Wednesday, May 11, 2011

PRO-LIFE! What exactly do you mean by it?

I happened to pass by a group of demonstrators against the passage of RH bill along IPB street fronting the House of Representatives on Tuesday, May 10, on my way to an interview at DPWH. I noticed banners bearing the "PRO LIFE" slogan in big, bold, capital letters. It struck me like a lightning bolt with the question, "If these people are prolife advocates, then what do they mean by prolife really?"

I am pro-RH bill from the very start of the drive to legitimize the issue. I may be liberal but I see the bright side of passing the RH law. I may be overly optimistic but I consider the good effect of it to the people. I hailed from a big family of poor lifestyle and so I symphatize the poor people and I see the contribution of RH bill to alleviate, if not eradicate, the poverty caused by overpopulation.

I would like to start my argument with reality check (forgive me if this may appear bias). Use of contraceptives, even IUDs, in the Philippines is a long-time practice. Display of condoms in drugstores, grocery stores, supermarkets is a long-time practice. Advocacy on use of natural family planning methods is a long-time practice. So what is new? The enactment of Reproductive Health into law is the only new thing.

My next point is checking the current trends. Like fashion, what is in for present days in relation to sex and population. Philippines is a small country but it ranks 12th most populated country with a population of more than 90 million as of 2010. Most of us age below 40 years old. In short, we did mass production of children in a decade's time. Teenage pregnancy is in. This is contributory to abortion incidences that we hear and read in the news. This signifies naiveness, unguided curiousity and uneducated parenting. HIV positive victims is escalating; mostly among men. This characterizes promiscuity, carelessness, and/or dirty business. A lot more can be cited here (feel free to fill in) but the most alarming trend is the increasing poverty incidence. This is a characteristic of a country, with depleting resources, in a brink of bankruptcy. How can we afford to beget more? We ran out of natural resources because we sell even our lands. We ran out of food because we convert our agricultural lands to housing and other commercial developments. We ran out of shelter because we cut and sell but never replant our trees. We ran out of school rooms for a vast number of children and thus exist huge number of out of school youth. We ran out of jobs because there are only few industries against many of us jobseekers. We ran out of internally generated monies because there are a lot of us in need and thus our foreign loans escalated to fill in the gap. Mind you, we will ran out of everything soon.

What RH bill brings in is that it legitimizes the old time practices, as cited above. Only it imposes a higher level of compliance. Requiring a degree of compliance is really a must to counteract the abovementioned trending and "ran outs". But the same bill, however, discusses and presents numerous methods, from natural to artificial, for Filipinos to choose from. We still retain our freedom, encourages us to use our free will. In other words, kung saan ka hiyang. If you think you bloat if you take contraceptive pills, then look for other means. If you think you get migraines if you take contraceptives, then find some other means. If you think artificial methods are not good or abortive or disease-causing, then go for natural means. But if you think that natural means are not effective or you are not effective with natural methods, then you should apply artificial ways.

So, isn't RH bill PRO-LIFE? What is the real meaning of prolife as against the RH bill? It's as if we care more for the unborn children than the children born out wedlock, out of curiosity, unplanned pregnancy. It is as if undevelop embryo is more important that the 5th, 6th, 7th, nth born child of an underprivileged, less-fortunate, unemployed, uneducated poor family. It is as if the life of a child that has not yet seen the light is more significant and therefore needs saving that the life of a child that has seen the light but seems no life at all because of poverty, abandonment, abuse.

To which and to whom are we really PRO-LIFE? LIFE of an UNBORN CHILD or LIFE of a BORN CHILD that has basic needs like food, shelter, education, etc. To whom do we bestow the FULLNESS of LIFE? To the UNBORN or to the LIVING CHILDREN?

I therefore would like to ask everyone to define before going to the streets to cry out loud the real meaning of "PRO-LIFE".

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