Urges anti-RH forces to support the law
MANILA (1st UPDATE) - After the Supreme Court declared the Reproductive Health (RH) Law not unconstitutional, one of its principal authors urged those who oppose the law to accept defeat and support it instead.
Speaking to ANC’s News Now, former Albay Congressman Edcel Lagman welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision and said he had expected the outcome.
“What’s most important is practically all of the more important provisions have been retained. Like for example the mandate of the government to distribute the free reproductive services and supplies to the marginalized acceptors,” he said.
Lagman said that he is particularly glad because the provision which will provide reproductive health and sexuality education to students was untouched by the Supreme Court.
“It’s very important for us that Section 14, the reproductive health and sexuality education, has remained intact and undiminished by the Supreme Court decision.”
Lagman also stressed that the provisions that were declared unconstitutional do not water down the RH Law.
“We wanted the entire law to be declared constitutional but those which were not declared unconstitutional will not seriously affect the efficacy and effectivity of the law.”
Meanwhile, Lagman said he expects the anti-RH forces to continue opposing the law, but urged them to accept the decision.
“It’s always a controversial measure and the anti-RH forces would remain active in opposing the implementation of the law," he said.
"But I would like to urge the anti-RH forces to now abide by the decision of the political departments: the executive and the legislature, which enacted the law. And the judicial department which constitutionalized the law.
“What they should do now is to join hands in the full implementation of the law.”
When asked how he will continue advocating for the RH Law considering that he is no longer a member of Congress, Lagman said he will continue to be active in civil society projects concerned about the implementation of the law.
“I am active in the NGO community. I am active with the civil society which really helped in the enactment of this law. I will remain active in pursuing that the law is fully and faithfully implemented.”
Lagman also called the Supreme Court decision a challenge to the executive to implement the law faithfully and not weaken it.
“And I think the Supreme Court decision is a challenge to the executive to really, faithfully implement the law, and also a challenge to Congress to give appropriate funding for the activities and programs and to resist any move to repeal or weaken the law.”
Through a press release, Lagman enumerated the six “salient” provisions that were untouched by what he called the “judicial scalpel.” They include the following:
Sec. 3(a) – mandating the government to provide for free to marginalized acceptors reproductive health services and supplies.
Sec. 9 – the Philippine National Drug Formulary including hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other safe, legal, non-abortifacient and effective family product and supplies as determined by Food and Drug Administration.
Sec. 10 – the procurement and distribution of family planning supplies by the Department of Health for distribution to local government units.
Sec. 14 – the age- and development-appropriate reproductive health education to adolescents in all schools.
Role of local government units in the implementation of the RH law.
Sec. 20 – on public awareness and nationwide multimedia campaign for the protection and promotion of reproductive health and rights.