Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 3

RH Bill: Are you for or against it?

The RH bill is now in the high priority list of congress and soon the representatives will be forced to decide on the issue. As of now, the battle lines are slowly being drawn as the arguments are rehashed. Im an advocate of good governance in public health. We run initiatives in different areas and it is not new to me when people ask my opinion about the RH Bill. Are you for or against it? , they would usually ask. I have always evaded the question because I know debates almost end up nowhere. The conflicting values are deep-set. However, I also realized that by staying in the middle, I am not contributing to the country to be able to move forward beyond his impasse. I have read previous versions of House Bill 4244. I have also read Senate Bill 2378. Both are similar in that they cite maternal mortality as a primary basis for the law. While HB 4244 merely hints about teenage pregnancies, SB2378 explicitly states the need to mitigate high teenage pregnancy rates. Finally, HB4244 explicitly includes Population Development while SB2378 does not. In order to have a handle on the Pro-RH Argument, and without over simplifying the rational of the proposal, it is okay to consider that the primary reason for the bill is birth deaths and over population. On the other hand, the Anti-RH Argument primarily focuses on morality and the values of the Catholic Church. During MY consideration, I had to sadly dismiss the argument of the Church that RH is a moral issue. I believe that putting this forth as the highest moral degradation in the country is inaccurate and being selective. I believe that if morality is the lens at which I am to argue, I would also need to argue against corruption with the same zeal if not more. This consistency created double standards that occlude any sense of morality that the Church has. The Churchs lack of consistency in communicating and addressing moral issues and priorities regrettably diminished their ascendancy in this particular matter. Never-the-less, I cannot easily dismiss the catholic values in which my faith was founded and strongly anchored. For this reason, the values I hold serve as counterweight against RH Bill. I delved into this and studied the RH Bill with a negative perspective against it. I needed to see a counter value for me to seriously consider endorsing this publicly and with my friends. It is something that threatens part of my identity and at some length, what it means to be a Filipino. As I studied the RH bill, and as I immersed myself in public health development and maternal health development, I saw the counter-weighing value against what I held.

The question that stretches the social consciousness of the country is not a moral issue but an ethical dilemma. On one side is my Catholic value which I hold dear and on the other side is the genuine need to address a public health issue. This ethical dilemma is enough motivation for me to take time to read and re-read this policy proposal. At the very least, I found, thru my reading and a few years of exposure in public health, that it would be unethical if I am dismissive of the RH Bill. I found that the rational for the RH Bill justifies a measure to address maternal health development. Deaths due to complicated pregnancy is very high and teenage pregnancy is also high. I believe that simply going against the bill without an alternative to address the maternal health issues in the country is irresponsible. But there is also fundamental flaw in the way the bill is presented. Let me sight the tw issues about the RH bill that leaves a doubt in my mind. First, the policy rationalizes maternal health needs as a primary reason for the bill. As it does, it pushes reproductive health. By framing the need to address maternal health with a reproductive health bill, the authors of the bill have pushed population control as a twin sister in pushing for maternal health development. Consequently, any efforts that rationalize the improvement of maternal health delivery, like birthing, pre-natal check-ups will be questioned because of the controversial reproductive-health-twin-sister. In my view, I believe that maternal health must be pushed separately form reproductive health. In my experience managing public health programs, the need for improved public and private maternal health facilities and services must be prioritized with or without the RH Bill. Though some issues in reproductive health is intertwined with womans health, maternal care need to be approached separately from population control/development. If the framers were more sensitive to the Filipino culture, they would know better to separate the policies to give maternal health development a lead start at addressing the issues. But I can only speculate that they packaged the two issues together because reproductive health initiatives are next to impossible to pass in our country. In the US, they have a policy that addresses preventive care for as many as 47 million women. In this law, which is a big part of Obamas signature health care program, private health care policies must cover yearly check-ups of women with no out-of-pocket costs. This coverage include: Pre-natal care, breast exams, cancer screening, diabetes screening, and domestic violence screening. Under Obamas health policy they will also cover breast feeding supplies as well as contraception. The contraceptive coverage provoked a political fight with the religious groups and conservatives. This issue is very important as employers renew policies. So

far their proposed solution is to offer a waiver to religious employers to exclude contraceptive coverage. Just today, House Republicans argued that the federal government has gone too far with this policy. New York Representative Ann Buerkle said, This is not about womans health. This is the largest assault on our first amendment rights which is religious freedom. Because of this, women who need the other benefits besides contraceptives will have to wait a little while longer as the US Congress sort this out.