Is education an exclusive commodity to those who are wealthy? It’s a valid question and a good point to make whenever the issue of Reproductive Health is discussed. In a 2015 article by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), it noted that there are 1 out of 10 Out-Of-School youths in the country. (See whole article here: https://psa.gov.ph/content/out-school-children-and-youth-philippines-results-2013-functional-literacy-education-and)
This month, DDS News joined several several women’s groups which called for the lifting of the TRO on Responsible Reproductive Health Law. Why? Because the RH Law is recognized by the Duterte administration as a vital role in nation building as the government is working out different measures to curb poverty.
How will it benefit everyone? It entails reproductive health education for the younger generation and provides women and children with healthcare services and contraceptives. Women, children and mothers should be able to have access to good health care services no matter what class they are in.
However, we wonder how women can maximize its benefits if the Supreme Court TRO against contraceptives is not lifted? I guess the conservatives of the SC do not know the impact of the TRO to women’s health and what risks it imposes on them.
Another PSA report says that 1 in 10 Filipinas aged 15 to 19 is either already a mother or is pregnant with her first baby. It states that early pregnancy is more common among young women with less education. A United Nations report also pointed out that the country topped the regional list of Asian countries that continue to have the greatest number of teenage pregnancies. If that is not enough, around 11 mothers die every day or around 4,500 every year due to childbirth. This alarming rate is obviously due to poor health facilities and education on reproductive health and family planning.
Doctors from public hospitals has had encounters of several women (who are already in labor) showing up with absolutely no prenatal care and with no hospital history. When asked why, they say it is because they do not have money to go to check-ups and some do not even know they are pregnant until the last minute which results to complications of the child and mother’s health. These issues could well be addressed if the RH Law is fully implemented/
May we ask what is so wrong with family planning? Why are most conservatives still allergic to those two words? Is it because of our religious beliefs? I wonder why we still allow the Church to influence the state and its laws.
From human rights to family planning, the church has meddled unapologetically. The Church says Filipinos should be celibate and abstain from pre-marital sex.
While most want to stick to their own religious beliefs, let us give our two cents—the line separating the Church and State should be defined at all times, in whatever circumstance. Those justices who refused to lift the TRO should be ashamed of themselves for being blind to the reality in the lack of maternal and child healthcare in the country!!
The President has said in his SONA that he wants full implementation of the law but we are now in a limbo. It’s just a matter of time before the supply of contraceptives run out and we are yet again paralyzed with the same issues instead of moving forward.
We join in the call to lift the TRO; IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE. It is time we face the problem instead of running away from it. Please, don’t rob the mothers and children of their constitutional rights any further.