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RH bill about population control, not health–Enrile

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile has warned that proponents of the reproductive health (RH) bill have “cleverly” packaged it as a health measure when it is clearly about population control.

“RH is a deception. They are calling it a health bill when health should discuss sickness and medicines.  What is the therapeutic or medicinal value of a condom?  Or that of a birth control pill, an intrauterine device or an injectible (contraceptive),” Enrile said in an interview.

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Enrile also wondered why these were the terminology being used although what was being discussed was a health bill.

“I think the real purpose is to control the country’s population through birth control that’s why they (proponents) are advocating this in the guise of a health bill,” he said.

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“Our notion and understanding is that this bill is a clever device to put in the population as a centerpiece but cleverly masked as a health measure… called ‘reproductive health,’” he said.

In last week’s debate, Enrile pointed to Section 9 of the RH bill that mentions “Family Planning Supplies as Essential Medicines,” providing that the National Drug Formulary “shall include hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectibles and other safe, legal and effective family planning products and supplies…”

The RH bill requires that these products “shall also be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national and local hospitals, provincial city and municipal health offices, including rural health units.”

Enrile said that he was not accusing the sponsors of the bill of any ill intention.  But he explained that marketing the RH bill as a health measure was misleading.

“”(I)t appears to us that this is a well-contrived bill, it masked the very purpose for which it was presented to Congress for consideration…Are we talking here of human development?  The fact is that the bill is unclear (on this issue and also) unclear on many things. And that is why it is our duty to expose this vagueness and to ask reasons for the vagueness,” he added.

Enrile said he would dare the RH bill’s principal sponsor, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, and cosponsor, Senate family, women and youth panel chair Pia Cayetano, when the debates resume this afternoon to present “a reputable medical practitioner…that will certify (at the risk of) his professional reputation and ethics that condoms, pills, IUDs, including injectibles are medicinal and have therapeutic values.”

But Cayetano countered that the RH bill “establishes a reproductive health policy.  That is the driver.  And in effect, it improves the quality of lives of the people, they reduce their family size.”

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She also said the Department of Health as implementing agency of the RH bill was prohibited from practicing or tolerating abortion.

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TAGS: Condom, injectible, intrauterine device, Population control, Reproductive Health Bill, RH bill, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Sen. Pia Cayetano, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile
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