MANILA, Philippines - Former congresswoman Risa Hontiveros led a group of women in filing a motion before the Supreme Court to seek permission to intervene in several petitions that seek to declare Republic Act (RA) No. 10354, also known as the RH Law, as unconstitutional.
In a 32-page motion, Hontiveros, Sylvia Claudio, Clarita Eneria, Merry Jane Arroyo, Geraldin Navarra, Almira Dizon, Evelyn Ornopia, Amor Esperela, Ma. Yolanda Parocha, Felisa Avila, Leticia Lubong, Corsinnie Barbecho, Emily Ragub, Rubelyn Tonido urged the high court to reject the petitions against the law.
Petitioners said the RH Law will aid government in putting a stop to maternal deaths as well as misconceptions about reproductive health.
They argued that contrary to the fears expressed by various sectors, the RH Law does not legalize abortion in the country.
"[W]hile the petitioners mistakenly allege that RA 10354 will legalize abortion in the Philippines, a plain reading of the text of the said law makes it clear that abortion is expressly and repeatedly proscribed therein," the motion read.
Regarding allegations that intra-uterine devices and hormonal contraceptives have an abortifacient natures, the petitioners pointed out that this issue would be better addressed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Petitioners also claimed that those who filed petitions against the law "have failed to alleged facts showing that they possess to the requisite standing to challenge the constitutionality of RA 10354."
"Nowhere in their petitions do the petitioners allege facts that they would be directly and adversely affected by RA 10354," the motion read.
Currently, 6 petitions had been filed with the high court assailing the RH Law.