If Shakespeare were alive today, he would also repeat his famous line from Hamlet’soliloquy --- to be or not to be that is the question. In this Shakespearian classic line , the hero, Hamlet is confronted with a philosophical dilemma whether to take his own life or rage against his misfortune after knowing how humans can be so gullible and untrue. This is the same question that any ordinary Filipino citizen also raises: to be a proponent or to be an opponent of this highly controversial law that has rocked the country these past several months. A lot of opinion has been said and written from two warring sides of this “reproductive health law” authored by Representative Edcel Lagman with fellow legislators joining him in fighting for the passage of the said bill for the past two years.
This “controversial” law has spawned a number of debates on its merits and demerits. Both sides – the proponents who claim to push for the emancipation of women to reclaim their “bodies” from the oppressive patriarchal structures—the dehumanization of the Filipina as a person with dignity and the opponents who believe that the bill is anti-life. Indeed, in this country of 90 million people and where poverty is one factor that hinders a person to reach self-actualization the RH bill can be said to be a boon and a bane to all . However, after everything has been said and done, what is this writer’s personal take on this issue?
A shift in tone and point of view will be done in this essay to illumine and illustrate this writer’s personal stand and opinion on the said issue. The pronoun “I” will be employed to signal to the reader that the writer has taken a more personalized and subjective stance in presenting his views/opinion on the same.
Do I dare disturb the universe?
The line lifted from T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock is my personal slogan to present my views on the proposed bill. Do I dare disturb the universe? Yes, I dare and I believe that any person is entitled to speak out his mind and be heard. In a democratic society such as ours, a person is given the opportunity to ventilate, argue and refute any idea that affects his personal and communal life. For the past several months , our national dailies have been inundated with headlines on the signed law. Opinions have been sent to the editors, columnist lambasting the national government for its myopic vision of curbing the ever-increasing population of the country—these and more have given us a picture that indeed democracy is alive and well in this country.
Though having been educated in a Catholic school since elementary is no guarantee that I have become a staunch defender of the teachings of the Church, I believe that my God provides man with a leeway, freedom and will to choose what he/she thinks is good for him/her . He is a God who allows man to think and act according to what a person believes to be right or wrong. Indeed, a God who never imposes his will but gives man the freedom and capacity to know his own self. This is indeed ironic but I believe that the approved law violates a lot of issues concerning human rights. Let me discuss them one by one from my vantage point of view in this way I get to objectify my thoughts to you --- my dear reader. At the outset of this essay, let me state my stand on this issue: I am against this law based on the following grounds.
The State Playing Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes is a teenage classic I used to read during the heyday of my adolescent life. It is a literary classic that popularized the detective genre in literature. I believe that the state has become a modern version of Sherlock Holmes who investigates and barges into the private world of the citizens. Though, others may find the metaphor too trite or overused , but I advance the idea that the law would allow the state to invade individual or personal privacy. What...