Rh Bill

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II. BODY

The first time the Reproductive Health Bill was proposed was in 1998. During the present 15th Congress, the RH Bills filed are those authored by House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman of Albay, HB 96; Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, HB 101, Akbayan Representatives Kaka Bag-ao & Walden Bello; HB 513, Muntinlupa Representative Rodolfo Biazon, HB 1160, Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco, HB 1520, Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan. In the Senate, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago has filed her own version of the RH bill which, she says, will be part of the country’s commitment to international covenants. On January 31, 2011, the House of Representatives Committee on Population and Family Relations voted to consolidate all House versions of the bill, which is entitled An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population Development and for Other Purposes.

One of the main concerns of the bill, according to the Explanatory Note, is that population of the Philippines makes it “the 12th most populous nation in the world today”, that the Filipino women’s fertility rate is “at the upper bracket of 206 countries.” It states that studies and surveys “show that the Filipinos are responsive to having smaller-sized families through free choice of family planning methods.” It also refers to studies which “show that rapid population growth exacerbates poverty while poverty spawns rapid population growth.” And so it aims for improved quality of life through a “consistent and coherent national population policy.”

Reproductive health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well- being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. Reproductive health therefore implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so. Implicit in this last condition are the right of men and women to be informed and to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice, as well as other methods of their choice for regulation of fertility which are not against the law, and the right of access to appropriate health-care services that will enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant. In line with the above definition of reproductive health, reproductive health care is defined as the constellation of methods, techniques and services that contribute to reproductive health and well-being through preventing and solving reproductive health problems. It also includes sexual health, the purpose of which is the enhancement of life and personal relations, and not merely counselling and care related to reproduction and sexually transmitted diseases. 7.3. Bearing in mind the above definition, reproductive rights embrace certain human rights that are already recognized in national laws, international human rights documents and other relevant United Nations consensus documents. These rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual.

There are 6 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 15th Congress.

The most controversial of these bills is House Bill No. 96 authored by Rep. Edcel Lagman. House Bill No. 96, also known as the proposed "Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2010," will cover the following areas: •midwives of skilled attendance

emergency obstetric care
access to family planning
maternal...
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