Massive and nationwide pro and anti Reproductive Health (RH) bills advocates had been conducting rallies all through out the nation as Congress vetoed for the RH Bills to be deliberated. The Catholic Church is the frontliner vocal opposition in condemning the bill while social women groups pushed for the bills to be made a law. They claimed that opposing the bill is against women‚Äôs right and welfare.
For years, the Catholic Bishops‚Äô Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) had been very vocal in its refusal to accept the RH Bill. They firmly stated that it is an anti-life campaign which is against the Christian teaching. Despite the Malacanang‚Äôs attempt to discuss the topic with the CBCP, the clergy remains elusive about the topic and firmly stands on their decision. They refused to be swayed or discuss possible compromises for the Bills. As a last resort, CBCP threatens Catholic lawmakers, legislators and devotees alike that they would be refused communion if they would support the passing of the bill. CBCP also refused any possible talk as they suspend their impending dialogue with Malacanang representative regarding the bill.
In a letter to President Benigno ‚ÄúNoynoy‚Äù Aquino III dated February 19, CBCP President and Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar said: ‚ÄúIn view, however, of the pastoral letter that the Catholic Bishops issued on the matter last January 31, and considering the speed in the ongoing legislative processes both in the Lower House and the Senate, I deem it prudent to suspend in the meantime further talks with the Executive Department.‚Äù They even threatened to do civil disobedience if the Congress insists on the deliberation of the bill. They also called on President Aquino to ‚Äúpray for the Lord‚Äôs guidance as we strive to promote the temporal and spiritual welfare of our citizens.‚Äù
On the other side of the ring, Reproductive Health (RH) supporters composed of Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines gathered at the Batasan Pambansa south gate on Wednesday morning to ask for the immediate passage of the RH bill. They claimed that their groups had mobilized about 1,500 community women and RH advocates to support the bill that would push through women‚Äôs welfare.
House appropriations committee chair Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya said the budget of the bill will be sourced from the P731 million family health and responsible parenthood item of the current budget for the health department. The bill is currently being debated in the Congress.