MANILA, Philippines - The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said it will intensify efforts against the bill on reproductive health now that Malacanang has given the go-signal to make it one of Congress’ priority measures.
In a CBCP News report, CBCP Vice President Jose Palma expressed sadness over news that the bill, formally named as Responsible Parenthood Bill, was included in the priority measures of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).
“I personally would like to exhort the many people who believe in the cause of the Lord, the values that the Gospel preaches, and the stand that we have been defending through these months to rally to this cause,” he said.
He said Catholics should fight the bill “if indeed they believe that this is what Christianity asks of us and to believe that our efforts would be rewarded.”
On Tuesday, President Benigno Aquino III said he expects debates in the bill, but noted the version proposed is already in response to conflicts with critics, especially the Church.
“We tried to remove certain contentious provisions [in the original proposed Reproductive Health Bill], including the ideal family size,” he said. Malacanang’s version also placed at 11 the appropriate age for sex education, which is a compromise to the 12 years of age suggested by the Church.
He said the free access to contraceptives will not be removed. In total, there are less than 10 proposed changes to the RH Bill.
The access to modern methods of family planning is precisely what the Church does not want.
“We believe that this is a long battle and we trust that with people of goodwill and with God blessing our efforts, the sanctity of human life and marriage would prevail,” Palma said.