Anti-RH legislators should reconsider their position

Akbayan to anti-RH advocates: grab last chance at redemption

Akbayan Party Spokesperson Risa Hontiveros today challenged opponents of the Reproductive Health bill in the Legislature to switch camps and support the proposed piece of legislation, which was certified as urgent by the Aquino government.

“This is their last chance at redemption. This is their last chance to be on the side of the people on this very important issue,” Hontiveros said.

“The lines have already been drawn, and it has never been as clear as now. The President has already spoken. The majority of the Filipino people have spoken as well. Are they in favor of providing poor Filipino families another chance in life as what the RH bill seeks to provide or will they continue to expose our people to the perils of a lack of a comprehensive reproductive health program?” Hontiveros added.

The former partylist lawmaker hoped that with President Aquino’s tacit support of the bill, it would finally end all doubts as to the passage of the proposed law.

“It sends a strong signal to the legislature, the place where the RH bill has languished for years. The marching order is clear, pass the RH bill and help in drastically reducing the number of deaths due to unsafe childbirth, unwanted pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases,” Hontiveros stressed.

Hontiveros concurred that the RH bill would win by a huge margin in the Legislature.

“Thus, it is high-time that the remaining anti-RH legislators should reconsider their position. There is nothing to gain from their wrong-headedness. Unless they want to be known as those who voted against women’s rights and health, they must decide for the RH bill. It is a landmark bill, I hope they will go down in history as one of those who voted for it,” she added

Hontiveros also said the anti-RH camp is quickly losing steam and momentum.

“From the very start, we were very confident that the anti-RH lobby group would wear down. In the beginning, some in their group strategically relied on untruths, bigotry and regressive politics, but we were insistent. We always believed that the power of reason, much more the people’s support is with the advocates of the reproductive health bill,” Hontiveros said.

However, Hontiveros warned RH advocates not to become complacent.

“We cannot sit idly by and wait for the passage of the RH bill. It is understandable that with the overwhelming support, there is always the danger of complacency. Surely, with the President’s strong backing, those opposed to the passage of the RH bill will now double their efforts to block it. We should now do the same in ensuring its passage,” Hontiveros concluded.

A thanksgiving rally will be held tomorrow at Mendiola by different groups is support of the RH bill to express their gratitude to President Aquino’s decision to certify as urgent the passage of the proposed law.

Hontiveros, who will open the event, also said the activity aims to defend the President’s imprimatur on the proposed measure. The different groups will also reaffirm their commitment to pass the RH bill.

“We will remain vigilant. We will not relent. The Filipino people demand it,” Hontiveros concluded.