Pro-RH groups support dialogue with bishops but caution authors
Davao City (20 November) -- Supporters of the highly controversial Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008 welcome the bishops' call for a dialogue with the RH authors but caution legislators and civil society advocates to fully study the points for negotiation.
"The Catholic Church, as one important institution, should remain relevant by being part of what would become the watershed legislation on Reproductive Health. The bill is being revised and being perfected. Towards this we welcome the call for dialogue and the constructive input of religious sectors, particularly the Catholic Church", Ramon San Pascual, Executive Director of the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD) said.
He stated that RH supporters are delighted that finally Catholic bishops are now willing to dialogue with RH authors. San Pascual recalled that it was the RH authors and supporters who first offered the dialogue with the Catholic hierarchy to thresh out differences but some bishops closed their doors and instead attacked and simply rejected the bill.
San Pascual stressed, "While we are glad with this development, we appeal to all stakeholders to see to it that this dialogue should not interrupt the ongoing deliberations in the plenary of Congress but rather hasten the process by harmonizing the difference of the various provisions of the bill."
"While we respect such initiative to discuss how to improve the bill further, we appeal to our legislators to remain firm to the intentions of this proposed policy to make affordable and available all reproductive health services and information to in the country without any bias," San Pascual concluded. (PLCPD-PIA XI) [top]