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The original post can be found here and my responses are in RED.
1. What are the salient features of the bill?
It is a rights-based bill which seeks to uphold, protect and fulfil the individual’s rights to life, to health, to freely determine the number and spacing of their children, to accurate and complete information and to be free from discrimination in accordance with several international human rights treaties to which the Philippines is a party to.
1. We already have that kind of discrimination-free dissemination of information. I, for one, had to attend a family planning seminar back in the 90’s when I was about to get married.
2. The “discrimination free” treaties that the author is talking about include the LGBT agenda. What on earth does homosexuality have to do with reproductive health? Seriously?
The bill seeks to provide couples and individuals with timely, complete and accurate information and education on reproductive health so that they may make informed choices in accordance with their own beliefs and preferences.
We need a law to actually do this? You mean we need to spend 3.7 Billion a year to do something that other government agencies are already doing and at a lower cost? Isn’t it a fact that the DOH s already pushing contraceptives even if the bill is still pending?
2. Why do we need a reproductive health bill?
The RH Bill is needed to institutionalize a nationwide and comprehensive law on responsible parenthood, reproductive health and population and development. At present, all policies are intermittently implemented and subject to the biases of changing administrations.
In the past, we have not been consistent in pursuing a national policy on reproductive health and family planning. There needs to be consistency and this major policy should not depend on the changing idiosyncrasies and preferences of leaders of the administration as well as those in local government units. We cannot possibly devolve this policy to local government units because there are a number of reasons which would mitigate against such devolution.
The bill seeks to institutionalize contraceptives to reduce the number of people considered, by this administration, to be a burden to society. It targets the poor because it is the poor that needs assistance the most and because the government cannot curb corruption and waste, it turns to this “final solution.”
It is nothing more than a de-population agenda masking as a health program. Notice that the term, “reproductive health”, always goes hand in hand with “population.” This is because the “health” they are talking about is the giving of contraceptives for the prevention of pregnancy. This is the fallacy of treating pregnancy like a disease. Maternal safety and health programs can be developed and implemented with the 3.7 billion a year allocation to this bill. “Responsible parenthood”, as the bill uses it, means a move to introduce to couples, a de facto two-child policy. Reviewing the history of this bill, In its initial stages, the proponents were going to penalize families with more than 2 children by disqualifying them from tax exemptions (for the 3rd child onwards) and from government scholarships. This is a continuation of the Marcos-era family planning program which was, despite the dictatorship, somewhat unsuccessful but it is more pernicious this time around because the agenda, the name and the purpose are masked to make it more palatable to the ignorant public.
First, local government units would need guidance from the national government. This guidance will be given through this national and comprehensive policy on reproductive health. Local government units do not have the requisite expertise and funding for the full implementation of a reproductive health policy. Local government units are subject to the varying disposition of local executives. The RH bill seeks to provide funding for policy measures because various laws that tackle reproductive health needs have gone unfunded. Compared to other laws on reproductive health, the RH bill provides specific requirements which ensure that national programs would be linked to the local government such as the provision for all hospitals to offer reproductive health services.
The government only has to make sure that the moneys allocated to government social services, hospitals and the like actually get to where they are supposed to. The single biggest siphon of taxpayers money is the corruption that stems from bureaucracy and this bill (as we can see above) will create a gargantuan bureaucracy by separating the functions and powers of the primary health care delivery agencies and putting them in the hands of those who are really good at siphoning off funds.
3. How would the bill contribute to the reduction of maternal deaths?
The RH bill provides emergency obstetric and new born care, the hiring of skilled personnel, and the inclusion of family planning programs. It also provides access to family planning supports, including essential medicines which are provided in Section 9. The measure included the provision on essential medicines to ensure that they are made available especially to women whose dilemma is how to support a family without compromising a baby.
The fallacy here is that it makes one think that we cannot do this with our current socialized healthcare set up. We, in fact, can. It is a redundant measure and is therefor not needed. What the author does not say are the following:
- Emergency Obstetric care (like the term reproductive health) can mean abortion. Now we know that abortions are illegal but people who have an ideology and who are in power are great at taking advantage of loopholes in the system, hence the term “emergency.” In the U.S., a often used, albeit flimsy, medical reason to procure an abortion, where it is restricted, may be as simple as a psychiatrist signing off to a woman’s “psychological trauma” of her own pregnancy. This , in reality, may only mean that the pregnant girl/woman can’t bear the burden of thinking of carrying a baby to full term. The term “emergency” is the head of the Camel sticking into the tent and we know what follows once a Camel sticks it’s head in, its body!
- Contraceptives are mis-labeled as “essential medicines.” How can these be essential medicines when they do not even cure a disease, unless of course one considers pregnancy as such. Besides, aren’t there provisions for access to true essential medicines like antibiotics, heart and other essential medicines that cure or alleviate real diseases and care for babies and mothers. What kind of forthrightness can we expect if the proponents are willing to disguise contraceptives as “essential medicines.” Who are they kidding?
4. Are there provisions in the bill that give the people a choice between natural and artificial family planning methods and on modern methods of family planning? Is there also a provision putting emphasis that there would be no coercion on the part of the LGU and that when an individual arrives at a choice, it shall be consistent with his/her conviction?
The right to make a free and informed decision, which is central to the exercise of any right, shall not be subjected to any form of coercion and must be fully guaranteed by the State, like the right itself.
The import and objective is to allow every Filipino to make a decision based on his/her personal views, morals, and on the advice of his/her doctor. The idea that the RH bill is a form of coercion has been the subject of many misinformation campaigns. No one is being coerced to use any particular form of family planning, which is really dependent on one’s religious and moral views or medical reasons.
There are three issues here:
- Under the penalty clause, a health care provider that gives false information regarding contraceptives or services as stated in the bill can be imprisoned/fined or both. The problem with this is, who determines what “false information” means? If a physician says that Oral Contraceptives can in fact act like an abortifacient or can increase your breast cancer risk by as much as 20%, even if this information is true, a case can be created that this is “false information” solely on the basis of studies that may show otherwise. The definition of terms is so vague as to abrogate any “conscience” clause provisions. What doctor would want to be stymied by legal cases while practicing his profession? The default is to just obey and give in on the demand.
- The above says “no one is being coerced to use…” If this is so, why then are people required to attend a family planning seminar where a government worker introduces people to different methods of family planning in order to be eligible for a marriage license? When a law requires a person to sit through a seminar where teachings contrary to his religious beliefs are taught, that is coercion.
- THe mandatory sex education for grade 5 and up is also coercive. Parents are the primary educators of their children. If that is a “moral” view that the article above says should be allowed, why then are students mandated to have sex education in classrooms even Catholic schools! That’s coercion too.
5. Is this bill a population control measure since it provides access to birth control devices?
No. Birth control means the freedom of the mother to make an informed choice on how many children she shall have and how much space in years she should observe. Population control does not refer to the mother. It refers to the power of the state to limit how many people shall be allowed to live in a territory under its control. There is NO provision in this bill limiting the number of children that couples should have.
It is true that the the use of birth control is a person’s choice but once you tie it up with:
- Mandatory Family planning seminars
- Mandatory sex education in schools
…and once it is made known that the funders of this RHBill push are:
- International Planned Parenthood Federation (largest abortion provider in the world)
- The UNFPA
- Bill and Melinda Gates foundation
…and when you hear what, then Secretary Juan Flavier said in Cairo about what they are doing for population control in the Philippines:
In the course of his Cairo talk, Dr. Flavier discussed problems he had encountered in activating population control programs among the Philippine people and the methods he used to overcome “apathy” and “resistance” among various levels of the Philippine society. In that interest, Dr. Flavier also described his use of externally-funded non-governmental agencies. From this point forward, we will let Dr. Flavier speak for himself.
“I found out that I was very vulnerable because I was in government. All the senators and all the congressmen in one snap of the finger can cut my budget and I am nowhere to be found. So what did I do? Something that you must realize — the power of the NGO. I decided that I’ll do it through the NGOs and that‘s exactly what I did, up to today.
“Why? Because when I do it they shoot me, but when you do it they can’t talk. They can’t abolish you. Not only that: You are the electorate, at least you pretend to be the electorate. That is why.
“Let us do it systematically. I said there are five areas we’re gonna get the NGOs to do: advocacy; information, education and communication (IEC), supplies, i.e., contraceptives; and [manage] the clinics. And what I did was get NGOs for each one of them — and by underground!
“Are there spies around here? You’re all my friends, ha? This is an open secret, that is why they are so sore .… all this was happening quietly. Once it was installed, there was no way it could be removed. And what we did was — we got a lead agency NGO for each [activity].”
…then one cannot help but think that THIS IS A POPULATION CONTROL PROGRAM in disguise! Again, WHO ARE YOU KIDDING?
6. This bill will entail a huge cost for the government since it requires that products and supplies of modern family planning methods shall be part of the National Drug Formulary and shall be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines. How can we afford this?
A cost-benefit analysis would show that family planning will generate multi-billion savings for the government in terms of reduced expenses for maternal and infant care. Every peso invested in the prevention of one unwanted pregnancy would yield a high return on investment. The cost of preventive child birth is only a fraction of the benefits derived by LGUs in terms of their savings from providing health, education and other social services for an extra child in the future. Thus, as found by the UNICEF in 2002, family planning will bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any human technology known to mankind.
P3 billion per annum to implement the RH bill is a small amount compared to the national budget amounting to trillions of pesos. Against the expected benefits, this cost can be considered very modest.
Let us compare the proposed RH program with other current poverty-alleviation programs: the estimated amount of P3 billion for the RH program is only one-seventh of the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program’s budget of P21 billion. Moreover, the CCT is prone to leakages in that even the non-poor could get cash. On the other hand, the RH bill is cost-effective in reducing poverty because it is self-targeting: poor women are the ones who are willing to queue up for RH services: richer women would rather buy their own contraceptives.
Many economic analysts have been vocal in their optimistic assessment of the Philippines because it’s greatest resource, people, will not be aging soon.
and on and on and on… and yet the population control doomsayers above would rather pick on savings, give dole-outs (the CCT) and depopulate what could be a potentially valuable labor force. Why not educate this valuable “resource”, our people, which most developed countries are trying to woo by importing them as migrant workers?
7. How can this bill alleviate poverty?
RH bill shall alleviate poverty by making all methods of family planning and reproductive health services available and affordable to all; this will bring down fertility rates of poor couples. The less children they have, the less household expenses they incur. In addition, smaller families will be able to have higher amounts of savings which can be channelled to investments and business ventures, thus spurring economic growth.
So isn’t this a population control program targeting the poor? Isn’t this the reason why the largest pro-women group Gabriela is criticizing this bill as a population control bill here.
However, we do not propose that population management and family planning be funded alone and not the other economic programs, since poverty is a multifaceted issue. There are many factors that contribute to poverty such as corruption and unsound economic policies but there is a direct correlation between poverty and overpopulation. With a smaller population, there will be more resources available per person.
This paragraph shows the agenda of the bill. Upon closer scrutiny, it’s shows the inconsistency of the proponents of the bill. It shows that the RHBill is in FACT a population control measure. Why?
In paragraph number 5, the writer asks, “Is this bill a population control measure”
and answers, “No. … It refers to the power of the state to limit how many people shall be allowed to live in a territory under its control.” here in number 7 the writer says, “However, we do not propose that population management and family planning be funded alone and not the other economic programs…” are we missing something here? So it’s not population control, it’s population management? What is the difference?
Then the author goes on to write “…there is a direct correlation between poverty and overpopulation” but previously he writes, “poverty is a multifaceted issue…” Well then if poverty is a multifaceted issue, should we not address the issues that the government can do first without spending 3.7 billion pesos? Should the government perhaps curtail graft and corruption, change the anti-business provisions in the constitution, improve education and healthcare and give them primary budget allocations? Does anyone notice how many hoops and rings this writer has gone through to avoid calling the bill a POPULATION CONTROL PROGRAM?
8. The RH bill will require the government to spend so much to implement all its provisions. For example, it would be very expensive to build the birthing facilities and upgrade health centers as mandated by the bill. This is on top of the family planning supplies that must be purchased by the government and made available. Where shall we get the money to pay for these programs? This is a “zero-sum”game (or one’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss), so we have to get the budget from somewhere to pay for the RH bill.
Before the details of financing are debated upon, it should first be asked whether these are necessary expenditures. The answer is YES, they are necessary. With or without the RH bill, the government has a duty to provide the people with access to safe, quality affordable health services. We have a commitment to reduce maternal mortality rate and create a humane society. If the benefits (lives saved and/or improved health of those served) are compared with the costs, the economic justification for the investment should be quite cogent and compelling.
What the author is saying here is that we don’t need a bill to do just that or we need a bill that will specifically address the lack of maternal and newborn care facilities and medications.
Of course, increasing the budget for DOH will mean taking the budget away from other departments.
Not necessarily, if you are willing to tax people for the RHBill (many of whom will be unwilling to be taxed for it for moral and ethical reasons), if a bill is made to specifically address maternal and natal care facilities, medicines and improve the quality of education, very few would complain! What you mean is that the money that this government will be getting from NGO’s for this program are specifically earmarked for contraceptives. This becomes a windfall for the government, right?
But choosing how we allocate our resources is part and parcel of policy-making. It appears from the results of the Legislative Summit that the RH bill is a legislative priority of the HOR, the Senate and the Executive branch and this was reiterated by President Aquino in his recent SONA. We keep on saying how much we love our mothers, then let us put our money where our mouth is.
If we really loved our women, our mothers, our daughters and children, if we really want to care for the poor and raise them from poverty, the last thing they need is a hormonal contraceptive. What they need are education, maternal care facilities, medicines and jobs, jobs and jobs. Giving them free contraceptives does nothing for them in the long term.
9. Why should the government pay for people’s condoms? I don’t mind paying for birth facilities but why should taxes go to contraceptives?
The state is obligated, under the constitution and several international human rights treaties to which it is a state party, to protect and promote the people’s right to health.
Having the capability to avoid unintended pregnancies or spacing your children through the use of safe and affordable family planning services is part and parcel of reproductive health. Thus the lack of access to safe and affordable reproductive health services should not be treated as a personal problem but a public health issue.
If the government does not invest to make contraceptives accessible, then the right to choose how to plan one’s family becomes illusory for the poor. It appears that the poorer sections of society have a higher incidence of unintended pregnancies. The total unmet need for family planning was 51% for women in the two lowest economic quintiles (NDHS 2008). The total unmet need increased from 17.3% (NDHS 2003) to 22.3% (NDHS 2008). Lack of accessibility and affordability to family planning methods are obvious factors that contribute to unintended pregnancies.
No a sovereign state is never obligated to conform to any treaty that violates it’s own laws or beliefs, none! This is a figment-of-imagination argument, the illusion that reproductive rights are human rights. You know what Hillary Clinton calls abortion? That’s right, a reproductive right. So this is simply a deceptive “policy” statement which is no policy at all but an agenda for population control masking as reproductive rights. Even the UN can’t agree on an official definition of this right just as they can’t agree on an official definition of gender rights.
10. How do these oral contraceptives work? Aren’t they abortifacients?
No, oral contraceptives are not abortifacients. Abortifacients have different chemical properties and actions from contraceptives. Abortifacients terminate an established pregnancy, while contraceptives prevent pregnancy by preventing fertilization. Acontraceptive is a substance, device, technique or method that prevents fertilization. Anabortifacient is a substance, device, technique or method that induces the termination of the pregnancy. There are no contraceptives available in the Philippines that take action after fertilization and before implantation. Even emergency contraceptives (morning after pill) cannot do anything anymore once the egg is fertilized.
“Does OCP use cause changes in the lining of the uterus that could be detrimental to the newly conceived child’s ability to implant himself or herself?
It would appear so. Because we know that use of the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) allows ovulation and conception to occur at times, if OCP use causes unfavorable changes in the endometrium it would make it difficult for the unborn child to implant, and would support the conclusion that it acts as an abortifacient.”
“The Pill” is a tablet, taken daily which contains synthetic hormones which, when absorbed into a woman’s bloodstream, work to prevent the release of the egg from the ovary. Oral contraceptives also work to thicken cervical mucous, this hindering the passage of sperm, and to thin the uterine lining, so as to minimize the chances of implantation in the uterus if an egg were to be fertilized. “(abortifacient)
“How Does it Work?
The emergency contraceptive/morning-after pill has three modes of action (as does the regular birth control pill); that is, it can work in one of three ways:
The normal menstrual cycle is altered, delaying ovulation; or
Ovulation is inhibited, meaning the egg will not be released from the ovary; It can irritate the lining of the uterus (endometrium) so as to inhibit implantation.” (which means it serves as a potential abortifacient)
The truth is the effects of contraceptives are so numerous that it would be a lie to oversimplify their actions to be solely for the prevention of ovulation. The question really is: If we are not sure if the pill may or may not cause an abortion or that it is potentially an abortifacient why should government policy be for it rather than give it the benefit of doubt until we can know for sure?
11. The Church recommends natural family planning only. What’s wrong with sticking to NFP?
The core of the RH bill is freedom of informed choice. To this end, the bill guarantees information and education on and access to ALLl forms of family planning methods from the natural to the modern, all of which should be medically safe, effective, legal, and affordable. As repeatedly stated throughout the provisions of this bill, the government will be mandated to provide information, education on and access, without bias to all methods of family planning.
If we deprive couples, particularly women, of medically safe, legal and effective modes of family planning, including contraception, by limiting them to what has been endorsed by the Catholic hierarchy on traditional and natural modes of family planning, our women would be exposed to high-risk pregnancies which result to the death of so many mothers. In fact, 11 mothers die in the Philippines daily as a complication of pregnancy and childbirth.
With a somewhat ignorant view of what the Church teaches, the writer jumps in and tries to interpret (erroneously) the Church’s teaching on Artificial Contraception:
The assumption is that the Catholic church is all for the prevention of pregnancy and that any Catholic may, for very flimsy reasons, do so. WRONG! While the Church does encourage couples to determine what size family they can responsibly raise, she discourages couples from limiting the size of their family out of purely material comfort, acquisition or satisfaction.
Here is what the Church says on the matter: From Humnae Vitae http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul06/p6humana.htm
1. The honest practice of regulation of birth demands first of all that husband and wife acquire and possess solid convictions concerning the true values of life and of the family, and that they tend towards securing perfect self-mastery. To dominate instinct by means of one’s reason and free will undoubtedly requires ascetical practices, so that the affective manifestations of conjugal life may observe the correct order, in particular with regard to the observance of periodic continence (ABSTINENCE). Yet this discipline which is proper to the purity of married couples, far from harming conjugal love, rather confers on it a higher human value. It demands continual effort …it favors attention for one’s partner, helps both parties to drive out selfishness, the enemy of true love; and deepens their sense of responsibility….”
2. “Now, some may ask: in the present case, is it not reasonable in many circumstances to have recourse to artificial birth control if, thereby, we secure the harmony and peace of the family, and better conditions for the education of the children already born? To this question it is necessary to reply with clarity: the Church is the first to praise and recommend the intervention of intelligence in a function which so closely associates the rational creature with his Creator; but she affirms that this must be done with respect for the order established by God. If, then, there are serious motives to space out births, which derive from the physical or psychological conditions of husband and wife, or from external conditions, the Church teaches that it is then licit to take into account the natural rhythms immanent in the generative functions, for the use of marriage in the infecund periods only, and in this way to regulate birth without offending the moral principles which have been recalled earlier. “
3. “The Church is coherent with herself when she considers recourse to the infecund periods to be licit, while at the same time condemning, as being always illicit, the use of means directly contrary to fecundation, even if such use is inspired by reasons which may appear honest and serious. In reality, there are essential differences between the two cases; in the former, the married couple make legitimate use of a natural disposition; in the latter, they impede the development of natural processes. It is true that, in the one and the other case, the married couple are concordant in the positive will of avoiding children for plausible reasons, seeking the certainty that offspring will not arrive; but it is also true that only in the former case are they able to renounce the use of marriage in the fecund periods when, for just motives, procreation is not desirable, while making use of it during infecund periods to manifest their affection and to safeguard their mutual fidelity. By so doing, they give proof of a truly and integrally honest love.”
It is clear that the Church does not teach that a selfish, unabated misuse of NFP, which the RHBill directly or indirectly espouses by it’s mere inclusion of it as a method of birth control, is acceptable! No (faithful and obedient) Catholic may accept the RHBill, even with the NFP provision, in good conscience!
12. Does the bill espouse abortion?
There is nothing in the text of the RH bill that espouses abortion. Neither do any of the sponsors intend for the bill to promote abortion. One of the guiding principles of this act is found in Sec. 3(i) which provides: “While this Act does not amend the penal law on abortion, the government shall ensure that all women needing care for post-abortion complications shall be treated and counselled in a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate manner.”
This is once again a vague provision. Once a pregnancy “complication” is determined, it is always easy to resort to abortion and classify it as an “emergency.” We have seen it happen many times in other countries where the exception is made to trump the rule!
13. Does this bill not violate the right to free exercise of religion of the Catholics? What is the prevailing doctrine on Church-State relationship?
The Constitution, Article 2, Section 6 states: “The Separation of the Church and State shall be inviolable.” This provision is almost useless statement because in the end, if we look at the jurisprudence on the church and state, arguments are based not on the separation of church and state but on the non-establishment clause in Section 5 of the Bill of Rights.
The separation of Church and state protects the church from being used by the state for it’s own reasons. It prevents the state from establishing a national religion that it can manipulate for its own ends. It is not a prohibition for members of the church hierarchy to voice their opinions and views and instruct the faithful even if they are government officials. This is perhaps the most erroneous understanding of the non-establishment clause, heck that is why it’s called that, non-establishment!
We should always remember that religious dogma should be confined within the Church community; adherence to religious tenets and beliefs should be solely between the Church and the faithful; observance of the teaching of the Church cannot be imposed by legislation upon the public, particularly in a secular state like the Philippines.
The State has the power to legislate particularly in the exercise of police power for the welfare of the public, and in that process of legislation, the State is definitely ascendant. If there is any conflict between religious dogma and the State policy, the State policy must prevail.
The statement above is an ideological statement that falsely paints a picture of the church as a meddler. But it errs in that the Church’s opposition to the bill is not based on religious dogma per se. There are morally and ethically questionable parts of the RHBill that affect society in general. Foremost of these, the wholesale application of artificial contraception, were fortunately pointed out by Pope Paul VI in Humane Vitae. These are observations that have come to pass and are not stated as solely part of Catholic dogma but for the god of society in general:
- a “general lowering of moral standards” resulting from sex without consequences (sex abuse, unwed mothers, teen pregnancy)
- the danger that men may reduce women “to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of [their] own desires” (pornography and its effects)
- abuse of power by public authorities (legalization of abortion, forced abortion, one-child policy and population control/management)
- a false sense of autonomy (a detachment of marriage and children from belief in God)
All these, without exception, have happened and are still happening in countries that have gone ahead of us. Isn’t the U.S. the biggest purveyor or pornography and abortion?
14. This bill is very un-Catholic. The Church is 2000 years old, the Philippine state is only 113 years old. This bill is a direct affront to the 85% of Filipinos who are Catholics and in effect marginalizes Catholics in this country. Why should we pass this when a majority of Filipinos are Catholic?
Surveys show that majority of Filipinos, who are Catholic, are in favour of this bill. According to the latest survey released by SWS last August 2011, 82% say that “the choice of a family planning method is a personal choice of couples and no one should interfere with it” while 73% agree that “if a couple wants to plan its family, it should be able to get information from government on all legal methods.” A majority of 68% also agree “the government should fund all means of family planning, be it natural or artificial means”. These are all provisions which are found in the RH bill. If a majority of Filipinos are Catholics, then we can deduce from the response to this survey that Catholics support the RH bill.
SWS is owned by relatives or associates of President Aquino who has been pushing for this bill since he was elected (http://cbcpforlife.com/?p=6032) Aside from the dubious statistical figures, it is a known fact that many Catholics have not bothered to read the bill at all and are therefor not knowledgable enough to make an informed decision. It would be more convincing if the SWS survey conducted actually releases the questions they asked respondents to see if they were not loaded to begin with.
At any rate even if a majority of Catholics do support the bill, it is on the basis of moral and ethical truths that the Church is basing its rejection of this. Once upon a time in the 4th century a Bishop, Arius (the Arian heresy) , espoused the erroneous idea that Jesus Christ was not divine but a mere human being given some divine powers (a cult founded in 1917 still espouses this today in the form of the Iglesia ni Manalo which supports the bill …more on that next time). The majority of the laity and even Bishops in that territory believed and espoused it as well. Faithful Bishops, including the Pope, declared it as erroneous and it was taken as so. Catholic teaching is not passed-on based on consensus but on the truths that Christ Himself passed on to His Church.
If indeed the survey is real, it only means that we as Catholics must find out more why the Church says it is a potentially harmful and immoral bill.
15. The RH bill particularly on contraceptive use is against the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. As a Catholic, how can you support such a thing?
According to the Levels of Teachings of in the Roman Catholic Church by Bishop Raymond A. Locker, the opinion of the Church on contraceptive use is categorized as authoritative but non-reformable, it is third in the hierarchy of teachings behind divinely revealed truth and definitive, non-revealed truths. Even the Humanae Vitae released in 1968 was based on a minority report from the Papal Birth Control Commission, contrary to the majority position which was permissive of contraceptive use.
Even the religious are not in any way unanimous with respect to the position or dogma of the Catholic church on procreation, family planning and contraceptive use.
The church has never ruled by consensus nor is there any double teaching office or hierarchy as dissenters would like Catholics to believe. A theological opinion is only that, an opinion. Dissenters to the teaching on the artificial regulation of birth have been trying to justify by espousing this error since the late 60’s. Those who (erroneously) narrate the events leading to Pope Paul VI’s encyclical always insist that the Pope’s position is of the minority. In fact one only wonders how the Pope’s position was decided on IN SPITE OF the recommendation of some consultant theologians on the matter. Sounds like a supernatural protection to me!
What the writer above fails to mention is that while Paul VI’s theologian consultants were divided, the constant teaching of the Church has been that artificial contraception is a moral evil. A moral evil at one time, cannot be a moral good at another time. Here is evidence that the Church has always taught what Pope Paul VI thought could possibly be changed (which of course we now he didn’t)
- Few realize that up until 1930, all Protestant denominations agreed with the Catholic Church’s teaching condemning contraception as sinful. At its 1930 Lambeth Conference, the Anglican church, swayed by growing social pressure, announced that contraception would be allowed in some circumstances. Soon the Anglican church completely caved in, allowing contraception across the board. Since then, all other Protestant denominations have followed suit. Today, the Catholic Church alone proclaims the historic Christian position on contraception.
- The biblical teaching that birth control is wrong is found even more explicitly among the Church Fathers, who recognized the biblical and natural law principles underlying the condemnation.
- In A.D. 195, Clement of Alexandria wrote, “Because of its divine institution for the propagation of man, the seed is not to be vainly ejaculated, nor is it to be damaged, nor is it to be wasted” (The Instructor of Children 2:10:91:2).
- Hippolytus of Rome wrote in 255 that “on account of their prominent ancestry and great property, the so-called faithful [certain Christian women who had affairs with male servants] want no children from slaves or lowborn commoners, [so] they use drugs of sterility or bind themselves tightly in order to expel a fetus which has already been engendered” (Refutation of All Heresies9:12).
- Around 307 Lactantius explained that some “complain of the scantiness of their means, and allege that they have not enough for bringing up more children, as though, in truth, their means were in [their] power . . . or God did not daily make the rich poor and the poor rich. Wherefore, if any one on any account of poverty shall be unable to bring up children, it is better to abstain from relations with his wife” (Divine Institutes 6:20).
- The First Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical council and the one that defined Christ’s divinity, declared in 325, “If anyone in sound health has castrated himself, it behooves that such a one, if enrolled among the clergy, should cease [from his ministry], and that from henceforth no such person should be promoted. But, as it is evident that this is said of those who willfully do the thing and presume to castrate themselves, so if any have been made eunuchs by barbarians, or by their masters, and should otherwise be found worthy, such men this canon admits to the clergy” (Canon 1).
- Augustine wrote in 419, “I am supposing, then, although you are not lying [with your wife] for the sake of procreating offspring, you are not for the sake of lust obstructing their procreation by an evil prayer or an evil deed. Those who do this, although they are called husband and wife, are not; nor do they retain any reality of marriage, but with a respectable name cover a shame. Sometimes this lustful cruelty, or cruel lust, comes to this, that they even procure poisons of sterility [oral contraceptives]” (Marriage and Concupiscence 1:15:17).
- This was reiterated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “[E]very action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil” (CCC 2370). “Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means . . . for example, direct sterilization or contraception” (CCC 2399).