ARMM solon says RH bill to become law in regionPhilippine Daily Inquirer
COTABATO CITY—If Congress would not act on the reproductive health bill, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will.
Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, member of the ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA), said the lawmaking body of the region will deliberate on its version of the RH bill this week.
She said the start of Ramadan later this week will be a good time to start discussing the bill as health is a major concern for Muslim women during the month of fasting.
“This month displays the humanitarian side of the faith when we feel the plight of the poor,” said Tomawis in a statement.
“We are inspired to learn that Islam is actually a liberating force in allowing women to prioritize their health in natural family planning,” she said.
Irene Tillah, of Sulu and chair of the RLA committee on health and social services, said she supports the passing of a regional law on reproductive health.
She said, however, that the law should take into consideration Muslim norms, so “I believe a thorough and comprehensive study is significant and necessary.”
Tomawis justified her support for a reproductive health law in ARMM by citing an Asian Development Bank study that says lack of health care bears heavy on the poor.
She said a reproductive health law will give access to women in ARMM to the most basic of health services.
The Senate and House have been sitting on the RH bill for the past 15 years amid a strong Catholic lobby against it. Edwin Fernandez, Inquirer Mindanao