Gov’t urges SC to lift order stopping RH law
MANILA, Philippines—The government asked the Supreme Court to lift the status quo ante order (SQAO) on the Reproductive Health law and dismiss all pleadings against it as the oral arguments on the controversial law continued on its third session Tuesday.
Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza said women have constitutional right to use non-abortifacient contraceptives based on their right to liberty, privacy and health.
He said the RH law is not unconstitutional, noting that there are 59 registered contraceptives that were approved by the Food and Drugs Administration.
“For the past 50 years, contraceptives have been available in the market for the wealthy,” Jardeleza said.
He said that if contraceptives are made universally available, especially to the poor, unwanted pregnancies may be prevented.
Contraceptives also prevent maternal deaths, the counsel said.
“Give women more choices. Do they want the pregnancy now or later?” Jardeleza said, but noted that RH law does not force anybody to accept any device or information that one doesn’t want.
Asked if those considered poor and uneducated can make the right choices, Jardeleza answered: “When explained to them correctly, they will make the right decisions.”
Jardeleza was the first from the pro-RH group to argue for the constitutionality of the law.
The SQAO stays indefinitely.
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