UPDATED 24 NOVEMBER 2010
By Francisco S. Tatad
Former Senate Majority Leader
Board Member, INTERNATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE FEDERATION
Board Member, WORLD YOUTH ALLIANCE
New York, NY
“What is good for the wolves is bad for the sheep.”
-A popular wisdom known to shepherds, sheep and wolves
Q. A paper issued jointly by Loyola School of Theology and the John J.
Carroll Institute on Church and Social Issues, and specifically attributed to Fathers Eric Genilo, S. J., John J. Carroll, S. J., and Joaquin Bernas, S.J., observes that “the polarization of Philippine society over the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill has been a source of discomfort and discontent among Filipinos. It is unfortunate that the debate has focused only on whether the Bill should be passed or rejected in its present form. Either option would not be good for Filipinos.” How do you think the debate on the bill should proceed?
A. One must commend the effort of the three Jesuits to find a ‘win-win’ solution to a difficult issue. But we probably see things a little differently. First of all, six versions of the same RH bill have been filed in the House of Representatives, fewer in the Senate. Not enough members of the Fifteenth Congress, and not enough people anywhere have read the bills or bill (let’s just say, bill.) Not enough people to polarize at this time. Polarization could come soon enough, but it is not yet there.
Quite prodigious, though, is the effort of the pro-RH media, the pro-RH pollsters and the foreign-assisted lobby to hype “the need” to enact an RH law. They put in big headlines any pro-RH soundbite, like that one we read from a visiting abortionist professor from Berkeley who said that unless we pass the RH bill, in no time at all we could become another Somalia. It doesn’t matter if the statement makes sense or not; in the case of the Berkeley professor, he must have heard the Philippines was poor because “overpopulated” ---94 million people and a population density of 313 per square kilometer in 300,000 sq. km. of real estate. But he obviously never got to find out that Somalia is wretchedly much poorer because it does not have enough people---less than 10 million Somalians to cover a country twice as big as the Philippines, and a population density of 15 Somalians per square km. Yet those who will quote anything without thinking were glad to quote him like a messenger from above..
Naturally those who oppose the bill have not been slow to respond. These include members of the Catholic clergy and the laity who see in it an attempt to use the power of the State to redefine human life, marriage and the family. If this is what the Loyola Jesuits refer to as “polarization,” then they are probably right. Except that there may be no way of avoiding it, so long as the proposal stays, given what it contains, and the way it is being promoted by its proponents, local and foreign.
What do I mean? Well, to begin with, the basic thrust of the bill has been compelety misrepresented. They have to be more truthful about it. It is not fair to ask those who oppose the bill to moderate their opposition while the unacceptable provisions, which happen to be the main, are not being withdrawn.
Q. What’s so objectionable about their presentation? Don’t they simply want to allow Filipino women to fully exercise their “human right” to make an “informed choice” on the use of contraceptives and sterilization agents? Is that not, in fact, the bill’s principal purpose and objective?
A. That’s precisely our point. It’s not the main purpose of the bill, but they want us to believe it is. Filipino women and men in great numbers are already freely contracepting and getting sterilized. No law prohibits them from doing so. The Department of Health (DOH) and the Population Commission (Popcom) have been big suppliers of contraceptives and sterilization agents, as one Secretary of Health famously boasted at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994. And the General Appropriations Act has been carrying regular appropriations for that purpose since the 70s. DOH and Popcom personnel as well as public and private hospital staff openly ask men and women to get sterilized, especially during a child birth. Many Local Government Units have since signed up. The country’s contraceptive prevalence rating now stands at 50 percent. And they need a law to guarantee women’s right to an “informed choice” on the use of contraceptives and sterilization agents?
Q. So what is the main objective and purpose?
A. The immediate objective, as written, is to make the State the ultimate
supplier of contraceptives and sterilization agents to the public. These are to be distributed as “essential” frontline medicines to cure human fertility, which is not a disease. The ultimate objective is population control.
The term “population control” is meticulously avoided by the population controllers for political correctness, but the truth is nothing else. The RH proponents in the House let the cat out of the bag when all versions of the bill were referred to the Committee on Population, with no secondary committee referrals, instead of the Health Committee, which had maintained primary jurisdiction over it until last year.
Population control has traveled a long way and is almost solely responsible for the “depopulation” crisis that has begun to tear at the seams of the once affluent Western societies. Through the RH bill and everything that will follow in its wake, it is determined to reshape our own society as well. It is no fairy tale.
Q. Please be more specific.
A. The original objective was to downsize the family everywhere to two
children per, by the year 2000. Where that goal has already been achieved, they are now looking at “the only child” option, even though that has already created a demographic disaster in China, with its projected preponderance of 30 million males without females by 2020. Or they are looking at the family rendered barren by contraception-sterilization-abortion or “same-sex marriage.”
The RH bill seeks to accomplish its objective through universal contraception and sterilization by the State, and mandatory sex education for school children, from Grade V up to high school, without parental consent. The bill is clearly inspired by the global population control agenda, which also provides its strongest support.
This agenda was first spelled out in U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY STUDY MEMORANDUM 200, otherwise known as the 1974 KISSINGER REPORT. It considered the overall effects of continued population growth in developing countries, not on the poverty and social conditions of those countries, but rather upon the economic and security interests of the United States. Thereafter the US launched its global program to curb population growth in developing countries. The program was quickly adopted by the other rich countries, the United Nations and its various agencies, the World Bank, the IMF, the Asian Development Bank and various international funding institutions.
In the US, population control was promoted with great fervor by the Clinton administration. But its strongest support yet has come from President Barack Obama whose first major official act was to authorize the use of US funds, disallowed by his predecessor George W. Bush, to support abortion activities in the developing countries.
Abortion became legal in the US in 1973 by virtue of the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade. Each year, abortion takes a toll of at least 46 million unborn children around the world. China accounts for 13 million, and India 11 million of the total count.
Q. Don’t they know the killing of babies is still a crime?
A. More than that. But not everyone has had the courag (again out of
political correctness), to call it by its proper name---Genocide. But both the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted on Dec. 9, 1948---one day before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted---and the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court of 1998 classify as genocid, “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national ethnical, racial or religious group.” These include, but are not limited to, “deliberately inflicting on the group, conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction, in whole or in part,” and “imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group.”
At the Nuremberg war trials of 1945-6, the Nazis’ effort “to decrease the birth rate in Nazi- occupied countries by sterilization, castration and abortion, by separating husband from wife and men from women and obstructing marriage” was condemned and punished as a “crime against humanity.” But the very same people who condemned such unspeakable horror in the last century are now promoting it as a boon to humanity in this century.
Population control unleashed radical changes in social mores and lifestyle and systematic attacks on human life, the family and marriage. As these attacks intensified, Pope John Paul II warned against the conflict between the culture of life and the culture of death. Among many Filipinos, DEATH came to be known as the lethal acronym for Divorce, Euthanasia, Abortion, Total fertility control, Homosexual practices (same-sex marriage, etc).
What seems to excite some people is the continued dynamism and robustness of our population, despite all our man-made woes. It continues to grow at 1.9 percent annually, according to the CIA World Factbook, while most other countries are posting negative growth rates. This growth rate is not high, but the real numbers continue to grow because people “finally stopped dying like flies.” The average worker in the Philippines is much younger than his counterpart in most of the world, giving us a longterm edge that has been lost forever to so many countries. Population controllers and their propagandists, however, continue to alarm us about our supposedly “exploding” numbers, without looking at the age-structure, which puts us above most of everybody else, when the world’s most serious problem is the irreversible ageing, “de-fertilization”, “depopulation” and “dechristianization” now changing the face of Europe.
Writing in the November/December 2010 issue of the prestigious US quarterly journal, Foreign Affairs, Nicholas Eberstadt, one of the world’s most respected demographers, reports that “almost all of the world’s developed countries have sub-replacement fertility, with overall birth-rates more than 20 percent below the level required for long-term population stability. But developed countries account for less than a fifth of the world’s population; the great majority of the world’s population with sub-replacement fertility in fact reside in low-income societies…Between now and 2020, the global supply of potential workers is set to grow much more slowly than in the previous two decades. According to U.S.Census Bureau projections, the absolute increase in the world’s working-age (between 15 and 64) population between 2010 and 2030 will be around 900 million people, 400 million fewer than over the past two decades. The projected average rate of global manpower growth for the coming decades is 0.9 percent per year, only half the rate for the period between 1990 and 2010… It is not alarmist to warn that there is no time to lose in recognizing---and adapting to---the enormity of the world’s unavoidable demographic challenges.”
Our situation in the Philippines is tragic and perverse. We are being asked to renounce our enormous natural demographic advantage as a great liability, and to embrace the costly and ruinous population policies of the West that have long failed.
Q. Is there anything wrong with the State or Government flooding the
country with contraceptives and sterilization agents and distributing
them free of charge to the public?
1. First of all, this is not the business of the State. It would put the State in an unnecessary contention with the Church, which condemns contraception and sterilization as evil, even though the other “religious traditions” do not. Of course the Church does not expect the State to act as the official enforcer of its teaching, but it does not expect the State either to tell the Church’s faithful not to follow the teaching of their faith. The State cannot favor one “religious tradition” against another; it has to take a neutral position, which would allow the various “religious traditions” to teach their respective doctrines, without the approval or disapproval of the State. Their followers would then be free to follow or not to follow what their respective churches teach.
This is what is happening now. Those who want to contracept and get themselves sterilized are free to do so, and are freely doing so; and those who reject contraception and sterilization as evil are not compelled to do so. The status quo is working, except for the fact that, contrary to what the public has been made to believe, the Government, for many years now, has been consistently funding an RH program and receiving donations in cash and in kind from foreign sources to promote the RH- population control agenda, in violation of the 1987 Constitution. This---rather than a new RH bill----is the real constitutional and legal issue Congress must resolve.
In opposing the bill, the Church is simply asking our legislators to respect the natural moral law, and the most basic of all human rights, related to the sanctity and inviolability of human life, marriage and the family, and never to transgress the sacred precincts of the family bedroom and tell married couples how to exercise their marital rights and duties. No government does that, except in totalitarian States. We are not yet a totalitarian State, thank God, and we must curb every totalitarian impulse latent among our political bosses.
2. Second, the Constitution, to which every law must conform, does not allow state contraception or sterilization. Where does the Constitution say that? Article II ---DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES---Section 12 provides, among others, that “the State shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.”
That is not just a ban on abortion. It is also a ban on State contraception and sterilization, as distinguished from contraception and sterilization without any State participation. Why so? Because the State cannot be “the protector of the life of the unborn from the moment of conception” while at the same time involved in a contraception and sterilization program whose main, if not sole, purpose is to prevent women, or even just a single woman, from conceiving a child. The two things are opposed to each other and contradictory; the result is an absurdity which all legislation abhors.
3. Third, even if the constitutional ban on state contraception and
sterilization did not exist, the Philippines is not a welfare state
and has neither the duty nor the resources to provide directly for the population’s every need or want. Were the Philippines a welfare state, provided it had not lost its core values, its first duty would have been to provide for the people’s basic needs----food, water, clothing, shelter, education, health---though not any non-essential want, which could include contraceptives. In the area of health, it could mean free medical care and hospitalization for those afflicted with the most common diseases, the leading killer diseases and occasional epidemics, before throwing money (if ever) to eradicate fertility, as though it were a dreaded pandemic. But why is no one asking the State to provide free hospitalization and medical care to all those poor women suffering from cancer, pulmonary and respiratory diseases, tuberculosis, diabetes and other killers?
4. Fourth, the latest state of research has shown that many, if not most, contraceptives are no longer merely contraceptives but actual abortifacients. They do not just prevent conception but rather prevent the initial development of pregnancy even after fertilization. They either intercept the embryo before implantation in the uterus, thus they are called interceptives, or they eliminate the newly implanted embryo altogether, thus they are called contragestives. Since abortion is a criminal offense, the government cannot be part of any program that gives out abortifacients, even if the constitutional ban on state-supplied contraceptives did not exist.
5. Fifth, precisely because State contraception and sterilization are constitutionally prohibited, even if the RH bill were passed on the vote of a “lynch-mob” majority, that would not make it constitutional nor give it the first property of a just law. As Pope Benedict XVI says, “there are things that are always wrong and can never be legalized,” just as “there are some things that absolutely always remain legally binding, things that precede every majority decision, things that majority decisions must respect.” Instead of clearing the way for the massive public distribution of contraceptives and sterilization agents as essential medicines, an unjust law could simply provoke passive or active resistance among a particular class of Filipinos. That could ultimately create worse problems for the society and the State.
Q. The opponents of the RH bill appear to ignore altogether the fact that the bill allows men and women to choose between “modern contraceptives” and the traditional method or natural family planning. Do you also reject natural family planning (NFP)?
A. The bill makes passing mention of NFP, but its real focus is on state contraception and sterilization. Nothing in the bill says NFP shall be promoted as an essential service to married couples, that medical personnel will be trained to provide the service and to train others, that every hospital and clinic and every commercial establishment, etc. will be required to have a specific number of personnel who are skilled in the Billings method or something else. In contrast, there is a detailed proposal on how the State will provide contraceptives and sterilization agents to the public. The token reference to NFP is mere icing on the cake.
But let us first clarify our terms. No parity exists between contraception and NFP. NFP is not contraception---not by a long shot. Contraception requires the use of an artificial method to prevent fertilization, which occurs when a spermatozoa successfully penetrates the ovum in the fallopian tubes. NFP on the other hand simply requires the married couple to abstain from sex during the wife’s fertile period to avoid a possible pregnancy. It does not interfere with a woman’s fertility cycle, nor attempt to render infertile a woman’s fertile period. Because it is not contraception, couples may freely use it to space child-bearing, and the State can support it, consistent with its constitutional duty “to defend the right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood.”
Q. How effective, and how difficult, is the successful practice of NFP?
A. Some studies in the early 90s have shown that NFP could be
effective up to 98 percent, or higher. But those studies did not
create any strong demand for NFP, simply because the method
does not give the big pharmaceutical firms or even government
bureaucrats the opportunity to make large piles of money.
Q. Aside from State contraception and sterilization, the RH bill is
proposing a mandatory age-appropriate sex education for students
from Grade V up to high school without parental consent. What is
so outrageous about that? Shouldn’t parents welcome it as a
necessary help in the education of their children?
A. The Constitution provides that the natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of their children for civic efficiency and the development of their character shall receive the support of Government. How can the State take that away from parents without becoming a totalitarian state? How could parents in turn throw away their right without submitting to totalitarianism and showing themselves to be irresponsible, unpatriotic and unfit to become parents? Compounding the sheer audacity of that proposal is the patent profanity (lapsing into occasional pornography) of the graphic images that are being piloted as instructional materials in various places as of now. They have no ethically redeeming value, are clearly destructive of the moral character and sexual composure and purity of the young.
Q. Should Catholics oppose the RH bill because it is unconstitutional
or because it goes against the teaching of the Church? What about
A. Catholics and non-Catholics should oppose the bill on
constitutional and moral grounds. Both the Constitution and the moral law must be followed at all times. Both are assaulted with equal severity by the RH bill. The moral law is not for Catholics only, and the Constitution binds all citizens. Article II of the Constitution, entitled DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES AND STATE POLICIES, and Article XV, THE FAMILY, speak of “the sanctity of human life; the family as the foundation of the nation; marriage as the foundation of the family and as an inviolable social institution; the right of spouses to found a family according to their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood; the right of the mother to bear a child and the right of the unborn child to be born; the right of parents to be the primary educators of their children; the right of youth and women to achieve their full potential as persons and as citizens; the right of the people to health and to a balanced environment in harmony with nature.”
These policies are not self-enforcing. They need an enabling
law to put flesh and bones into them. This is what the Congress should propose. Not the RH bill. For obvious reasons.
The RH bill reads: AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A NATIONAL POLICY
ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH, RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD AND
POPULATION DEVELOPMENT. How does it relate to the constitutional policy or policies laid down in Article II and Article XV on procreation and childbearing, responsible parenthood and population development? It has no bearing at all.
The term “reproductive health” does not appear in our Constitution. It is a new coinage, which entered “international” usage only recently. The World Health Organization, the UN Fund for Population Activities, and the various UN agencies, as well as the US and at least G-8 seem agreed that the term includes “access to abortion.” The authors of the RH bill, on the other hand, assure us that the term does not include “access to abortion,” which remains a punishable crime.
Since the bill invokes “international law” as part of the bases of
its proposals, it seems but right that whatever “international term” is used should carry its popularly accepted international meaning. Otherwise, the bill should use univocal and unambiguous terms only, understandable to Filipinos, for whom the proposed law is written. No legal text should have one meaning for a foreign audience and another meaning for the local. The term “reproductive health” should probably be avoided altogether.
Obviously, “reproductive health” is intended to clothe in
bureaucratic Newspeak the health issues related to childbearing. If
that is so, and we detect no evidence to the contrary, then the RH
bill is seeking to introduce a policy where the Constitution has
already formulated a policy or policies. Is that permissible? Not
so, as we have seen earlier.
Q. As a Catholic, should I listen to my bishop or to my congressman
and the senators on this issue? Please enlighten me.
A. Listen to all. It is a constitutional and moral issue. So listen to
your bishop because the bill is addressed to your whole person, to
everything that you are, your body and soul, your politics, your
economic and social wellbeing, your relations with everyone in your family, and with others, your salvation above all.
Consider this: Congress can pass no law “abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.” The State cannot tell a journalist, broadcaster, or
legislator what to say on any subject, how to say it, and how much
time to take in saying it. And yet you want the State to have the right to tell a man how to have sexual intercourse with his wife?
This is a fundamental moral and meta-legal issue, which must be
clear to every adult person. So listen to your bishop. But listen to your congressman and senators, too, because it is a constitutional issue and every legislation must conform to the Constitution. You have a right to expect your congressman and senators to be familiar with the Constitution and to be faithful to it.
And because the legislators are supposed to represent the people, and you are a part of the people, make sure they listen to you, too. Above all, they have a specific duty under Section 3 (4), Article XV of the Constitution to listen to families and family associations in the planning and implementation of programs affecting them.
Would any politician dare to propose that ARMM use part of its revenue to provide pork for its predominantly Muslim and non-pork-eating population, should the region ever run short of meat? How then could they ever bring themselves to think that Catholic taxpayers could be made to fund a contraception and sterililzation program that criminally violates a doctrine of their faith?
That would be entirely unjust in a situation where Catholics were a small minority. But where they constitute the overwhelming majority, it would be more than unjust: it would be rank tyranny.
Q. The Loyola paper has something on this. Could we have your take on it? It says:
The Protection of Human Life and the Constitution
• The Church insists on protection of human life upon fertilization. The question to be answered by the State is if this is the same position it will take regarding the protection of human life.
• The Philippine Constitution says the State will protect the life of the unborn from conception. It is not specified in the Constitution, whether conception means fertilization or implantation of the embryo in the womb. The Constitutional Convention (sic) seemed to favor fertilization. The definition of conception will have a bearing on whether contraception that prevents the implantation of the embryo would be legally allowed or not. The definition of conception in the Constitution must be worked out both by medical and legal experts to determine the parameters of what reproductive services can be provided by the Bill.
Providing Reproductive Health Information and Services for a Multi-Religious Society
• Even if the majority of the population of the country are Catholics, our democratic system should ensure that public policies are not determined solely by majority vote but by all, including non-Catholics. The Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church rejects the imposition of norms by a majority that is discriminatory of the rights of a minority. (#422)(sic) 423. “Because of its historical and cultural ties to a nation, a religious community might be given special recognition on the part of the State. Such recognition must in no way create discrimination within the civil or social order for other religious groups”; (#169):…”those responsible for government are required to interpret the common good of their country not only according to the guidelines of the majority but also according to the effective good of all the members of the community, including the minority.”
• It is the duty of the various religions to teach their faithful and form their consciences about what their religious tradition allows and prohibits with regard to family planning. It is the duty of the government to provide correct and comprehensive information on all non-abortifacient (as defined by law) family planning methods that are available. Consciences will be better equipped to make informed choices according to their religious traditions.
• Proposal: There can be two separate parallel programs for providing information and training, one for NFP and another for artificial methods of family planning (with separate budgets). The separation of the programs will ensure that NFP will get adequate funding and those trainers who wish to teach only NFP for religious reasons will not be forced to teach artificial methods. The conscience of health workers and trainers should be respected. If a Catholic health worker or trainer conscientiously objects to teaching contracepive methods, he or she shall be allowed to teach only NFP methods.
It is rather a long text, but could you please react to it?
A. We may have covered some of the points already, but just to make sure everything is clear.
• The Church holds that conception takes place upon fertilization. This is also the age-old view of the medical profession, despite some recent claim that it happens upon implantation. What is the State’s position then?
• The State’s position is as the Constitution says it. The Constitution does not say when conception takes place, but the records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission (not Convention), of which Father Bernas was a member, show that when they were debating the provision, that “the State shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception,” they agreed that conception meant fertilization. It is safe to assume that most Filipinos who had voted to ratify the 1987 Constitution before some people started talking about the implantation theory had the same position.
• But whether conception takes place upon fertilization or upon implantation is not a material issue here. At whatever point conception begins---upon fertilization or upon implantation---the duty of the State” to protect the life of the unborn from conception” does not change. Therefore, the State cannot be part of any program whose purpose is to prevent women, even a single woman, from conceiving a child. That has nothing to do with doing what the Catholics would like the State to do; it has all to do with what the Constitution bids the State to do.
• Should the government then provide the public with all the necessary information on contraceptives? If we oblige the government to do that, then we should oblige it to provide all the necessary information on all medicines for every human ailment. Now,that information is available in the market. Since the government does not manufacture any of these medicines, its more proper duty is to make sure that no harmful medicine for any kind of ailment is ever sold in the market. With respect to contraceptives, which men and women are free to use of their own accord, the government’s duty is to make sure that only those that are not illegal and are medically safe are sold in the market. Interceptives, contragestives and all sorts of abortifacients should be permitted only in the rarest of cases, when treating specific pathological disorders and diseases, upon the prescription of a duly registered medical specialist.
• Clearly, while the government cannot legally support a contraception and sterilization program, the Constitution requires it to support the practice of responsible parenthood through family planning that does not involve artificial contraception. This means NFP, which does not interfere with a woman’s fertility cycle, and is therefore not contraception at all.
Q. Are you still hopeful then that President Aquino could finally be persuaded to reconsider his announced position on the RH bill?
A. Prayerfully so. The pressure from abroad is understandably enormous, but it is a question of the Constitution and national sovereignty. The President’s duty is to defend both at all times, from all forces, including our own friends and allies. That is non-negotiable. And he still has some time to study the Constitution and the history of population control, and what it proposes to do and has already done to mankind. It is a great opportunity for conversion and transformation. Especially if he could see that the effort of the global anti-life forces to redefine the human being, the family and marriage is not a smaller matter than the travel advisories against the Philippines that seem to cause him so much anxiety these days.
Q. If what you say is true, that the RH bill is an imperialist ploy, then why is it that the usual “conservatives” are the ones opposing it, while the so-called “progressives” and “nationalists” are the ones pushing for it?
A. That is one of the great mysteries of our time. We should ask our progressive and nationalist friends why. If they are prepared to shout anti-imperialist slogans, burn the American flag to protest the rape of a Filipino woman by a drunken American sailor, and march for the expulsion of the visiting US forces in Mindanao at the slightest excuse, why are they the first ones to abuse those who oppose with conviction a bill that seeks to impose a racist and anti-poor population control policy on their unsuspecting and misinformed countrymen? Not enough nationalism and patriotism seems to be going on there. But we can’t afford to give up on anyone. We continue to pray that they’ll come around. Our greatest enemy is not malice but ignorance.
Q. The early surveys seem to indicate the pro-RH group has all the numbers, both inside and outside Congress. Is it not time to throw in the towel, or are you praying for a miracle?
A. We must pray for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to prevail. Let’s not forget that nobody can fool all the people all the time. Until the last elections, the paid pollsters and the conscript media had a good run. So many had been fooled by them. But we know, and they know we know, so I hope they’ll know when to stop. . Soon enough the truth will overtake them. So let’s not play their game. Let us instead try to get everyone to answer the following questions:
1. Do you honestly believe that any government has the right to tell any married couple what to do before, during and after marital intercourse?
2. Do you honestly believe that lawmakers and the President could simply ignore the Constitution and the natural moral law and do what the population controllers and the donor institutions are asking them to do without any cost or consequence?
3. Do you honestly believe that if they did all that, the people would simply do nothing and the government would still have any moral authority to govern?
There cannot be any two ways of reading the moral law and the Constitution. To return to the basic issue:
1) If the State is the protector of the life of the unborn from the moment of conception, it cannot run a program that will prevent women from conceiving.
2) If parents are the natural and primary educators of their chldren, the State cannot impose a mandatory sex education program on minor schoolchildren without parental consent.
3) The State cannot do all these things without abolishing the Constitution and morphing into a totalitarian order.
So it’s not just a numbers game. Legislation must begin with the truth
and justice. Even the foreign population controllers must know this,
otherwise they would just be funding and fomenting civil strife.
Q. Is there nothing good at all which the Government can do under the circumstances?
A. The best thing the Government can do is simply to follow the Constitution, uphold and safeguard the nation’s sovereignty, and protect the culture of our people. Colonialism is long over. Let us not allow ourselves to become the plaything of those who want to impose their hedonistic ideologies and flawed lifestyles upon our culture. We have so much to teach them, they have very little to teach us, outside of science and technology, which needs to be governed by ethics in any case.
The best policy the Government can adopt is the first thing known to the medical profession: DO NO HARM. NEITHER PROHIBIT NOR PROVIDE CONTRACEPTIVES TO THE PUBLIC, BUT MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS PROTECTED FROM DIRECT STERILIZATION, AND THOSE WHO ARE CONTRACEPTING ARE LIKEWISE ADEQUATELY PROTECTED FROM ANY SIDE EFFECTS OF THEIR CONTRACEPTIVES, AND FROM INTERCEPTIVES, CONTRAGESTIVES AND ABORTIFACIENTS, WHICH SHOULD ALL BE BANNED.
Q. Does it mean there is absolutely nothing worth saving in the bil? The Loyola paper says “total rejection of the bill…will not change the status quo of high rates of infant mortality, maternal deaths, and abortions.” Any comment?
A. Infant and maternal mortality needs to be adequately addressed, and
the proper medical response is known. It is not contraceptives or sterilization agents. The same with criminal abortion. In fact, the bill contains several good provisions that could be isolated from the toxic corpus of the bill and quickly implemented. These include:
• The establishment or upgrading of hospitals with adequate and qualified personnel, equipment and supplies to be able to provide emergency obstetric care. Or the establishment of one hospital for comprehensive emergency obstetric care and four hospitals for basic emergency obstetric care to serve every 500,000 population.
• The proposal that all LGUs, national and local government hospitals, and other public health units conduct an annual maternal death review in accordance with guidelines set by the DOH.
• The proposal that all serious and life threatening reproductive health conditions such as HIV and AIDS, breast and reproductive tract cancers, and obstetric complications be given maximum benefits as provided by PhilHealth programs.
• The proposal that a Mobile Health Care Service in the form of a van or other means of transportation appropriate to coastal and mountainous areas deliver legitimate health care goods and services, minus the controversial ones.
All these could be done right now with a modicum of creativity and political will. They could be made part of the ongoing health program and adequately funded, just as the present DOH-Popcom RH program has been consistently funded over the years, even if it lacks any constitutional leg to stand on. These need not be legislated at all. That they are in the RH bill is probably simply to provide an ornamental function, some window dressing, to make it appear that the bill is not toxic altogether. But the Executive, if it so desires, could implement them now, without delay, and with no legal impediment.