MANILA, Philippines – Former Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros has expressed “immense disappointment” over the Supreme Court’s decision against her appeal to lift its status quo ante order (SQAO) on the Reproductive Health law.
“It is disappointing. I still maintain that the immediate implementation of the law does not pose any concrete damage to the constitutional rights of any individual,” Hontiveros said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The suspension, however, reinforces a status quo where 11 women die everyday due to lack of access to reproductive health services,” she said.
Had the SC lifted the suspension, Hontiveros said, young Filipinos entering school this year would receive correct and proper education on sex and sexuality.
“The RH law is a tool against ignorance, one that causes death and exposes our youth to various risks. We could have stopped this climate of ignorance that has imperilled our youth for several generations now. Nakakapanghinayang,” she lamented.
“We cannot reverse the loss of lives caused by the lack of RH programs. But we can save the lives of mothers if we implement promptly a law fully backed by the people, by Congress, and by the Executive,” she added.
Despite this, Hontiveros reiterated their readiness to defend the law during the oral arguments set by the court in June.
“We have always been ready to defend the need for an RH law. We were ready to fight for it in Congress, and we won, and we are ready to face this legal hurdle,” she said.
Hontiveros said the law was long overdue and lives could have been saved had it been implemented immediately.