ARMM passes Reproductive Health Care Act

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/16 Dec) – While Congress has yet to approve on third and final reading the controversial Reproductive Health bill, legislators of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) passed on Thursday its Reproductive Health Care Act of 2012.

OIC Assemblywoman Irene Tillah of the ARMM’s Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) representing the 2nd district of Sulu and principal author of the law said it “recognizes the universal basic rights of every individual in the region in terms of reproductive health.”

She stressed that these rights, including the right to their religious convictions, are also guaranteed under the Act.

Tillah said the law is a product of the series of consultations and dialogues the RLA conducted the past months with several sectors, including the Darul Ifta, highest group of Islamic religious leaders.

During the consultations, she said, ARMM legislators gathered feedback, opinions, views, and comments while addressing issues and concerns raised on reproductive healthcare and natural family planning.

The regional law  “fully ensures the promotion of natural family planning,” she said.

Under the law, the ARMM regional government is tasked to provide reproductive healthcare and family planning services and information to the entire Bangsamoro people.

“It will open the doors to make several reproductive health programs available, hospital-based family planning in all health facilities, and provision of mobile health care service in every province and district.  It also encourages public-private partnerships in accessing information, education and healthcare in the promotion of the natural family planning and responsible parenthood,” Tillah said. (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)