Protestants endorse RH measure

Published by rudy Date posted on April 1, 2011

ADVOCATES of the controversial Reproductive health bill have found new allies that would help in convincing the government to pass the proposed law and these are the various protestant churches and denominations in the country.

This after the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) endorses the passage of the House Bill 4244, or the “Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2011” and its Senate counterpart, directly countering the Catholic Church’s position on the issue of reproductive health (RH) and responsible parenthood (RP).

The council, which claims to have 25,000 evangelical churches, 66 denominations, and 150 parachurch and mission organizations, in a press conference believes that the bill promotes responsible parenthood in fulfillment of biblical teaching to subdue the earth.

“The RH bill protects the life of both the mother and the baby in her womb . . . Supporting the bill is pro quality of life” Bishop Efraim Tendero, National Director of PCEC, explained.

He added that despite of the good intention of the proposed bill some Roman Catholic bishops and priests still don’t want to consider.

Ramon San Pascual, Executive Director of the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation Inc., expressed appreciation on the support of other churches saying that it only shows that Filipinos, as diverse as we are, do belong to various faiths and yet are overwhelmingly supportive of RH and RP issue.

“There are other churches that really are for the passage of the RH and RP bill as they know their members will benefit from it,” said San Pascual.

San Pascual added that he did not understand why some leaders of the Catholic Church are so stubborn that they refuse to see the issue in the perspective of its parishioners who in fact clamor for RH education and services.

“What is more lamentable is the fact that those so-called guardians of morality, who are supposed to instill values of truthfulness and honesty, are in fact the ones blatantly spreading lies on the RH issue. We have confirmed reports some Catholic churches are giving out flyers containing wrong information on the bill,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines reiterates its call on the President to include in the dialogues community and women’s groups so the President will know the urgent need for the bill to pass from actual experiences of ordinary women lacking access to RH services.

“Again, men discuss our ovaries in our absence,” laments the group’s national chairman, Elizabeth Angsioco.

According to Angsioco, there are other religions in the country that also deserve to be heard and have their own valid sentiments on the issue. –JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA, Manila Times

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