The Unborn and Lito Atienza on ANC

Barangay Ayala, Alabang Ordinance 01-2011 or the “Protection of the unborn child” and March 25, 2011 is declared by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines as “The day of the unborn”. Why are those against Reproductive Health Bill like the word “unborn” which in folktales is also called as Tyanak?.

When Mayor Lito Atienza was interviewed by ANC, I cannot help but think about Mr. Oscar Lopez who is the Chairman of the Philippines Center for Reproductive Development (PCPD). This department is fighting for the passage of RH bill for years now. Lopez is also the owner of abs-cbn. A lot of Netizens got angry at Mayor Atienza’s interview and his answers. At different networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and different Blog sites, the topic was all about the interview. (see curated tweets below)

March 25, 2011 was a big event for the Catholic, they went to the Quirino Grandstand to show their support about the message of the CBCP. They held prayers and rally on which some are calling it as the “Grandmother of all rally”. That same day , Carlos Celdran was in the morning news, being interviewed about his removal of one anti RH bill tarpaulin sign from the CBCP Building itself which was caught by the CCTV camera. The day is like a whirlwind romance with all the hatred, busted removal and strong support for the passage of the Reproductive Health bill rolled into one day.

A lot of misinformed anti RH people were gathered in one place for the first time in Manila. In the cyberspace and from the “Reproductive Health bill, I support” page on Facebook, a lot were talking about it. The messages and comments were quickly posted in seconds and if you are new and don’t have any idea about the issue, you will be left behind. There’s going to be a Blogging Summit this April 2, 2011 inside the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City and I will be one of the speakers. I will be under the “Blogging Advocacy” and with all the issues nowadays, advocacy is what we need. An awareness for those who are misinformed will make them realized what RH bill is all about. When one Catechist was interviewed on why he is against, he said “whatever will be the church dictates, he will follow” and when asked if he know what RH bill is all about, he said “No”.

Ysbell Jardin of Reproductive Health bill, I support page on Facebook donated an ample hardcopies of the “Consolidated RH bill” information while Marissa Torres Langseth of Philippine Society of Atheist and Agnostics (PATAS) donated T-Shirts for the group. From the last Pulse Asia survey, almost 70 percent are supporting the passage of the bill. With all the poverty around the nation, with all the illegal settlers, beggars, kids sleeping in the streets, abuse in women, crimes, uneducated individuals who even cannot reach high school and the growing differences or gap between the rich and poor, the bill must be passed.

Some reasons why people from all walks of life supports the RH bill:

Sylvia Diaz

“I support the RH Bill because people must be free, have knowledge and be responsible for the number of children they want to have.”

Illac Diaz

“I support the RH bill”

Nurse Alvin Dakis

“I am pro life, pro quality of life, therefore, I am for the RH bill”.

Ysbell Jardin

“I am here in support of the women who may not even have the knowledge and consciousness that ….she has the ability to make choices on how her life is to be lived…her own decisions and not have to follow blindly on what is given and directed to her….
So …in support of ….Educating….Enlightening …. and in doing so … Empowering …!!!”

Tene Delacruz

My reason for supporting the Reproductive Health Bill, as requested by Ms. Grace Nicolas of “Do It Right Advocacy”.

I am an ordinary person. I am not rich and I may not have a Ph.D. attached to my name or any award to brag about, but I know what I’m fighting for. I am a woman and I am all for the empowerment of women, who are currently being treated as no more than mere incubating machines.

Sex is a human need, and it can be used for procreation and for pleasure. Whatever an adult couple in a relationship (whether married or unmarried) wants to do in the privacy of their bedrooms, whenever they want to do it, how they want to do it and whether they want to have children or not is NOBODY’S business.

We live in a society where most people are theists, or more accurately, Roman Catholics. This religious institution teaches it’s members that they’re all given free will. But they say that contraception is evil because it prevents the woman’s egg cell and the man’s sperm cell from uniting, and that implies that sex is only for procreation. I can see the the contradiction there. But the poor and uneducated people who don’t know any better may be easily swayed by the lies and misinformation that this religion teaches them.

The Roman Catholic Church opposes abortion. I agree, I myself am anti-abortion. I know that prevention is better than cure, and contraception and reproductive health education are the answers to prevent such a disheartening ordeal from happening. They oppose the use of all types of contraceptives because they say that they are abortifacient, even if in 2006, the World Health Organization itself already said otherwise. So to whom are we going to listen to? To men wearing white robes and silly hats or to medical experts? Oral contraceptives, and condoms have been in the market for years now and If what they say about contraceptives, being bad for one’s health is true, then why did the Vatican invest in contraceptives three years ago? The hypocrisy is there, so why should anyone believe them now?
They tell people to “Buy Your Own Condoms”. Sure, People can do that, but the poor who need it the most, can’t. We have a social responsibility to take care of our less fortunate fellowmen. The church’s stance is anti-poor. What’s more, they claim to be pro-lifers, even if their support to life begins with the union of the sperm and egg cells and ends at birth. The real pro-lifers are the ones who care about the quality of life and the future of REAL babies.

Why am I doing this? Even I sometimes ask myself this question. All the hate mails, the insults and the name callings, are they worth it? And each and every time, I remind myself, that this is my legacy to the next generation. I would like to see more empowered women and more intelligent kids that are able to decide for themselves. And it would make me the happiest and the most fulfilled person on this planet if I will be able to see this in my lifetime. The reproductive health bill has been delayed for 16 long years, and has teenage pregnancies been reduced? Has abortion been reduced? Has maternal and infant deaths been reduced? The answer is a big NO. So it’s time to give this a shot because doing the same things and expecting different results is insanity.

Regina Layug- Rocero

“I support the RH Bill because it will give all people–not just women, but men and young people too–information about their bodies, their health, their children, and their options. If you have the knowledge, you can make better choices.”

Marissa Torres Langseth

“I support the RH bill because, it is an avenue of women empowerment and will create a paradigm shift in our country.
As a feminist, it will boost women’s rights and confidence which will further improve the overall health of the family structure. It will, hopefully, dispel misogyny and “double standard of morality”.

As a medical practitioner,(in the USA), the RH bill is a means of education and providing alternative course of action about reproduction and planned parenthood to all women alike, from all walks of life. This is a proactive approach to prevent septic abortions and death from unnecessary measures to prevent pregnancy. The bonuses are prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and of course, population control.”

Here are reactions in Twitter in ANC guesting of Lito Atienza: