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PIA Press Release

RH bill advocates to Bishops: Don't go low, be respectable, and be constructive

Manila (12 November) -- Amid renewed word war on the controversial reproductive health bill, main authors of various reproductive health bills filed in the House of Representatives jointly called on some bishops to refrain from twisting the bill and to speak the truth on the measure.

In a press conference held today, Rep. Edcel Lagman, principal author of House Bill 96; Reps. Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela Party List, authors of HB 3387; Rep. Arlene "Kaka" Bag-Ao of Akbayan Party List, author of HB 513; Rep. Jose Ma. Zubiri co-author of HB 96; and Rep. Antonio Tinio of Alliance for Concerned Teachers (ACT) Party List, co-author of HB 3387, laments the recent attacks thrown at them by some bishops.

According to Ramon San Pascual, Executive Director of the Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD), it is totally unfair for a religious leader to label RH bill authors and supporters as "people with lost morality" and "with consciences that are not well formed." Attacking the members of Congress merely shows oppositionists' lack of substance and further flames up hostility between certain church leaders and the general public.

San Pascual asked, "if the authors are indeed people with lost morality, what does that make of the 83% the Filipino people, who, by survey results, are clamoring for reproductive health education and services from the Government?"

He stressed, "ill health among women, high maternal mortality, and immorality of mass poverty - these are the central issues that RH bill authors would like to resolve by their determined efforts to pass this important piece of legislation. These are also the issues that opponents of RH bill continue to muddle by throwing threats and lies meant for public consumption."

In conclusion, San Pascual challenged those who have objections to the RH bill to be constructive and participate as decent members of society in bill deliberation in both chambers of Congress. "Act out your being spiritual leaders, stop bullying people. In the name of fairness, please allow lawmakers to deliberate on the RH bill and vote on it." (PLCD) [top]

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