Senators clash anew over RH Law

By Christina Mendez, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 11 2013 01:57 AM | Updated as of Jul 11 2013 09:57 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Senators stood firm on their respective stands on the Reproductive Health (RH) law, which is now being questioned before the Supreme Court (SC).

Sen. Pia Cayetano expressed confidence that the intervenors have a strong case.

“As the sponsor of the RH law in the Senate, I worked meticulously on each and every provision to ensure its constitutionality,” she said.

Cayetano argued the failure to deliver RH services to the public is tantamount to denying them their human rights.

“It is a grave social injustice, especially against women and the poor,” she said.

Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV also voiced his support for the law, but said “it should be implemented properly.”

“What is in the law, without bias, and with all safeguard provisions, should be implemented properly,” he said, adding that once it is out of the SC, even the Senate should be vigilant on its implementation.

Sen. Vicente Sotto III, on the other hand, reiterated his view that Republic Act 10354 or the RH law is unconstitutional. He added the law is a violation of a person’s right to religion.

Sotto explained that “on the issue of when does life begin, common sense dictates that upon fertilization.”

“Prudence dictates that in case of doubt, you decide for life,” Sotto said.

“The unconstitutionality is also on the issue of religion... the use of artificial contraceptives is now allowed for Catholics and Muslims. Now why make it part of the law? Where is religious freedom here?” he asked.

Sotto said most doctors know that life begins at fertilization. “Not only the Philippine Medical Association but in the US also. The doctors that say otherwise are connected to the international planned parenthood federation through WHO (World Health Organization) or pharmaceutical groups,” he added.