MANILA, Philippines - One of the authors of the Reproductive Health Bill said Sen. Vicente "Tito" Sotto III should sue his wife's doctor for linking contraceptives to the death of his firstborn son.
Iloilo Rep. Janet Garin said she sympathizes with Sotto over the death of his son, Vincent Paul, but noted that the senator was misinformed about the cause of his son's heart condition.
"I sympathize with the death of his son 37 years ago but hearing him say that he was told by his doctor that the cause of heart disease was the intake of pills, I would strongly suggest that he sue his doctor for all this mental anguish they have been suffering because it is definitely not true," she told ANC's Headstart.
Sotto earlier said his campaign to block the passage of the RH Bill was a personal mission after his son, Vincent Paul, died due to alleged side effects of contraceptives. The senator said his son died due to a weak heart condition.
He said his wife's doctor could find no cause for his son's heart condition except that his wife, actress Helen Gamboa, took contraceptives.
"The Makati Medical Center said he died because my wife used contraceptives. Even her doctor admits to the fact, Dra. Enderga Santos," he said.
Sen. Pia Cayetano, meanwhile, sympathized with Sotto but said there is no evdience that shows a link between contraceptive use and heart conditions of children.
She also noted that contraceptives are supposed to be used with doctors' advice, and not just given out.
Garin, who is a medical doctor, disputed Sotto's statement that condoms pose health risks and that contraceptives are carcinogenic.
She said contraceptive pills are made out of a combination of estrogen and progesterone, which takes out side effects.
In the case of Gamboa, Garin said it is possible that the actress was not taking the pills correctly.
"She might not be taking it daily or not taking it correctly on when it should be taken. (If you miss a pill), there's a possibility you might get pregnant," she said.
The congresswoman said Sotto's statement actually shows the need to pass the Reproductive Health Bill or the Responsible Parenthood Bill to teach the people how to use contraceptives.
"This is where the problem is, we have respectable people like Sen. Sotto misinforming the public.....with the misinformation, many lives are being sacrified, many people are put into danger because of this misinformation," she said.