By John Walter B. Juat, 4th year UP DILIMAN student
In response to our article “RH: Through the Eyes of the Youth,” a reader wrote this essay, posted on Filipinos For Life. All readers, especially the youth, are encouraged to send in submissions and to share with us their thoughts on any of our content. For further contributions please send an email to popdev (at) mulatpinoy.ph.
First and foremost, I would like to share my views on the quote “Ang reproductive health ay tungkol sa karapatan ng bawat isa” I would like to believe that, because I also am in a quest that all of us, young or old, fat or thin, big or small, girl or boy, share the same rights. It does sound really pleasing to hear, that reproductive health is about the rights of everyone. However, if you think about it critically, is reproductive health really the only right that we fight for? “Reproductive Health is a license given to married couples. A right is something that we must inherently have by the mere fact that we are human”, said a friend of mine. I am not against reproductive health, but I am against the taking away of other rights as a consequence of achieving that right which is only given within the context of marriage. What about the rights of the unborn child? What about the right of women to give birth? Should the RH bill be passed, reproductive health (which in fact is a license) will take away other important rights.
The youth is a major stakeholder of this RH bill. I very much agree. Issues are overwhelming when it comes to teenage unplanned pregnancy, rape, STDs, maternal deaths and so on and so forth. I agree that this should be addressed. However, RH bill is not the way to solve it. In fact it will worsen it. One can never let go of the anti-life mentality that is instilled in the RH bill. When contraceptives are being promoted, it will give an idea that it is ok to have sex with anyone, anytime, anywhere, as long as you are “safe and protected”. Moreover, it is a big misconception that contraceptives are safe because the medical field can state countless side effects of these contraceptives, and some are even abortifacient. If it prevents fertilization, it still has an abortifacient effect on the minds of the people because pregnancy now becomes unwanted. Should the contraceptive device or method failed, and a fetus is formed, it does not take away the fact that it is still unwanted, and this lead people to consider abortion. People say that by using contraceptives, one become responsible because you avoid pregnancy. Is this really responsibility? NO. Responsibility is taking the consequences of your actions. Sex, in its design should be for the unity of the couple (man and woman) and open to life. What happened to openness to life? If the problem happens to be rape and teenage pregnancy, then the most logical remedy would be to focus on values education, and to conduct parenting seminars so that the parents will be better equipped on raising their children on this very sensitive and important topic in which a lot are uncomfortable to talk about. Strengthen the values that these may be avoided, not provide an excuse that will justify something wrong. On the issue of healthcare and maternal deaths, the way to eliminate or lessen it is to fund health workers, improve medical facilities, be able to get regular prenatal check-up. This is where the money should go.
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