Topics: Population, Reproductive health, Demography Pages: 10 (3617 words) Published: March 25, 2013
lhe Reproductive Health Bill, informally known as the RH Bill, are proposed laws in theRepublic of the Philippines aiming to guarantee universal access to methods oncontraception, abortion, fertility control, sexual education, and maternal care.[1] There are presently two bills with the same intended goals:

* House Bill # 4244 ─ An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and Development, and For Other Purposes * Senate Bill # 2378 ─ An Act Providing For a National Policy on Reproductive Health and Population and Development While there is general agreement about its provisions on maternal and child health, there is great debate on its key proposal that the Philippine government and the private sector will fund and undertake widespread distribution of family planning devices such as condoms,birth control pills (BCPs) and IUDs, as the government continues to disseminate information on their use through all health care centers. On October 2012, a revised version of the same bill was presently re-named to Responsible Parenthood Act and was filed in the House of Representatives as a result of re-introducing the bill under a different impression after overwhelming opposition in the country, especially from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines[2][3]. The bill is highly divisive, with experts, academics, religious institutions, and major political figures supporting and opposing it, often criticizing the government and each other in the process. Debates and rallies proposing and opposing the bills, with tens of thousands of opposition particularly those endorsed by the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church and various other conservative groups, have been happening nationwide.

Stated purpose
One of the main concerns of the bill, according to the Explanatory Note, is that the 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.”[4] As policy it states that the State "guarantees universal access to medically-safe, legal, affordable, effective and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies and relevant information and education thereon even as it prioritizes the needs of women and children, among other underprivileged sectors."[4] Philippine Daily Inquirer

First Posted 20:18:00 08/16/2008

Filed Under: Family, Family planning, Laws

IN THE INTEREST OF FAIR PLAY, WE ARE RUNNING TWO ARTICLES THAT HOLD views opposite of the proposed Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008. The articles featured today are in response to the two articles written by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, principal author of the reproductive health bill, and printed in this section on Aug. 3. Lagman?s first article highlighted the main features of the measure, while his second noted the campaign to discredit it. He claimed that the bill was not anti-life and that it would not interfere with family life, legalize abortion, promote contraceptive mentality and impose a two-child policy. Lagman also claimed that Humanae Vitae was not an infallible doctrine. Besides the articles of the head of the Legal Office of the Catholic Bishops? Conference of the Philippines and of a former senator, Talk of the Town received responses from Catholic groups and individuals countering Lagman?s views. The responses came from Fr. Virgilio Delfin of the Diocese of Malaybalay, Pet Palma Dureza of Quezon City, Maria Concepcion S. Noche of the...
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