SC admits it can’t settle ‘conception’ issue

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MANILA, Philippines—Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio cited the high court’s lack of capacity to determine when does conception start which is important in deciding whether Republic Act (RA) No. 10354, also known as the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (RH Law), is constitutional.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio

Carpio, in questioning lawyer Maria Conception Noche, said that if conception means fertilized ovum, then the law is unconstitutional but if conception means implantation, then the law is constitutional.

“So before conception, you do not have any problem with the use of condom, vasectomy etc.?” Carpio asked to which Noche said yes.

“It is now a question of when does conception occur—from time of union of egg and sperm or upon implantation on the wall of the uterus. So, you are asking member of this court, none of whom are doctors to determine when this [conception] happens,” Carpio said.

Carpio pointed that even medical authorities are not sure when conception happens.

“They (medical experts) are divided. So how can you expect us to settle this,” he asked.

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