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The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (Republic Act No.

10354), informally known as theReproductive Health Law, is a law in the Philippines which guarantees universal access to methods on contraception, fertility control,sexual education, and maternal care. While there is general agreement about its provisions on maternal and child health, there is great debate on its mandate that the Philippine government and the private sector will fund and undertake widespread distribution of family planning devices such ascondoms, birth control pills and IUDs, as the government continues to disseminate information on their use through all health care centers. Passage of the legislation was highly divisive and controversial, with experts, academics, religious institutions, and major political figures declaring their support or opposition it while it was pending in the legislature, often criticizing the government and each other in the process. Debates and rallies both supporting and opposing the "RH Bill," as it was known, happened nationwide

According to the Senate Policy Brief titled Promoting Reproductive Health, the history of reproductive health in the Philippines dates back to 1967 when leaders of 12 countries including the Philippines' Ferdinand Marcos signed the [1][2] Declaration on Population. The Philippines agreed that the population problem should be considered as the principal element for long-term economic development. Thus, the Population Commission was created to push for a [3] lower family size norm and provide information and services to lower fertility rates. Starting 1967, the USAID started shouldering 80% of the total family planning commodities (contraceptives) of the country, which amounted to US$ 3 Million annually. In 1975, the United States adopted as its policy the National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests (NSSM200). The policy gives "paramount importance" to population control measures and the promotion of contraception among 13 populous countries, including the Philippines to control rapid population growth which they deem to be inimical to the socio-political and economic growth of these countries and to the national interests of the United States, since the "U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad", and these countries can produce destabilizing opposition forces against the United States. It recommends the US leadership to "influence national leaders" and that "improved world-wide support for population-related efforts should be sought through increased emphasis on mass media and other population education and motivation programs by [4] the UN, USIA, and USAID. Different presidents had different points of emphasis. President Marcos pushed for a systematic distribution of [2] contraceptives all over the country, a policy that was called "coercive," by its leading administrator. The Cory Aquino administration focused on giving couples the right to have the number of children they prefer, while the Ramos presidency shifted from population control to population management. Estrada used mixed methods of reducing fertility rates, while Arroyo focused on mainstreaming natural family planning, while stating that contraceptives are [3] openly sold in the country. In 1989, the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development (PL CPD) was established, "dedicated to the formulation of viable public policies requiring legislation on population management and socio-economic [citation needed] development." In 2000, the Philippines signed the Millennium Declaration and committed to attain the MDG goals by 2015, including promoting gender equality and health. In 2003, USAID started its phase out of a 33year-old program by which free contraceptives were given to the country. Aid recipients such as the Philippines faced the challenge to fund its own contraception program. In 2004, the Department of Health introduced the Philippines Contraceptive Self-Reliance Strategy, arranging for the replacement of these donations with domestically provided [3] contraceptives.

In August 2010, the government announced a collaborative work with the USAID in implementing a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy in favor of family planning called "May Plano Sila."

The basic content of the Consolidated Reproductive Health Bill is divided into the following sections.

SEC. 1. Title SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy SEC. 3. Guiding Principles SEC. 4. Definition of Terms SEC. 5. Midwives for Skilled Attendance SEC. 6. Emergency Obstetric Care SEC. 7. Access to Family Planning SEC. 8. Maternal and Newborn Health Care in Crisis Situations SEC. 9. Maternal Death Review SEC. 10. Role of the Food and Drug Administration SEC. 11. Procurement and Distribution of Family Planning Supplies SEC. 12. Integration of Family Planning and Responsible Parenthood Component in Anti-Poverty Programs SEC. 13. Roles of Local Government in Family Planning Programs SEC. 14. Benefits for Serious and Life-Threatening Reproductive Health Conditions SEC. 15. Mobile Health Care Service SEC. 16. Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education SEC. 17. Additional Duty of the Local Population Officer SEC. 18. Certificate of Compliance SEC. 19. Capability Building of Barangay Health Workers SEC. 20. Pro Bono Services for Indigent Women SEC. 21. Sexual And Reproductive Health Programs For Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) SEC. 22. Right to Reproductive Health Care Information SEC. 23. Implementing Mechanisms SEC. 24. Reporting Requirements SEC. 25. Congressional Oversight Committee SEC. 26. Prohibited Acts SEC. 27. Penalties SEC. 28. Appropriations SEC. 29. Implementing Rules and Regulations SEC. 30-32. Separability Clause, Repealing Clause, Effectivity

Summary of Major Provisions

The bill mandates the government to promote, without bias, all effective natural and modern methods of family [6] planning that are medically safe and legal. Although abortion is recognized as illegal and punishable by law, the bill states that the government shall ensure that all women needing care for post-abortion complications shall be treated and counseled in a humane, non-judgmental [6] and compassionate manner. The bill calls for a multi-dimensional approach integrates a component of family planning and responsible [6] parenthood into all government anti-poverty programs. Under the bill, age-appropriate reproductive health and sexuality education is required from grade five to fourth year [6] high school using life-skills and other approaches. The bill also mandates the Department of Labor and Employment to guarantee the reproductive health rights of its female employees. Companies with less than 200 workers are required to enter into partnership with health care [6] providers in their area for the delivery of reproductive health services. Employers with more than 200 employees shall provide reproductive health services to all employees in their own respective health facilities. Those with less than 200 workers shall enter into partnerships with health professionals for the delivery of reproductive health services. Employers shall inform employees of the availability of family planning services. They are also obliged to monitor pregnant working employees among their workforce and ensure they are [6] provided paid half-day prenatal medical leaves for each month of the pregnancy period that they are employed. The national government and local governments will ensure the availability of reproductive health care services, [6] including family planning and prenatal care.

Any person or public official who prohibits or restricts the delivery of legal and medically safe reproductive health care [6 services will be meted penalty by imprisonment or a fine.

Maternal health and deaths

Birthing services are key to solving maternal deaths

Maternal deaths in the Philippines, according to the WHO, is at 5.7 per day, [46][47] proponents who repeated these numbers "to drive home the point."


not 10-11 deaths a day, as per the

The proponents state that RH will mean: (1) Information and access to natural and modern family planning (2) Maternal, infant and child health and nutrition (3) Promotion of breast feeding (4) Prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications (5) Adolescent and youth health (6) Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, HIV/AIDS and STDs (7) Elimination of violence against women (8) Counseling on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health (9) Treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers (10) Male involvement and participation in RH; (11) Prevention and treatment of infertility and (12) RH education for the youth.Template:Http://www.gov.ph/2012/12/21/republic-act-no-10354/ The Department of Health states that family planning can reduce maternal mortality by about 32 percent. The bill is "meant to prevent maternal deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth," said Clara Padilla of Engender Rights. She reported that "Daily, there are 11 women dying while giving birth in the Philippines. These preventable deaths could [citation have been avoided if more Filipino women have access to reproductive health information and healthcare."
needed] [11]

Regarding these figures, Francisco Tatad of the International Right to Life Federation and former Senator wrote that "If correct, experience has shown (as in Gattaran, Cagayan and Sorsogon, Sorsogon) that the incidence of maternal death arising from such complications could be fully mitigated and brought down to zero simply by providing adequate basic and emergency obstetrics care and skilled medical personnel and services," without any need for a [21] law on the distribution of contraceptives. The key to solving maternal deaths, according to the Senate Policy [3] Brief on reproductive health, is the establishment of birthing centers. The Philippine Medical Association or PMA stated in their Position Paper that the goal of reducing the rise of maternal and child deaths "could be attained by improving maternal and child health care without the necessity of distributing contraceptives. The millions of funds intended for the contraceptive devices may just well be applied in improving the [48] skills of our health workers in reducing maternal and child mortality in the Philippines."

Magna Carta for Women of 2009

There have been comparisons made with the 2009 Law called the Magna Carta for Women and the RH Bill. The Magna Carta for Women contains the following provisions in Section 17 and 19:

Prenatal and postnatal care Information regarding all types of family planning methods

Access to family planning methods as long as they are ethically and medically safe Sex education Obstetric and gynecological care regarding pregnancy complications and the prevention of AIDS, HIV, STD, and the like Spouses have the right to decide to space their children

The Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Magna Carta directs the Commission on Women under the Office of the President to oversee that the provisions are implemented by the Department of Health, the Department of Local Governments, the Commission of Human Rights, the Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare, Department of Labor, the Commission on High Education. In the IRR, it also states that in order for the law to be successful, the government should tie up with all LGUs so that midwives, doctors, birthing facilities should be put in place to take care of the health needs of all to ensure that we minimize maternal and child deaths. Because of these provisions, Senator Majority Floor Leader Tito Sotto said that the RH Bill is redundant.

Department of Health is proposing 13.7 Billion Pesos to be fund the RH Bill if it is passed in 2012, according to [134] Senator Pia Cayetano. The Filipinos for Life issued a statement with online copies of documents [136] the following financial grants for RH lobby groups."

which according to TV5 News, "revealed

$90,000 to the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) for promotion, from the UN Population Fund or UNFPA (2011); $6.6 million to Planned Parenthood arm Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) from UNFPA (2009); $1.6 million to FPOP from IPPF for the years 2005, 2009, and 2010; $1.2 million to PSPI from Marie Stopes (2009); $39,000 to Likhaan from Planned Parenthood (2007); $88,000 to FPOP in 2009 from Marie Stopes for RH kits; and $75,000 to Catholics for Choice to promote RH, from the Wallace Global Fund (2009)

Lagman denied this, and said that the accusation is "an old yarn which is destitute of factual basis." He also referred to "the lobby against the RH bill that is well-funded by the wealthy Catholic hierarchy with the aid of [136] dozens of lay organizations. Young Nine Legislators (Y9L)--including Aliah Dimaporo, Lucy Torres-Gomez, Karlo Alexei Nogralessaid that The proposed P3 billion appropriation for the RH bill, if put towards education, can help secure the future of young Filipinos. That amount can build 4,644 new classroomsor it can subsidize the college education of 300,000 [137] scholars a chance for underprivileged student achievers to earn their diploma. Lagman on the other hand said that both these priorities are important but with a burgeoning population the budget [citation needed] will become even tighter, thus population growth is a major issue.