‘Misuse’ of science by RH bill supporters hit

Published by rudy Date posted on March 24, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – Academicians and scientists decried the misuse of science and the abuse of power by some educators in waging a propaganda campaign against House Bill 4244, the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill now being deliberated on in Congress.

In a statement, some 200 faculty members of the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines, backed by a signature campaign, voiced their call for the immediate passage of the bill.

“Our studied and collective opinion is that House Bill 4244 is a vital piece of legislation,” read the statement.

“Its passage will mandate policies which will save women’s and men’s lives, improve infant survival, enhance young people’s health and well-being, and enable couples and individuals to make responsible decisions in planning their families.

“We also endorse this bill as a necessary element to achieve the goals of social equity, poverty reduction, and national development. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that these goals can be achieved without resorting to population control.”

The signatories come from various UP campuses and faculty from Ateneo and its professional schools.

They come from a wide range of academic disciplines and all levels of academe, from young instructors to professors emeriti – a title given to retired professors to recognize their integrity and expertise.

Other signatories have held or are holding high academic posts such as deans, directors, and chairmen.

Several signatories have served in notable government positions. Others are well-known public intellectuals.

The academicians raised added concerns over reports that some of their fellow educators opposing the RH bill were resorting to giving their students incentives, such as bonus points, to make anti-RH statements or engage in anti-RH activities.

The group denounced this practice as an abuse on the part of the teacher “regardless of whether the teacher is for or against the RH bill.”

Prof. Marita Castro Guevara of Ateneo said that the signature campaign for support of the RH bill started when a small group of UP and Ateneo professors gathered for coffee and a collective agreement that HB 4244 was beneficial to the public.

Dr. Sylvia Estrada Claudio of UP said that signatures have come in even after the release of their statement.

Papal Nuncio Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams told lawmakers supporting the Catholic Church’s position on the RH Bill that they should remain steadfast in their conviction because “the forces of life would not fail.” – Rainier Allan Ronda, Evelyn Macairan, Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star)

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