‘RH Law tool for mass killing’

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ORAL ARGUMENTS ON RH LAW

Supreme Court justices listen to the arguments presented by groups opposed
to R.A. 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law which requires the government to distribute contraceptives. PHOTO BY EDWIN MULI

WHEN does life start?

This was the core of the arguments heard by the Supreme Court on Tuesday as personalities who are against the controversial Reproductive Health law or Republic Act 10354 maintained that it violates the constitutional provision protecting the life of the unborn.

Former senator Francisco Tatad told the High Court that the RH Law legalizes mass killings and violates a family’s freedom of choice.

The oral arguments turned into a biology class as those who were allowed to present their arguments insisted that the state is mandated by the Constitution to protect the life of the unborn.


Tatad expressed fears that R.A. 10354, also known as the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, would “rewrite the mandate of the Constitution by imposing population control through state-mandated contraception.”

The former senator said that the implementation of the law will result in mass killings or genocide because it prevents birth.

“It is a population control measure that denies the God-given right to reject contraception,” Tatad, who represents a group of petitioners who sought to stop the law, said.

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Members of pro-life groups on Tuesday hold a rally in front of the Supreme Court building in Manila. Bishops and priests also held Masses and prayed for the lawyers and personalities who will be arguing against the law. PHOTO BY EDWIN MULI

 

The new law, he added, redefines the purpose of marriage and refutes the basic right of married people to procreate on their own free will.

“They must practice birth control or else suffer the consequences. That is not freedom of choice at all. That is not protecting the family as foundation of the nation,” he told the High Tribunal.

He maintained that RA 10354 does not provide equal protection to a mother and her unborn child.

“Have we become a democracy only to submit to state supervision and control?” he asked. “That is simply putting family, its most intimate and private life, and their liberties under state supervision,” Tatad added.

The 1987 Constitution gives protection to the “life of the unborn” while the Bill of Rights upholds the “right to life.”

Lawyer Maria Concepcion Noche, one of those who petitioned to stop the RH Law, said the law violates one’s right to life and right to health.

“A fertilized ovum is alive. It has life. This is a vital sign of life. Fertilized ovum is human. There is human life on conception,” Noche said.

“Let all the voices of the unborn be heard in this supreme tribunal. Let their voice be yours.”

The Supreme Court issued an order in March halting the implementation of the law, which mandates the State to “promote and provide information and access to all methods of family planning.”

As oral arguments were being presented, groups opposed to the RH law held a rally outside the Supreme Court building in Padre Faura Street.

The Catholic church also held prayer vigils and Masses.

“We ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten and inspire the lawyers who would be arguing for our position . . . and enlighten the justices of the Supreme Court,” Bishop Gabriel Reyes said at a nearby church.

Bishop Gabriel Reyes of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines–Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL) urged the govern-ment to give high reverence to morality by valuing life of the unborn.

“Any government that excludes God in its governance and policy will not end well. And if they really go against God, usually, (they) end in disaster,” Reyes said in his homily at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Nuestra Señora de Guia in M.H. del Pilar Street, Ermita, Manila.

Father Melvin Castro, the Executive Secretary of the same commission, agreed with Reyes.

“The moment you push God away from the system of governance, sooner or later, what would enter is moral perversion, family dissolution, and eventually, it would fall as a system of governance,” Castro said. “The absence of any moral fiber would lead to (a government’s) downfall,” he added.

“We are appealing to the government to learn from history. History is replete with examples of governance that came down precisely (because) they failed to protect life and family,” Castro appealed.

He said that the Church’s last hope to stop the law lies with the Supreme Court.

“This is the last branch of the government that we trust to uphold the Constitution. It is very clear that the State should protect life from conception to natural death. We hope and we pray that even if the Executive department already pushed that (law) and arm-wrestled Cong-ress into passing it, the SC, which shouldn’t be beholden to no one, would uphold the Constitution itself,” he added.

Reyes meanwhile said the main problem of the country is erroneous governance, not overpopulation.

“The main causes of poverty in the country is bad gov-ernance, corruption and wrong economic policies and prog-rams,” the prelate said.

“There are many things in the RH law that we are against. One of these things is telling government officials, mayors to distribute free contraceptives to the people. (The use of ) contraceptives is wrong. It’s against the moral law and against the natural law,” Reyes stressed.

WITH A REPORT FROM AFP

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8 Comments

  1. This law is long overdue. Kudos for our legislature’s courage to have it finally passed. Yesterday, the Supreme Court through its magistrates hints what its position on the RH law is or might be when it finally rules on the ‘constitutionality’ of this law. It has already somehow admitted its fallibility in intruding into the domain where only nature has full control by asking “When does life begin?”. The SC admits it doesn’t have the skills to intrude into the realm of science. Sen. Tatad may have a point but still can’t convince us owing to the intricacy on the issues of conception. It’s just like the never-ending treatises on evolution. Looks like the SC is just giving space on all sides to air their thoughts on this controversial and highly contentious reproductive issue. But in the end the court will let the RH law apply and chart its own evolution in the life of this nation.

  2. MAMBO-JUMBO THEORY
    Enough of this “Mambo-Jumbo” theory of the Catholic Church, inculcating to the mind of unsuspecting public that by taking or using contraceptives pills is tantamount to killing of the unborn, thereby making them as murderers of the unborn. This is a big Baloney! One thing is definite…the current so-so growth of Catholic membership is through the Reproductive potentials of their marital couples therefore, if they can’t get rid of the RH Law from being implemented…they might as well, welcome the law of their diminishing return.

  3. Florencio Garcia on

    RA10354 is the worst law that had ever been passed in the Philippines. Here is why: 1) It legalizes the killing of the unborn, 2) It will increase teen-age pregnancy by giving a false sense of security that no conception will result from sexual intercourse if you contraceptive pills, 3)It exposes the contraceptive users to risks of various diseases, 4)It will increase marital infidelity,5)It will create a “culture of contraceptive mentality” that will lead to population imbalance,6)It is against natural law & therefore against God’s law.

    • If they (Catholics) insist that by taking contraceptive pills it legalizes killing of the unborn, might as well rally to outlaw “Masturbation” as this practice of excitation of one’s genital organ is an outright killing of living organism once expulsion of seminal fluid had been done.

    • Julian Macabayan on

      Please read the Law. Oh, and yes, this is a secular issue. Roman Catholicism is not the state religion in this Country.

  4. im in favor of rh law. i wonder why these catholic priests don’t marry and raise families? even the bible says that, “The bishop therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, soberminded, orderly, given to hospitality, apt to teach;..” 1 Timothy 3:2.. so now who’s the violators of life?

    • felix servidad on

      I just want to qoute matthew 19: 12 ; as my reply:
      For there are different reasons why men cannot marry, some because they were born that way; others, because men made them that way; and others do not marry for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, let him who fan accept this teaching do so.

  5. the church should remove itself regarding affairs about the RH , their mentality is defeating any progress on helping people make a better life,