Sunday, September 25, 2011

On the RH Bill.

A seminar on the RH Bill took place in school last week. The guests were Ligaya Acosta, former DOH head and Atty. Jo Imbong-- both very active in the campaign against passing RH Bill. Disappointingly, no guests were invited to speak for the bill. Apparently, the school (being a Catholic institution) forbade the organizers from doing so.
Even being an RH bill supporter, I decided to attend the seminar. I was hoping to understand why people go against something that in my mind can help so many women in our country.
Their three hours of talking has left me, if anything, with more conviction that the bill should be passed. 
Questions about that talk:
  • The speakers said that if the bill is passed, it would leave people with no choice. Why? Because doctors would then be mandated to provide reproductive health care (contraceptives, condoms, etc.) to anyone who asks for it, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, status (etc). 

If this is the case then, the speaker argued, then a newborn baby could crawl up to a doctor’s office and ask for contraceptives and the doctor would be obliged to give it to the baby, or risk going to prison. (Really? a baby can do that? Really??)

But..... those people going to doctors asking for reproductive health care, are they forced or do they do so in their own accord? Yes, that’s right! They choose to do so. With their own free will. Where is the loss of freedom?

It is in a doctor’s job description to present and advise patients on their options. But, isn’t it that the patient still decides on what option he/she is to take? Sure in this case, the doctor loses choice, but he loses the right to exercise choice in an aspect where he never had the right to decide on anything, anyway.

Sure, doctors will be required to give patients reproductive health, but only to those who want it. How is choice lost there? 

I believe there is more loss of freedom in a situation where a young woman (normal, healthy, no special circumstances) wants contraceptives and the doctor refuses to give her any because of the doctors own beliefs. In this situation, the doctor imposes his opinion on the patient. The doctor confines the patient to his faith, regardless of what the patient believes. 
I’d go find myself another doctor, If i were that patient.
  •  They claim that the “epidemic of teenage fornication” and teenage pregnancy is caused by reproductive health campaigns which describe sex as a healthy and normal aspect of life, something we all should not be ashamed of.

What are we supposed to do then? Keep sex a secret? Tell kids we all came from the stork and stick to it till they’re atleast 18?

Thing is, even without this information, there would still be urges, attractions, and sex. The only difference would be, kids now are more comfortable in their skins with the knowledge that these urges are normal.
I’ve an aunt who thought she was dying, bleeding to death, the first time she had her period. Do we still want this happening?

Knowledge is power, and understanding leads us to make better and more informed decisions.
  • Qualms about sex education in schools have been made. They said that by doing this, choice is lost (again).

I think that if done so at a child’s proper age, this could be very beneficial. I mean really, we are in the Philippines, we have our very conservative culture-- what percent of filipino households have sex talks with their children? 

However, times are changing and curiosity takes it’s toll. I had a classmate who up until highschool thought that you could get pregnant if you held hands with a boy, naked, and on a bed. I’ve heard stories of teenagers getting pregnant because they had sex and they didn’t know you could get pregnant on your first time. I used to know girls who thought that taking a birth control pill would mean you could have all the sex you wanted on that day you took the pill and not risk getting pregnant, then just stop pill taking the next day.

Also, is it not an educational institution’s responsibility to teach without censorship? To give all facts, and without bias? Allow young minds to analyze the information and make sound conclusions for themselves? 

There are so many other questions, but then this would be a novela. And I haven't even mentioned the million times they mentioned abortion and how this bill is secretly promoting it.

It’s amazing how on most arguments they tell us that this bill is robbing us of choice when it is very obvious that what we are losing by not having this bill passed is the chance to choose and decide for ourselves.

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