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SQA extension on RH law means more mothers dying every day—lawmakers

/ 04:11 PM July 16, 2013

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat PHOTO FROM CONGRESS.GOV.PH

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court now has more time to decide on the fate of the controversial Reproductive Health Law after it decided to extend the status quo ante (SQA) order on the new law but it meant “more mothers dying every day because of unplanned pregnancies,” co-authors of the measure in the House of Representatives said on Tuesday.

Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat told INQUIRER.net that the high court’s move not only delayed the RH Law’s implementation but placed mothers’ lives at risk.

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“The grounds maybe justified to afford the Supreme Court more time to decide with finality on the fate of the RH Law. Unfortunately, it means allowing more mothers to die every day because of unplanned pregnancies,” he said.

This was echoed by newly-appointed Health Undersecretary Janette Garin, another co-author of the RH Law in the 15th Congress, who said that pro-RH lawmakers respect the high court’s decision and said that she was “positive that the magistrate understands the urgency of this law.”

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“Ten mothers die every day, I believe the Supreme Court will soon allow the RH Law to be implemented soon,” she said.

Baguilat said that the initial comments of the justices indicated that they were hesitating to assume jurisdiction on the issues being raised by those against the RH Law.

He said it was unfortunate that the implementation of the new law could not push through because of legal discourse.

“They’re not convinced that the court should even decide on constitutionality of the RH Law. My perception is they’ll eventually shoot down the opposition and allow implementation,” he said.

Pro-life lawmakers were meanwhile “very happy” with the Supreme Court’s decision to extend the SQA on the controversial Reproductive Health Law.

Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez, who opposed the passage of the RH Law in the House of Representatives, told INQUIRER.net that “pro-lifers are confident that the SC will ultimately declare the contentious RH Law as unconstitutional.”

“We are very happy with the extension of the SQA. We laud the Supreme Court for this decision,” he said.

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TAGS: Janette Garin, RH law, status quo ante, Supreme Court, Teddy Baguilat
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