Reproductive Health and Human Rights

On July 31, 2012 the Inquirer published a letter I wrote about the Reproductive Health Bill also renamed the Responsible Parenthood Bill.Thirteen days later the Inquirer published a letter written by Mr. Joshua Young responding to my letter. You can easily find that response in the Internet.

I emailed to him the following letter to him.

Dear Mr. Young,

I read your reply to my letter to the Inquirer and I’m grateful for your very respectful treatment of it and your courteous expression of your views.

I regret it if I judged the President’s intentions too hard. But I really did not wish to judge his intentions. I just wished to point out that the Responsible Parenthood bill has provisions that promote contraception.

You claimed that “the RH bill does not favor contraception over other family planning methods; it simply provides public access to information on reproductive health.” You are right, it does not favor the pill,IUD or any other method. But my point was not about favoring one method or another. My point was the bill promotes contraception, whatever method is irrelevant.

You also asserted that “At least 15 mothers have died between the publishing of Father Magsino’s letter and the writing of this letter. At least 15 mothers were denied the right to proper maternal health care and deprived of the right to life. Those who continue to show blatant disregard for these mothers are as good as human rights violators in my eyes.”

That I would say is a rather harsh judgment. I do not show nor wish to show blatant disregard for mothers who need medical attention by opposing the RH bill. The former does not logically follow from the latter. As a priest of the Catholic Church, I can say that the Church has done much to care for these mothers, helping the government very much where the government cannot cope.

Moreover your statement is not a scientifically corroborated statement because we still do not have evidence that the RH bill will solve the problem of dying mothers simply because it is not yet tested or implemented. For all we know it might not work.

Respectfully yours, Fr. Cecilio Magsino

He wrote back to me saying that his motives for supporting the bill is that reproductive health is a fundamental human right.

I agree. Health and reproductive health is a fundamental human right and we ought to give that right to our mothers.

I don’t agree with the idea that regards conceiving a child as a sickness that has to be prevented and “treated” with “necessary” medicines.


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