CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/29 March) – Two congressmen from Cagayan de Oro City have expressed opposition to the reproductive health bill even as civil society organizations and lay religious groups are seeking for more dialogue on the controversial measure now pending in Congress.
Second District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said that he is opposed to provisions in the bill that allegedly violate the Constitution and the rights of mothers to bear children.
“I am for the respect for the integrity of human life and I am against the RH Bill,” Ating Koop party-list Rep. Isidro Q. Lico said
Lico said the bill may not be able to pass the 15th Congress.
He said that although the pro-RH lawmakers, especially the younger ones, are very vocal about the bill, they may not be able to muster enough votes.
The Roman Catholic Church has vehemently campaigned against the bill which they claimed encourages abortion and the use of artificial birth control methods, practices that are both anathema to its teachings.
Rodriguez said the RH bill is at warpath with the dominant religion of the country. “It is clear in our Constitution that we believe in God. We cannot fight our religion, yet the bill would now directly fight with the Catholic Church.”
In a consultation with President Benigno Simeon Aquino III here last week, civil society organizations and lay religious groups including the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro’s Conversation and the Jesuit-run Xavier University, called for more dialogue on the bill.
Observers said such stand is more liberal compared to the call of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales for an outright opposition to the bill.
The President has reiterated the government’s anti-abortion policy but called on the public especially the opposition to the RH Bill to consider the country’s annual population growth of about 2.5-million. (BenCyrus G. Ellorin/MindaNews)