MANILA - Senator Pia Cayetano, one of the champions of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law, welcomed the decision of the Supreme Court.
Although some provisions were struck down by the high court, Cayetano said the gist of the law is intact. She said it still allows Filipinos access to contraceptives of their choice, reproductive health education, and information.
“I was trying to decide what’s the first thing I should say to express my joy and I finally found the words. This is the first time I can honestly say, ‘I love my job!’," Cayetano told reporters.
“It tells the world that the Filipino women are important in our country. It tells the whole world that reproductive rights will finally be acknowledged, that the importance of an individual’s right to their reproductive health and a couple’s right and including individual right are now going to be respected. I am extremely pleased with the decision,” she said.
The United Nations in the Philippines also welcomed the ruling. It said the decision comes at a very crucial time.
“The full and speedy implementation of the law will be critically important in reducing maternal mortality and ensuring universal access to reproductive health care and also sets the country on the right track for the post-2015 development agenda. The UN expresses its support to the Government of the Philippines as it now moves forward and leads the full implementation of the law,” the United Nations said in a statement.
This year marks the 20-year anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
Quoting the ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Report, the UN said that while significant progress has been made, success on maternal health and gender equality have yet to reach everyone.
In the Philippines, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) has remained consistently high since 1993, and it is unlikely that the MMR target of 52 deaths per 100,000 live births will be reached by the 2015 Millennium Development Goals deadline. – with reports from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News