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Date Submitted: 02/26/2012 09:16 AM

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Reproductive Health Bill

The Reproductive Health bills, popularly known as the RH Bill, are Philippine bills aiming to guarantee universal access to methods and information on birth control and maternal care. The bills have become the center of a contentious national debate. There are presently two bills with the same goals: House Bill No. 4244 or An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and Development, and For Other Purposes introduced byAlbay 1st district Representative Edcel Lagman, and Senate Bill No. 2378 or An Act Providing For a National Policy on Reproductive Health and Population and Development introduced by SenatorMiriam Defensor Santiago.

While there is general agreement about its provisions on maternal and child health, there is great debate on its key proposal that the Philippine government and the private sector will fund and undertake widespread distribution of family planning devices such as condoms, birth control pills (BCPs) and IUDs, as the government continues to disseminate information on their use through all health care centers.

The bill is highly divisive, with experts, academics, religious institutions, and major political figures supporting and opposing it, often criticizing the government and each other in the process. Debates and rallies for and against the bill, with tens of thousand participating, have been happening all over the country.

 “Rather than for people becoming sick, suffer much and die early, a more humanistic Christian attitude is to provide protection… We cannot have a Church that proclaims love but cannot provide love to AIDS-challenged poor and powerless sex workers. We cannot have a Church that proclaims life but sows the seeds of death by refusing to allow the use of effective practical  means against AIDS..”

Hopefully, these words dispense any thoughts that...