REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILL IN THE PHILIPPINES
There are four bills pertaining to reproductive health and/or population management that have been filed for deliberation in both the House of Representatives and the Senate for the 14th Congress. These are House Bill No. 17 authored by Rep. Edcel Lagman, House Bill No. 812 authored by Rep. Janette Garin, Senate Bill No. 40 authored by Sen. Rodolfo Biazon and Senate Bill No. 43 authored by Sen. Panfilo Lacson. The most controversial of these bills is House Bill No. 17 authored by Rep. Edcel Lagman. This bill, according to Rep. Lagman, promotes information on and access to both natural and modern family planning methods that are medically safe and legally permissible. It assures an enabling environment where women and couples have the freedom of informed choice on the mode of family planning they want to adopt based on their needs, personal convictions and religious beliefs. House Bill No. 17, also known as the proposed "Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008," will cover the following areas: • information and access to natural and modern family planning; • maternal, infant and child health and nutrition;
• promotion of breast feeding;
• prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications; • adolescent and youth health; prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases; • elimination of violence against women; counseling on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health; • treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers;
• male involvement and participation in reproductive health; • prevention and treatment of infertility; and
• reproductive health education for the youth.
The bill is controversial, as it is being opposed by the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is against the use of artificial contraceptives. Rep. Edcel Lagman, however, says that the bill does not have any bias for...
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