4 groups appeal SC ruling on RH Law

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THE Supreme Court (SC) was asked on Tuesday to reconsider its ruling upholding the legality of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law.

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Four groups—Filipino Catholic Voices for Reproductive Health Inc., Interfaith Partnership for the Promotion of Responsible Parenthood, Emeliza Bayya Mones (former national council representative of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines) and Zahria Mapandi (executive director of Al-Mujadillah Development Foundation Inc.).— lodged their motions for reconsideration, asking the High Court to restore penal provisions that it earlier struck down.

The SC ruled as legal salient features of the controversial law, Republic Act 10354, with some exceptions, particularly under Sections 7, 17 and 23. Section 3 is an additional provision that was declared unconstitutional  by the SC.

The High Court’s decision, penned by Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza, made a strong stand in the “principle of no-abortion and non-coercion in the adoption of any family planning method” that it said must be maintained.

The SC did not agree with the petitioners’ contention that the RH Law intrudes into marital privacy and autonomy.

It also ruled that health workers cannot be forced to do a procedure against their religious beliefs and the only exception would be if the lives of the mother and the child were threatened.

But in their motions for reconsideration, the four groups asked the SC to reverse its ruling that declared as unconstitutional portions of Sections 7 and 23 of the RH Law.

The SC voided portions of Section 7 which orders private hospitals owned by religious groups to refer patients to other health facilities and allow minors who suffered miscarriage to access modern family planning methods without the consent of parents.

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