Majority of Filipino Catholics Support the Reproductive Health Bill

You may agree or disagree with me but news indicate that majority of the Filipinos are now supporting measures that control the swelling of the population and a law that promotes the reproductive health of women based on the result of the latest survey conducted by Social Weather Stations where 71 percent favor the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill, and 76 percent are in favor of teaching sex education and family planning in public schools. 

The News: (From ABS-CBN news on line) 

Majority of Filipinos are in favor of  Reproductive Health Bill and Sex Education in Public Schools

Seventy-six percent of adult Filipinos want family planning education in the public schools while 71 percent favor passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, a survey by research firm Social Weather Stations said Thursday.  

In the survey conducted last September 24 to 27, 76 percent of 1,500 respondents agreed to the test statement “There should be a law that requires government to teach family planning to the youth” while 10 percent disagreed.  

Support for family planning education is high in all areas: agreement is 78% in Balance Luzon, 77% in the Visayas, 76% in Metro Manila, and 72% in Mindanao. It is also high across socioeconomic classes: 78% in class ABC, 78% in class D, and 71% among class E. 

Sex education in classrooms is one of the issues opposed by hardline Catholics in the proposed RH Bill. Under the proposed measure, sex education will be taught to students from Grade 5 to fourth year high school.  

The survey, however, showed overwhelming support to teaching sex education to classrooms with three out of four men (75%) and women (77%) supporting a law requiring family planning education for the youth. The support is equally high among singles and marrieds.  

It also showed 76 percent of Catholics and 78 percent of non-Catholics supporting sex education for the youth, regardless of frequency of church-going, and regardless of trust in the Catholic church. 

Faculty Members of a Catholic School Support Reproductive Health Bill (HB 5043) 

Fourteen faculty members of Catholic school Ateneo De Manila University are out to prove that not all Catholics agree with the Catholic Church’s opposition to the controversial reproductive health bill pending in the House of Representatives.

In a 16-page position paper full of quotes from Catholic Church teachings and scientific studies on health, population, and poverty, the faculty members expressed their strong support for House Bill 5043 because “we believe that the provisions of the bill adhere to core principles of the Catholic social teaching.”

The bill is controversial for promoting contraceptives and imposing sex education in schools starting in Grade 5. Catholic bishops have tagged the bill as “pro-abortion” and “anti-life.” 

Although they are aware of the Church’s position, the faculty members said in the paper “our reason, informed by our faith, has led us to believe and say otherwise.” They argued that the bill is actually pro-life, pro-women, and pro-poor.

They argued that the HB 5043—by providing universal access to medically-safe, legal, affordable, and quality reproductive health services—will improve the country’ maternal and child health situation, prevent abortion, help poor families, and make the youth more responsible sexually.

“We ask our bishops and fellow Catholics not to block the passage of House Bill 5043…. To campaign against the bill is to deny our people, especially our women, many other benefits, such as maternal and child health and nutrition; promotion of breastfeeding; adolescent and youth health; reproductive health education; prevention and management of gynecological conditions; and provision of information and services addressing the reproductive health needs of marginalized sectors, among others,” the paper said. 

Reaction:

It appears, as shown by the survey, that majority of the Filipinos are in favor of Reproductive Health Bill and the teaching of Sex Education in the public schools. What is surprising here is the number of respondents Catholics (76 percent), and Non-Catholics (78 percent) among the Filipinos supporting measures that control the swelling of the population and promoting the reproductive health of women. There is one reason for this in my own opinion, poverty and the worsening world economic crisis. Besides, people are getting more practical these days. You may not agree with me but gone are the days when the church could dictate anything it wants to its believers. 

Take the case of 14 faculty members from Ateneo de Manila, a Catholic school, who are out to prove that not all Catholics agree with the Catholic Church’s opposition to the passage of the controversial reproductive health bill. In their “16-page position” paper they countered the Church opposition to the Reproductive Health Bill “quoting from Catholic Church teachings and scientific studies on health, population, and poverty.” One faculty unfortunately belongs to the Department of Theology. 

Does this show a crack in the position of the church against reproductive health bill? Of course those who support the position of the church may say no. And the debate continues even if majority of the Filipinos are now seeing more on the practical advantage of the bill.

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7 Comments

Filed under government, Philippine government, politics, Religion, Wealth, Poverty

7 responses to “Majority of Filipino Catholics Support the Reproductive Health Bill

  1. There is nothing which says in the Bible that Family Planning and populaion management is a sin. Church goers are more intelligent and matured this time not to completely believe on everything the Church says. It is more sinful to procreate but unable to feed and send to school your children. How many cases of children involved in criminal activities have we heard from the news because parent have abandoned and neglected them because of poverty and economic crisis? We can help curve the incidence of crime involving minors by limiting the number of children in the family to a level it could support and properly manage.

  2. From abs-cbnNEWS.com

    “Meantime, the group Pro-Life questioned results of the latest SWS poll.

    They insisted the survey, which showed strong public support for the reproductive health bill, is a result of manipulation.

    However, Pro-Life president Ed Soretta said they don’t plan to request for the conduct of another survey, adding the issue is one of morality and not population.

    On the other hand, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the bill’s primary sponsor, said the questions asked in the survey were fair.

    Lagman added the group cannot accept the fact that the bill is already making progress in the Lower House.”

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  4. Read full text of the paper by Ateneo faculty members who support the Reproductive Health Bill entitled “CATHOLICS CAN SUPPORT THE RH BILL IN GOOD CONSCIENCE” here:

    http://www.4shared.com/file/68329978/6b6d8eab/Individual_faculty_of_the_ADMU-Position_Paper_on_the_Reproductive_Health.html

  5. Even though God wants us to live with peace and harmony with each other. This means the word of God (Bible) supports reproductive health. It says, go ye and be multiply. Yet, it is expected that every family should be of a manageable sizes. We should not also forget that, Health ans Religion are two uncommon concepts that can never be the same.
    If you want to be fully religious, then you can not be fully healthy and vice versa, i.e you can not be fully healthy and be religious.
    For instance, religion will preach that marriage is honourable with the bed undefiled, whereas, healthy and ideal thing is to experimrnt and test one.s sexual ability for compatibility before marriage. This will make the partners to really understand themselves and make the relationship lasts. Unlike, divorce every now and the due to lack of full understanding of each other. How do we reconcile this?
    Reproductive health is God ordained and this is why it is supported by all the religion.
    Dr. O. ‘Lanre OLAITAN, Ph.D
    Reproductive health Specialist and Family Health Consultant. University of Ilorin, Nigeris
    Email: lanreolives@yahoo.com
    OR
    olaitan.ol@unilorin.edu.ng

  6. Dear Readers,
    Even though God wants us to live with peace and harmony with each other. This means the word of God (Bible) supports reproductive health. It says, go ye and be multiply. Yet, it is expected that every family should be of a manageable sizes. We should not also forget that, Health ans Religion are two uncommon concepts that can never be the same.
    If you want to be fully religious, then you can not be fully healthy and vice versa, i.e you can not be fully healthy and be religious.
    For instance, religion will preach that marriage is honourable with the bed undefiled, whereas, healthy and ideal thing is to experimrnt and test one.s sexual ability for compatibility before marriage. This will make the partners to really understand themselves and make the relationship lasts. Unlike, divorce every now and the due to lack of full understanding of each other. How do we reconcile this?
    Reproductive health is God ordained and this is why it is supported by all the religion.
    Dr. O. ‘Lanre OLAITAN, Ph.D
    Reproductive health Specialist and Family Health Consultant. University of Ilorin, Nigeris
    Email: lanreolives@yahoo.com
    OR
    olaitan.ol@unilorin.edu.ng

  7. A good piece from you sir. In fact, i like your realistic approach to life because you always say the truth. Also, your reproductive health group has liberated so many people from sexual ignorance and has also re united some broken homes which was caused as a result of sexual misunderstanding between couples. May almighty God continue to add more power to your elbow

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