• ‘RH law legal and constitutional’

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    Actress G Toenggi carries dolls to represent mothers finding difficulty in rasing multiple children. The actress is part of the group Likhaan and they are calling for the RH Law to take into effect at a rally in front of the Department of Justice in Padre Faura Manila. PHOTO BY ALEXIS CORPUZ

    STATE lawyers has declared that the controversial Republic Act (RA) 10354 or Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act (RH law) should be declared by the Supreme Court (SC) as legal and constitutional.

    This was the heart of the argument presented by Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza by stating that Congress and President Benigno Aquino 3rd will not promote abortion, but good sense of family planning.

    During the oral arguments at the High Court, the third of its series, the Office of the Solicitor General defended the law by stressing that Congress has already addressed this issue when it tapped the Food and Drug Administration to check on the safety of the contraceptives to be used in the implementation of the law.

    At present, a status quo ante order of the 15-man tribunal is being implemented over the said law.

    “Congress has made a legislative finding of fact and has tasked the FDA to check which contraceptives are abortifacients. The FDA will make sure that contraceptives [to be used]are safe and non-abortifacients,” Jardeleza told the justices.

    He also cited a report of the World Health Organization (WHO) and testimonies of 22 Filipino experts as “proofs that contraceptives are not abortifacients.”

    As a proof, Jardeleza presented to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Aranal-Sereno and the associate justices a list of 59 registered contraceptives approved by the FDA.

    This is to dispute the claim of anti-RH petitioners, he stressed that there is no scientific proof, which would show that contraceptives cause miscarriage and abortion.

    However, SC Associate Justice Roberto Abad questioned Jar-deleza as to the state’s aim in using the WHO report for the RH law.

    “You asked WHO on what contraceptives are abortifactient when they themselves are in the business of promoting contraceptives?” Abad questioned Jardeleza.

    Jardeleza just countered that the WHO had vowed to assist the government in the implementation of the RH law.

    Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza is the ponente of the case and is expected to write the decision on the said issue.

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