in your own position.
  2. And whatever position you take, make sure you get the facts straight. In this instance, we’re talking about the RH Bill. For or against — Have you even read it?

This post is a link to some resources for you to use.

1. FULL TEXT: HB05043 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A NATIONAL POLICY ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH, RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD AND POPULATION DEVELOPMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES or most popularly known as THE RH BILL.

2. Reproductive Health Bill (Philippines) @ Wikipedia — pretty thorough resource

IN SUPPORT OF THE RH BILL

3. Philippine Senate Policy Brief on Promoting Reproductive Health (2009)

4. Catholics can support the RH Bill in good conscience (Ateneo, 2008)

5. Population, Poverty, Politics, and the Reproductive Health Bill (UP School of Economics, 2008)

6. 7 out of 10 Filipinos Favor Passage of RH Bill (SWS, 2008)

AGAINST THE RH BILL

7. A National Perfidy (Society of Catholic Social Scientists Philippine Chapter, 2005)

8. Misconceptions and Clarifications on Issues Related to Humanae Vitae and the Reproductive “Health” Bill in Philippine Congress by Rev. Gregory Gaston (2009)

9. Dishonest, mediocre, anti-poor (UST Varsitarian, 2008) — a reaction to the Ateneo paper

10. Medical Primer on RH Bill by Dr. Angelita Miguel-Aguirre

Notes on the sources

It’s always a healthy exercise to find out the background of the authors in order to identify the biases that they have. What makes this a debate is that everyone is right — from a certain point of view. Or are they?

Quick note on the Separation of Church and State

Supporters of the bill use this argument as their ace, their trump card. However, it’s weaker than they think.

The constitution, establishing a republican government, actually imposes limits on the powers of government. What Article II Section 6 (“The separation of Church and State shall be inviolable.”) means is that (a) the government cannot legislate in favor of any particularly religion or creed (Art VI, Sec. 29), and (b) that the government must ensure the right to freedom of religion (Art III, Sec. 5).

In no way does this imply that the Church must be silenced when it comes to policy debate. They have the same democratic right to free speech as everybody else, no matter how much you may disagree with them.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s