Why there’s no need for reproductive health law

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My advance apologies should my next statements offend anyone. I assume that most reproductive health bill (House Bill 4424) supporters haven’t been visiting Google. Had they been doing so, they would have ended up opposing the bill because they would have known the following:

•  In October 2006, a meta-analysis of nearly two dozen studies was published in the Mayo Clinic Journal, showing that OC (oral contraceptive) use raises the risk of breast cancer later in life (http://www.polycarp.org/statement_mayo_clinic_article.htm). Given that the Philippines ranked first in breast cancer incidence in Asia (http://www.gsk.com.ph/breastcancer.html), with all the more reason the RH bill should be rejected by Congress and President Aquino.

Moreover, in 2005, the World Health Organization classified combined oral contraceptive and hormone replacement therapy as “carcinogenic to humans.” WHO said that OC use increases the risk of developing cancers of the breast, liver and cervix (http://www.searo.who.int/LinkFiles/Publications_Carcinogenicity_of_Combined_Hormonal.pdf). These three types of cancer are more prevalent compared to endometrial and ovarian cancer (OC protects women from these two).

• Filipinos by nature are masisipag (hardworking) if they are given the opportunity to be so. Our overseas Filipino workers are renowned for this quality. Meanwhile, our country’s main problem is not the population, its inequality. Inequal access to opportunities, inequal economic opportunities, etc. As Karl Marx said, political economy should regard the proletarian, like a horse, he must receive enough to enable him to work. Filipinos take pride in what they do best. Therefore, give them work they can take pride of.

• P14 billion is the proposed budget for House Bill 4424. Relatively big, right? That’s why I would rather have the funds go to our public hospitals. Patients there are deprived of better treatment because of poor facilities and lack of medicines.

• We are in a democratic country, meaning, there’s no law prohibiting the sale or purchase of contraceptives, be it in the form of condom or IUD. But the pro-RH advocates would say: How about the poor they don’t have the money to buy contraceptives and the information to decide what kind to use?

Well, guess what? This bill is already practically being implemented. Why do I say this? Rural health centers all throughout the country are supplied with boxes of condoms and pills. People are free to go there and ask for some. After, of course, they go through some process. Moreover, health personnel give lectures about reproductive health every now and then. Hence, there is no need for House Bill 4424.

• And just recently Rep. Edcel Lagman said that the bill’s section on family planning supplies as essential medicines has been revised. It now states that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will determine the safety and efficacy of medicines. What if the FDA would deem them unsafe and this bill has already been approved? Then there will be a waste of both money and time.

—ELEANOR OBORRO, yayeno@gmail.com

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