The following is a transcript of Sarah Pope’s interview with Noemi Dado for Ratsada Inquirer. A recording of the interview can be accessed here
Noemi: Hi Sarah, this is Noemi Dado, I was the one who emailed you…
Sarah: Hi Noemi
Noemi: You quoted the book of Dr. Natasha Campbell-Mcbride. Did you actually buy the book and base your article from that book?
Sarah: Absolutely! I’ve actually met Dr. Mcbride myself. I have been to her seminars several times. Yes, I own both of her books, and I have read them thoroughly. That particular blog that Senator Sotto plagiarized is only one small, tiny piece of her book.
Noemi: The purpose of writing your article was the harmful effects of the chemicals to the gut, but not to discourage the use of The Pill. Was that right?
Sarah: Let me clarify. I have never used The Pill myself or will I ever use it. I try to avoid drugs as much as possible. But, the effects of The Pill are very similar to the effects of antibiotics to the gut. They’re very similar; but we are not going to throw away antibiotics, are we? Are we gonna get rid of antibiotics because there are side effects? No. They are useful in certain instances. The same with The Pill. I want women to understand that there are health problems with regard to The Pill, and to be aware of that before. Don’t take them lightly. You know what I mean? Don’t just take them because it is convenient and it is easy. You need to really think about it and think about your situation before you take The Pill. But if it makes to you and the downside is outweighed by the benefits of you taking it, of course, go ahead and take it.
Noemi: You feel that your blog entry is taken out of the context and was used against the Reproductive Health Bill?
Sarah: Well, I think it is very presumptuous of Senator Sotto’s staff to take material and twist it for their own personal agenda. That’s probably why they didn’t ask permission because they probably would not gotten it. I don’t want my information to be used for political gain. I want it to go to the women and have them to use them for personal benefits, but not in a political way. That is not the intention of my blog. My blog is not a political blog. It is a health blog.
Noemi: Right now I can see over 600 comments on Reproductive Health. What do you think of the Reproductive Health Bill?
Sarah: I am not well-versed of the situation over there. I am not a Filipino. My opinion is of the bill , women’s rights and what is going on in the Philippines…I don’t live there, I have never visited the Philippines, so I am not sure if my opinion would be of any value whatsoever.
Noemi: I am so touched when you said, “Women of the Philippines: I am terribly sorry…”It went against the speech of Senator Sotto.
Sarah: I do not want to judge the women of the Philippines. The Women of the Phillippines need to make their own decisions. Whether or not a woman uses the pill is a personal decision. It is not a religious decision, and it is not a decision that a male senator should be making for the women of the Philippines. They need to make that decision in the privacy of their own home with all the information available. They need to be educated on what The Pill can do to them and they need to be awrethat they can affect their health and that of their children. But, it is their decision. It is nobody else’s decision but their own, and it is not for me—even though i chose not to use it—it’s not for me to tell other women what to do with their lives.
Noemi: Do you believe that what his staff said that your blog is public domain so they could just lift everything that you wrote their? What do you think about that?
Sarah: That is absolutely ridiculous. I don’t think I have ever heard quite as ridiculous of an excuse than that. Of course it is out on the internet but if you would go to my blog, it clearly has a copyright on it. You can’t even cut and past on my blog easily. You right click any of the text, it says, “copyright by my company name ”. So in order to take that information, they have to be fully aware that they are violating the copyright of my blog, and by taking it and plagiarizing it word for word, and denying it that they were wrong… that is the worst. Denying it and refusing to admit that they were wrong—that is the worst part. It shows that they think that they are above the law, that they can do whatever they want, and that they hide behind the govermental immunity. It’s ridculous! It is a very bad behaviour.
Noemi: Are you convinced by the staff of Senator Sotto? Did you file a formal complaint?
Sarah: I really don’t know,. I am speaking with legal counsel. I am not an attorney so I need to get some advise on that. But you know why, none of this would happen—I would not be on the phone now if he would’ve have the guts. I mean, he must be really spineless to not to be able to be man enough to say I’m sorry. I mean, how hard is that to do? The positive thing that came out of it is that the Filipino people are seeing him for what he truly is. He thinks his above the law, he thinks he can do whatever he wants and I hope the Filipino people can take action and vote him out of the office.
Noemi: Unfortunately he is immuned to any libel or plagiarism law because it is a privileged speech. But we can file a complaint as a citizen. So we already have an online petition started by a citizen and we hope it would be brought to the Senate Ethics Committee.
Sarah: That is fantastic! I am very excited to see that. He does need to be shunned by fellow legislators for that very bad behavior.
Noemi: Everybody felt bad by this especially when they said, “Why will I quote a blogger?” How do you react pn that…that you are just a blogger?
Sarah: Well, you know I have a Masters Degree on an Ivy League University here in the United States. I am not just a stupid blogger. I am not just a stupid mom who is blogging about recipes. You know, I am a very smart person. I was valedictorian of my college class, I am no dummy. When a woman is being condescended to like that—a woman who worked very hard to get her education—that is very rude. And it just goes on and on. He is just digging his hole.
Noemi: You met Dr. Campbell right? So you almost like the primary source of the article.
Sarah: I have met her myself. I have been to her three seminars of the past. I have talked to her. I am on the board of Westin Prize Foundation. She is an honorary board of Westin Prize Foundation so we served the same foundation. Yes, I know her. I’ve read her book many many times. I have many many posts on her book, that is not the first time I blogged about the book.
Noemi: Where can we buy the book? I would assume, if Senator Sotto is telling the truth then he might have been seen the book somewhere. Is it on Amazon?
Sarah: Yeah you just buy it on Amazon.
Noemi: So we expect more blogpost on this or you would just let the comment section discuss the bill.
Sarah: I can write more post. I have written many posts but I could not think if I can write more about this particular situation or not. My other readers here in America are dumbfounded by this whole thing. It is a very strange situation.
Disclaimer: I have tried to transcribe faithfully from the audio recording. Some minor phrases may have been eliminated for my convenience, but nevertheless, the core message of Ms Pope and of the interview as a whole has been kept. Should there any be discrepancies between the transcript and the recording, the latter shall prevail
Here is the reaction of the tweeps on Sarah ‘s audio interview.