TO our readers and friends who feel bad that the Supreme Court only partly granted the petitions to permanently archive the so-called Reproductive Health Law because it is unconstitutional, we say “Omnia in bonum.” The words are an abbreviated reminder of St. Paul’s advise to Christians suffering from persecution and groaning from the pain of their own weaknesses (Roman 8:28), “Diligentibus Deum, omnia cooperantur in bonum. All things work together for the good of those who love God.”
To persons whose outlook is utterly earthbound—like the proponents of the RH Act whose principal concerns are to relieve the sufferings of women who have unwanted pregnancies, to make it easier to reduce poverty by preventing more births among destitute families and to rid Roxas Boulevard and the roads to the Batasan of children beggars—“Omnia in bonum” is sheer “consuelo de bobo.”
But this editorial is addressed to readers who are moved by the suffering of the masses who are poor, by the moral torments of young ladies who feel that without an RH Act they are deprived of the power and freedom to use their own bodies as they like, and by the physical and moral torment of the woman who is pregnant for the ninth time after being raped every night by her drunken good for nothing husband—moved to pity these tortured souls but not to the point of allowing the legal murder—by abortifacient contraceptives and other tools—of human beings who cannot defend themselves. We mean those humans beings who are still in the form of zygotes (the new beings each with its own unique DNA that come into unrepeatable existence when the male sperm melds with the female ovum). We mean those humans in the form of embryos clinging for life to their mothers’ uterine wall. We mean those fetuses whose growth into more viable humans is ended by chemicals and tools inserted into the mothers’ wombs.
The Supremes did not rule it “constitutional” outright. They declared it “not unconstitutional” after they struck out the provisions of the law that the petitioners against it had specified as contrary to the Constitution and to human rights and the freedom of conscience of Filipinos who cannot follow it but would be forced to.
* * *
Message of CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas
On receiving news that the High Court justices had unanimously ruled that the RH Act is “not unconstitutional,” the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference on the Philippines immediately released this message:
“I encourage our Catholic faithful to maintain respect and esteem for the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has decided on the RH issue based on existing laws in the Philippines.
“The Church must continue to uphold the sacredness of human life, to teach always the dignity of the human person and to safeguard the life of every human person from conception to natural death.
“Although the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the RH law, it has truly watered down the RH law and consequently upheld the importance of adhering to an informed religious conscience even among government workers. It has also stood on the side of the rights of parents to teach their children.
“We cannot see eye-to-eye with our pro-RH brethren on this divisive issue but we can work hand-in-hand for the good of the country.
“On the part of the Church, we must continue to teach what is right and moral. We will continue to proclaim the beauty and holiness of every human person. Through two thousand years, the Church has lived in eras of persecution, authoritarian regimes, wars and revolutions. The Church can continue its mission even with such unjust laws. Let us move on from being an RH-law-reactionary-group to truly Spirit-empowered disciples of the Gospel of life and love. We have a positive message to proclaim.
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan
April 8, 2014
* * *
The proponents of the RH Law will surely carry on their crusade to expunge the Culture of Life and the Civilization of Love that the people of God of all religions wish to see reigning on Earth. The RH Law activists will not rest until the provisions struck down by the High Court are restored. Then they will work to get laws enacted allowing the murder of old and sick citizens and of retarded and other children afflicted with brain impairments. Such laws are in the statute books of rich countries of the West whose Culture of Death the RH Law activists want us Filipinos to embrace.
We must fight them. We must not be afraid to risk pain and martyrdom to preserve the Godly moral values in our society.