Nation awaiting fate of RH law


rh lawFor all intents and purposes, any bill that passes the scrutiny and contentious debates in Congress and later signed by the President, effectively becomes a law, right?


Not with the Reproductive Health (RH) Law it isn’t and the reason is that once the RH Law was passed by the 15th Congress in December 2012, and was signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III later that same month, various sectors questioned its constitutionality before the Supreme court (SC) who in turn, issued a status quo ante order against the law on March 2013.

If one wants to know how long it took for the passage of this bill into law, one can only appreciate Senate President Franklin Drilon’s statement about it, saying, “The fact that the RH bill underwent more than 13 years worth of debates, studies and consultations before it was approved is an undeniable proof that its passage went through an arduous and highly-publicized process, where it was subjected to the full rigors of the Philippine legislative system, and where all views –whether for or against its passage- were fully observed and taken into account.”

Yes, that long and yet the SC continues holding hostage the well-being of both mother and child, especially the poor, from withholding health education and responsible parenthood tools needed for maternal and infant care throughout the nation.

We know for a fact that it is the Catholic Church that is spearheading in questioning the morality of the RH law, but more than a religious issue, it is a humanitarian issue where the law educates people to both natural and modern family planning methods, which are medically safe and legally permissible.

It is about telling couples, especially the poor and the unlearned, that there are choices, options, and alternatives to follow in raising a family without being burdened about having enough food on the table, adequate shelter for the family, etc.

The RH bill is about ensuring that kids with tattered clothes won’t be roaming in the streets begging and sleeping on sidewalks in the cold night. It is avoiding misery and unnecessary death.

What is immoral about this?

Why question the constitutionality of the law when this is a State function, more than a Church function, where the RH law aims to reduce the mortality of mothers and children, especially those belonging to the poor in our society?

We are talking about improving quality of life here among the poor Filipino families and the RH law simply guarantees it, especially for those in the remote and far-flung areas who barely have access to health services.

Thus, it is essential that the SC should no longer delay their decision in upholding the constitutionality of the RH law.

Surely, acting on the welfare of the citizens for the interest of the country is a State matter and not of the Church.


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