Home > reproductive health, RH Bill 5043 > catholics can support the RH Bill in good conscience – ateneo professors

catholics can support the RH Bill in good conscience – ateneo professors

we are highlighting this position paper released by ateneo professors on the RH BIll. we think it is important that catholics read this position paper.

click here: click here: https://2010presidentiables.wordpress.com/reproductive-health-bill-5043/text-of-ateneo-professors-position-paper-on-rh-bill-5043/

  1. October 8, 2010 at 12:41 am

    If you decide to read the article, read the comments too. They are very helpful in seeing the truth in this subject (RH Bill 5043).

  2. marvin santos
    October 8, 2010 at 8:50 am

    the professors make a lot of sense.

  3. Benny
    October 11, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Wag na dapat makialam ang simbahan sa mga
    gawain ng pamahalaan.

    • October 11, 2010 at 4:44 pm

      Hindi nakikialam ang Simbahan sa gawain ng pamahalaan, wala itong opisina o opisyal na impluwensya sa anumang sangay ng gobyerno; ang pinapakialaman ng Simbahan ay ang kapakanan ng mamamayan at ito ay kanyang moral na responsibilidad. Ang RH bill ang nakikialam sa gawain ng Simbahan.

      “…forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual identity, interpersonal relationships, affection, intimacy and gender roles. It also includes developing the necessary skills do be able to distinguish between facts and myths on sex and sexuality; and critically evaluate. and discuss the moral, religious, social and cultural dimensions of related sensitive issues such as contraception and abortion.” (Sec. 4h)

      “Attitudes, beliefs and values on sexual development, sexual behavior…” (Sec. 12c)

      “In the elementary level, reproductive health education shall focus, among others, on values formation.” (Sec. 12j).

      These are duties of the Church and not of the State.

      • October 12, 2010 at 2:34 pm

        “These are duties of the Church and not of the State.”

        I agree. The church can do these in their own. They have Sunday masses, catechisms, family visitations and what have you.

        • October 14, 2010 at 7:21 am

          “The church can do these in their own.”

          The Church should be the only one doing these. Even values education (and Christian living) subjects in Philippine schools are in accordance with the Church’s teachings — values that are shared in common by the majority of good Filipinos. To teach another set of values which is directly opposed to the first is impractical, senseless, and even bad. It is like setting house rules and helping your children to be disciplined citizens while your parents and parents-in-law are spoiling them at the same time. Imparting proper values to the children should not be a competition between the parents and the grannies, or between the Church and the State. In terms of values education, the State should be one with the Church.

          • October 19, 2010 at 6:18 pm

            Then we should allow Islam to teach us their own morality in these matters, too. let us not forget also the Jehova’s witnesses, the Mormons,the Evangelicals, the Pentecostals and oh least we forget, Quiboloy and INC’s, too. I am also sure brother eddie villanueva will have a different view from yours.

            See now why the church and state should be separated?

          • October 20, 2010 at 7:32 am

            “The Church should be the only one doing these.”

            Unfortunately, there are a lot of churches with different moral paradigms willing to do these. I am sure the Filipino Muslims would also want to be heard.

            I hope it is becoming clear to you now, vanilla, why the CHURCH should be SEPARATE from the STATE.

          • susan
            October 20, 2010 at 10:28 am

            the catholic church should stop thinking they own the whole of the philippines.

            • Speak
              October 21, 2010 at 10:48 pm

              They don’t own the Philippines, and are NOT CLAIMING it, too. The Filipinos are the ones who accepted the Faith when Magellan first brought it to Cebu, and the Faith has spread from then on. But something can only spread if people believe in it.

              • October 27, 2010 at 6:44 am

                Well, there are other “Faiths” that spread to. And they also have a say on the RH Bill.

  4. Mon
    October 14, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Since you’re highlighting this position paper released by certain ateneo professors, none of which represent the views of the university nor the Catholic church, then perhaps this paper, which is written by Ateneo’s Loyola School of Theology and the John J. Carroll Institute on Church and Social Issues (one of the authors happens to be Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ one of the top legal minds in the country), will be more enlightening. I feel that it gives a much more balanced appraisal of the RH bill and why, in its current form, it still contains “serious flaws that can lead to violations of human rights and freedom of conscience.”

    Talking Points for Dialogue on the Reproductive Health Bill

    The polarization of Philippine society over the Reproductive Health Bill has been a source of discouragement and discontent among Filipinos. It is unfortunate that the debate has focused only on whether the Bill should be passed or rejected in its present form. Either option would not be good for Filipinos. The Church sees in the proposed Bill serious flaws that can lead to violations of human rights and freedom of conscience. It would not be acceptable to pass it in its present form. Total rejection of the Bill, however, will not change the status quo of high rates of infant mortality, maternal deaths, and abortions. It is a moral imperative that such dehumanizing conditions should not be allowed to continue. What is needed is a third option: critical and constructive engagement. By working together to amend the objectionable provisions of the Bill and retain the provisions that actually improve the lives of Filipinos, both the proponents and opponents of the Bi ll can make a contribution to protection of the dignity of Filipinos and an improvement of their quality of life.

    The following are talking points and proposals for dialogue and negotiation on the objectionable portions of the Bill:

    The Protection of Human Life and the Constitution

    . The Church insists on protection of human life upon fertilization. The question to be answered by the State is if this is the same position it will take regarding the protection of human life.

    . The Philippine Constitution says that the State will protect the life of the unborn upon conception. It is not specified in the Constitution whether conception means fertilization or the implantation of an embryo in the womb. The Constitutional Convention seemed to favor fertilization. The definition of conception will have a bearing whether contraceptives that prevent the implantation of embryos would be legally allowed or not. This definition of conception in the Constitution must be worked out both by medical and legal experts in order to determine the parameters of what reproductive services can be provided by the Bill.

    Contraceptives that prevent the implantation of embryos

    . At the center of the controversy regarding abortion and the RH Bill are IUDs and other contraceptive medications and devices that may have the possible effect of preventing the implantation of an embryo, which for the Catholic Church, is considered an abortifacient effect. [Contraceptives without abortifacient effects are treated differently in church teaching. They are forbidden for Catholics but other religious traditions allow them.]

    . Proposal: The State first has to make a clear position whether it considers the prevention of implantation of an embryo as an abortion. If the State takes this position, there must be a careful and scientifically based evaluation of each of the medicines and devices provided by the Bill. Those contraceptive medicines and devices which are determined to have abortifacient effects are to be banned even now and regardless of whether the RH Bill is passed or not.

    Age Appropriate, Value-Based, Integral Human Sexuality Education

    . The mandatory nature of the sexuality education curriculum proposed by the Bill is a concern for the Church because it would compel Catholic educators to teach parts of the curriculum that may be unacceptable for Catholics. The Church is also concerned that the parents’ right to decide on the education of their children would be denied by such a mandatory curriculum for all schools.

    . Proposal: For the purpose of protecting academic freedom and respecting religious traditions, should not the right of religious schools to write and implement their own sexuality education curriculum according their religious traditions be respected? For public schools and non-religious private schools, an appointed panel of parent representatives, educators, experts in child development and psychology, medical experts, and representatives of religious traditions can write the sexuality education curriculum and the DEPED can monitor the implementation. Parents with children in public schools should have the right to have their children exempted from the sexuality education class if the curriculum is not acceptable to them. The Constitution allows religious instruction in public schools only if the parents consent in writing. Should a similar provision be enacted relative to sexuality education? The Bill must also respect the conscientious objection of individual educators who refuse to teach a sexuality curriculum that violates their religious beliefs.

    Providing Reproductive Health Information and Services for a Multi-Religious Society

    . Even if the majority of the population of the country are Catholics, our democratic system should ensure that public polices are not determined solely by majority vote but also by a careful consideration of the common good of all, including non-Catholics.

    . The Compendium of the Social Teaching of the Church rejects any imposition of norms by a majority that is discriminatory of the rights of a minority: (#422) “Because of its historical and cultural ties to a nation, a religious community might be given special recognition on the part of the State. Such recognition must in no way create discrimination within the civil or social order for other religious groups;” (#169): “Those responsible for government are required to interpret the common good of their country not only according to the guidelines of the majority but also according to the effective good of all the members of the community, including the minority.”

    . It is the duty of various religions to teach their faithful and form their consciences about what their religious tradition allows and prohibits with regard to family planning. It is the duty of the government to provide correct and comprehensive information on all non-abortifacient (as defined by law) family planning methods that are available. Consciences will thus be better equipped to make informed choices according to their religious traditions.

    . Proposal: There can be two separate parallel programs for providing information and training, one for NFP and another for artificial methods of family planning (with separate budgets). The separation of the programs will ensure that NFP will get adequate funding and those trainers who wish to teach only NFP for religious reasons will not be forced to teach artificial methods. The conscience of health workers and trainers should be respected. If a Catholic health worker or trainer conscientiously objects to teaching contraception methods, he or she should be allowed to teach only NFP methods.

    Limits to the Anti-Discrimination Provision

    . The current Bill prohibits the refusal of health care services and information based on a patient’s marital status, gender or sexual orientation, age, religion, personal circumstances, and nature of work. This provision must have parameters. For example, if a doctor refuses to administer an IUD to a minor who requests for it, would that be considered age discrimination?

    . Should the provision apply equally to both in the public and private health care providers or shouldn’t private practitioners have more leeway in practicing their medicine as they see fit?

    Employers’ Responsibility

    . Employers should not be required to provide in their CBAs reproductive health services of their employees. To enforce this requirement would be a violation of the conscience of Catholic employers.

    . Proposal: Such a provision is unnecessary because the general Philhealth medical coverage, which is mandatory for all employees, provides for such reproductive health services upon request of the employee. This allows employers with religious objections to contraceptives or sterilizations to avoid direct formal cooperation in the provision of such family planning methods to their employees.

    Contraception as Essential Medicines in Government Health Centers and Hospitals

    . The Church’s objection to this provision is that it appears to treat pregnancy as a disease.

    . Proposal: The question of whether contraceptives are essential medicines should be resolved by a panel of objective medical experts such as the Philippine Medical Association. What contraceptives actually prevent diseases? It would be helpful to be able to present cases where the use of a contraceptive is a medically indicated treatment for a particular disease or emergency situation. If some contraceptives are ultimately decided as essential or emergency medicines that should be stocked in government health centers and hospitals, no contraceptives with abortifacient effects are to be allowed.

    Freedom of Speech

    . Proposal: The Bill’s provision that penalizes malicious disinformation against the intention and provisions of the Bill should be refined by a clear description of what constitutes “malicious disinformation,” or failing that, the provision should be scrapped.

    Implementing Norms

    . Proposal: The committee to be in-charge of the Bill’s implementing norms should have representatives from major religious traditions to ensure that the rights of people of various faiths would be protected.

    The above proposals are intended to generate constructive and respectful dialogue leading to concrete actions that would correct the RH Bill. It is hoped that the parties involved in the RH debate would move away from hard-line positions and consider negotiations as a more positive step towards working for the good of all Filipinos, with special consideration for the unborn, the youth, women and families in difficult circumstances.

    Finally, we can turn to the following Christian maxim as our guide in our search for answers and solutions regarding the RH Bill: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity.” For things pertaining to protecting human life and dignity, we need to come to a consensus for the common good; for things that can be left to individual decisions without violating human life and dignity, we need to respect freedom of conscience of every Filipino both Catholics and non-Catholics; in all our discussions, we need to speak and act with charity and understanding as members of the same human family and community.

    DISCLAIMER: Although the authors are priests and Jesuits, we still can’t say that their response is representative of the whole church, no matter how sound their arguments appear to be.

    Although it is clear that they oppose the bill in its present form, they do not just stop with condemning the bill (which a lot of church leaders do) but they explain thoroughly what their concerns are and they even include suggestions on what can be done. A nice way to jumpstart a constructive and meaningful dialogue between the two opposing sides in this debate.

  5. October 20, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    I think those who disagrees with the bill should read the full context o the bill. The bill speaks about the protection of women, freedom of choices and looking forward of having a good family. Compare the family with 12 members and a family with only members. Which do you think can live a much more satisfying life?, but of course the family with few members. The paernts of the few falimy members would have much more time educating and giving them the proper values that they need to become a good citizen.

    • Speak
      October 21, 2010 at 11:08 pm

      Those who AGREE should be the ones reading and UNDERSTANDING what the overall effect of the bill is. Those who disagree with this bill are pro-Life.

      Life is a gift, even though it is a very rough road we journey on each day. This is what we want to protect by saying “NO!” to this bill. Women’s protection is needed, but the protection of the gift of Life generally is more essential. If you want to protect women, then read this:

      “The Pill”

      “The birth control pill is used by over 10 million women in the US and about 4 million of those are under age 25. The Pill consists of a combination of two types of artificial hormones called estrogens and progestins. It works by inhibiting ovulation and sperm transport and by changing the lining of the inside of a woman’s uterus (called the endometrium) so that if the woman does conceive she may have an early abortion.

      Ethical concerns: It is estimated that a sexually active woman will experience at least one very early abortion every year that she is on the Pill. Both pro-abortion and pro-life groups acknowledge that the Pill causes early abortions.

      Medical side effects: The birth control pill increases the risk of breast cancer by over 40% if it is taken before a woman delivers her first baby. This risk increases by 70% if the Pill is used for four or more years before the woman’s first child is born. Other side effects that women have experienced include high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, heart attack, depression, weight gain, and migraines. Diabetics who take oral contraceptives may note increased sugar levels. Some women who stop taking the Pill do not have a return of their fertility (menstrual cycles) for a year, or even longer. Although the Pill decreases ovarian and some uterine cancers, it increases breast, liver, and cervical cancer. At least three studies have noted that the AIDS virus is transmitted more easily to women who are taking the Pill if their partner(s) have the HIV virus.”


      P.S. These are based on several meta-Analysisses (a meta-analysis combines the results of several studies that address a set of related research hypotheses).

  6. kristine
    January 31, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    I understand the point of both sides about the RH Bill. The state would like to protect the lives of the women and the church would like to save human dignity. Both the state and the church have a good cause fighting for but differ on the way they want to. Hope that God lead the both state and the church to one way where their minds would meet and decide just for the sake of Filipinos because i believe that God is just.

    The government still have time to think of laws to ease poverty but not RH bill and not by controlling the birth rates. How about they convict those corrupt officers? Or give quality education? How does RH bill differs from abortion or preventing a life to become?

  7. tori amos
    May 31, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    oh, pls. Think. The rh bill is way more, way beyond JUST contraceptives. (FYI Mr./Ms. Speak, the Pill was just prescribed to me by my OB to keep up with the complications of my ovary cysts, so should i say i shouldn’t take it???) Anyway, going back, the RH bill is about health, about being able to think and make a choice. This is what our society needs. We should respond to the signs of the times, to the needs of the world. Those who oppose the bill should see the real situation of our women, of our families in the slums. The so-called righteous ones say God doesn’t want this, God doesn’t want that. blahblahblah. Well, does God want us to be absent-mindedly pregnant every two years, with 12 children to feed with our meager minimum wage salary? Is THAT responsible parenthood? Is THAT even “pro-life”? Is THAT using the minds God gifted us with, minds that could decide for our selves and for our families? RH bill now.

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