29 September 2010
Contact Person: Ms. Rhoda V. Avila
Mobile No. 09178855782
Email Address: [email protected]
BISHOPS’ HURTING IS NOTHING COMPARED TO SUFFERINGS OF WOMEN, SAYS WOMEN’S GROUP
Bishops’ reaction that they are ‘hurting’ on P-Noy’s recent pro-reproductive health stance got the ire of a federation of 257 grassroots and community women’s organizations with around 40,000 individual members nationwide that strongly pushes for the enactment into law of the much clamored reproductive health bill.
According to Elizabeth Angsioco, National Chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP), people do not need to look far to know that women become sacrificial lambs in the name of the Catholic hierarchy’s obstinate rejection of modern contraceptives. “Just within our organization, members have died or almost died because of the lack of access to family planning and reproductive health education and services,” laments Angsioco. She said, “stories on the lives and sufferings of these women will make anyone’s heart bleed except perhaps the bishops’.”
Various reports reveal that eleven Filipino women, mostly poor, die daily due to pregnancy and childbirth related complications, these are the same women who do not anymore want to have children but have no access to family planning information and services. These are the women who suffer from risky pregnancies and give birth without the benefits of skilled attendance and needed medical intervention.
DSWP commends the President’s pronouncement on family planning and is looking forward to the fulfillment of his promise of providing access to contraceptives to the poor who want and need them.“P-Noy’s pronouncement with corresponding concrete action is a fulfillment of the country’s international obligations under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” said Angsioco. She added, “as it is, the Philippines is miserably failing in it meeting goals especially pertaining to providing access to reproductive health services and lowering the country’s very high Maternal Mortality Rates.”
Angsioco also stressed that government’s provision of family planning education and services is also a fulfillment of the Constitutional provisions on the people’s rights to health and education. “These are fundamental rights that cannot be surrendered at the bishop’s altar. These are rights guaranteed by the country’s fundamental law,” she said.
To the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Angsioco has this to say, “the hurt you feel cannot be compared to the sufferings of women who die due to pregnancy and childbirth-related complications and to the agony suffered by the families they leave behind.”
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