Rhbill Philippines

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Date Submitted: 08/25/2012 10:26 AM

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The Reproductive Health Bill: empowering Filipinos

The proposed Philippine Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill) is so hot a topic at the moment that I can’t even open my Facebook without reading some kind of update from someone about it. Most Filipinos like myself, were raised as Catholics so discussing anything to do with this sex openly can become too uncomfortable and it is basically a no-go zone for people in our society. Just thinking about it makes a few people a bit squeamish. This is precisely the reason why any attempts at opening a discussion on controlling Philippine population through artificial contraception can be easily shut down by the Moral Police. The “Moral Police” or the religious zealots can instantly make you feel immoral just by them saying “it is immoral” to even think about using any contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

The topic has come to the attention of a few more Filipinos who were otherwise uninterested or too shy to talk about such a taboo subject. This is thanks to a flamboyant Philippine tour guide operator, Carlos Celdran. Celdran who was recently sent to jail overnight for a stunt inside a Philippine church which involved barging in on a gathering of clergymen while holding a placard with the word DAMASO written on it. It was an impassioned plea to the members of the clergy to give the RH bill its well-deserved consideration.

It was no surprise then that the clergymen were not happy with Celdran and found a reason to sue him, not because they thought that he had no right to speak his mind or not because they found his costume a bit silly (he was dressed as national hero Dr Jose Rizal); the men in robes are now suing him for disrespecting their religious beliefs. Obviously, these clerics want to teach Celdran a lesson in time travel — if he doesn’t straighten out, so the lesson goes, they are going to send him to a place where time will stop and where he can dress like a clown everyday. The Church also wants to teach...