Quantcast
Latest Stories

Philippine birth control fight not over—bishops


Jonas Bagas, executive director of the TLF Share Foundation, rebuffed the statement of Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes that the incidence of HIV was high among men who have sex with men (MSM) partly because they do not follow the Church’s strictures against same-sex intercourse. (cbcponline.net photo)

MANILA, Philippines—Philippine Catholic church leaders vowed Tuesday to overturn a birth control bill after lawmakers passed landmark legislation to make sex education and birth control more widely available.

The Senate and the House of Representatives approved the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill late Monday, putting it on course to be signed into law by President Benigno Aquino within a week, after its final wording has been decided.

Church leaders, however, pledged to continue their fight against the controversial bill, with an appeal to the Supreme Court and a campaign to oust its supporters in May’s general election.

Bishop Gabriel Reyes said a group of Catholic lawyers was preparing to challenge the legality of the bill in the Supreme Court as soon as it is signed into law.

“We will support that petition… in the Supreme Court against the RH bill,” said Reyes, head of the commission on family issues for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

He added that the Catholic Church would also continue to urge the nation of 100 million people – 80 percent of whom are Catholic – to ignore the provisions of the bill once it passes into law.

“We will tell Catholics, ‘Even if you are given free contraceptives, do not use them,’” he told reporters.

Reyes said Tuesday that it would be left up to each individual bishop to decide whether to urge their dioceses to vote against legislators who supported the bill.

He laid the blame for the bill’s passage at the feet of President Benigno Aquino, who he accused of using pressure and government funds to get the necessary votes in Congress.

“The struggle between the pro-RH and the anti-RH… was really the struggle of Malacañang (the presidential palace),” he said, warning that Aquino could become a “threat to democracy” with his domination of Congress.

CBCP secretary-general Monsignor Joselito Asis said that the RH bill was a “watershed” and would be followed by bills for the legalization of divorce, abortion, same-sex marriage and euthanasia.

He stressed that if that were the case, the Church would fight against those laws, too.

The Church had effectively blocked the passage of birth control legislation for over a decade, cowing legislators and presidents by mounting huge protests and threatening to turn the public against them.

However, the two houses of Congress, with the support of the Aquino administration, voted in favor of the bill after months of bitter debate, during which time some Churchmen even threatened to have Aquino excommunicated.

Proponents of the bill said it was necessary to bring down maternal death rates, which are among the highest in the region, help poor women avoid getting pregnant and even slow the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Catholic Church , Philippines , Politics , Population , Religion , RH bill




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  5. State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  6. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  7. Estrada: I will pray for my detractors
  8. Miraculous image makes Gapan City top site for pilgrimage in Central Luzon
  9. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  10. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. Massage attendant arrested on rape complaint filed by Japanese tourist
  3. ‘Tell no one’ Makati bettor won P250M lotto
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  6. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  7. North Korea uses flamethrower to execute official
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  10. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
Advertisement

News

  • How other faiths observe Holy Week
  • No noise, partying in Boracay on Good Friday
  • More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  • NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat
  • DOH issues official statement on confirmed case of MERS-CoV
  • Sports

  • Tenacious Iran frustrates Qatar to retain Asian Club volleyball crown
  • Floyd Mayweather is ESPN’s top-paid athlete
  • Pistorius trial: Judge sets 2-week adjournment
  • China, Taiwan rout foes for 3rd, 5th places in Asian Club volleyball
  • Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
  • Lifestyle

  • Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Entertainment

  • Filipino rock icons to hold silent concert
  • Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao’s greatest hits
  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • Business

  • Russian economy hit by Ukraine turmoil
  • PSEi firms up ahead of Lenten break
  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan
  • Visa-free travel by Filipinos to Japan still a proposal
  • Visa-free travel to Japan could boost tourism
  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement