High court urged to rule on RH Law | Inquirer Opinion

High court urged to rule on RH Law

/ 09:17 PM January 15, 2014

As the Philippine population is projected to soar to 100 million this year, we in the Akbayan party-list call on the Supreme Court to finally decide on the constitutionality of the Reproductive Health Law and lift the status quo ante order  imposed on it. It has been a year since the RH Law was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Aquino. And three months have passed since the conclusion of the court’s oral arguments on the law. More than ever, the issue is now ripe for resolution.

It is imperative on the part of government to immediately implement the measure to ensure that our growing population will have greater chances of being provided with a better quality of life. The RH Law is a crucial development tool. Regardless of its size, a population will greatly benefit from this important policy, as it will allow the public greater decision-making and management in the planning of their families’ reproductive aspect.

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And while addressing the people’s reproductive health needs, the RH Law will also greatly contribute to narrowing down the widening gap between the government’s resources and the people’s development needs. The desire of many poor Filipino families to have full access to effective means of family planning cannot be underestimated. This is especially true for those who belong to classes D and E of our society, who have been the most neglected by government and, thus, the least capable of providing for the health, education and other important needs of their families.

However, contrary to the opinion of the law’s detractors, it is not a population control measure. More than anything else, the RH Law is about the people’s right to self-determination over their lives, which for the most part have been ruled by unmitigated poverty. It is a law fought hard for by our women, youth and their families so that they will have a free and informed choice, and which we hope will empower people, especially poor families, to wage the struggle against poverty and inequality.

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We hope the Supreme Court will see the urgency of our call. The immediate implementation of the RH Law will greatly contribute to bringing about the sustained and wide-ranging development which we have long been hoping for.

—RISA HONTIVEROS,

chair, Akbayan party-list

36-B Madasalin St.

Sikatuna Village, Quezon City

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TAGS: Letters to the Editor, opinion, reproductive health law, RH law, Supreme Court
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