RH bill opponents are ‘human rights violators’
This is a response to Fr. Cecilio Magsino’s letter titled “Defeatist attitude evident in Sona line on parenthood bill” (Inquirer, 7/31/12).
Father Magsino surmised that President Aquino wanted to control growth of the student population through responsible parenthood. This misunderstanding might have been due to the fact that the Inquirer inappropriately and irresponsibly introduced the word “bill” in the original article, though it was never mentioned alongside reproductive health in the speech.
I believe Father Magsino is very much mistaken in his analysis of the President’s line on responsible parenthood. As the President was not bold enough to categorically endorse the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, he opted to point out in an oblique manner that parents should not conceive children if they are unable to support and send them to school. As Father Magsino himself pointed out, Pope Paul VI taught exactly that—to exercise responsible parenthood prudently and generously, taking into consideration the family’s physical, economic, psychological and social conditions.
I would also assert that the RH bill does not favor contraception over other family planning methods; it simply provides public access to information on reproductive health. Neither is it antilife as alleged by Father Magsino; instead, it seeks to uplift the quality of life of the people.
I argue that the bill is worth supporting because the right to reproductive health is simply the intersection of the right to reproduce and the right to health, agreed upon in international conventions as early as 1968.
At least 15 mothers have died between the publishing of Father Magsino’s letter and the writing of this letter. At least 15 mothers were denied the right to proper maternal health care and deprived of the right to life. Those who continue to show blatant disregard for these mothers are as good as human rights violators in my eyes.
—JOSHUA C. YOUNG,
vice chair for Luzon,
Bukluran UP System,
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