Quantcast
Latest Stories
S.C. ORAL ARGUMENTS

Pia Cayetano, Lagman defend RH law

By

PH law authors Sen Pia Cayetano (left) and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman

MANILA, Philippines—The two legislators who authored the reproductive health (RH) legislation pleaded Tuesday with the Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of the suspended law, with Sen. Pia Cayetano arguing, among other things, that those challenging it had a “low” regard for women.

At the resumption of oral arguments on Tuesday on the petitions against the implementation of the RH law, it was the turn of the intervenors in the petition to speak.

Cayetano and former Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman appeared in court to defend the law’s passage and appeal to the high tribunal to uphold its constitutionality and ensure its implementation.

Various individuals identified with the Catholic Church and pro-choice groups have filed suit in the high court to stop the implementation of the RH law, or Republic Act No. 10354, which mandates the state to provide the poor with reproductive health services, including access to contraceptives and sex education for schoolchildren.

Lagman said the high court need not resolve the issue “on when life begins,” which the petitioners have raised in determining the law’s constitutionality.

“I strongly suggest that the issue on constitutionality raised by the petitioners can be resolved without adjudicating on when life begins…as this is a more on the debate on medical science,” said Lagman, the principal author of the RH bill in the House.

The 1987 Constitution was after all silent on the issue on when life begins, he told the high court.

RH law advocates contend that life begins when a fertilized ovum is implanted in a woman’s womb while those against the law argue that life begins during fertilization.

In his presentation, Lagman said the RH law protects the life of the unborn, is against abortion, and equally protects the life of the mother.

Lagman tangled with Associate Justice Roberto Abad, who in the past three sessions of oral arguments had peppered speakers for the RH law with questions, indicating his stand against the law.

Abad said the RH law will see half of the 23 million Filipinos of child-bearing age getting contraceptives and intra-uterine devices (IUDs) from the government to avoid maternal-related deaths. But he pointed out that contraceptives and IUDs have resulted in many complications for women like irregular bleeding.

But Lagman said the National Statistics Office has stated that 14 women die daily because of complications from pregnancy and childbirth, which are among the problems to be addressed by the RH law.

He also pointed out that contraceptives were included in the essential list of medicines of the World Health Organization, “which is the main health authority of the United Nations of which the Philippines is a member.”

Abad maintained that a natural form of contraception like withdrawal during sex was more effective than using artificial contraception, but Lagman argued that the RH law promotes all methods and gave couples the option to choose from these methods.

“No one will be compelled to use contraceptives,” Lagman said.

Abad also broached the prospect of adolescents being able to gain access to contraceptives because of the sex education that they will be getting.

“I think we are working on a wrong premise that adolescents, [as well as] adults, are inherently promiscuous. That should not be the assumption,” Lagman countered, noting that UN studies actually show that sex education would have “beneficial effects” on the young as it would instill in them the proper sex values, delay their engagement in sexual relations, and teach them to avoid having multiple sexual partners.

Abad also peppered Cayetano with questions on her position when it was the turn of the senator to present her case.

Abad argued that hormonal contraceptives have the highest possibility of causing cancer and that they can cause “Class I” cancer.

Cayetano countered that the Class I rank was actually the “lowest class” as it was similar to the risk of women getting sick from “microwaves and television.”


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: Edcel Lagman , oral arguments , Pia Cayetano , reproductive health law , RH law , Supreme Court




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. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’–report
  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Sports

  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement