The following are the counter arguments for the top 6 arguments used by RH BILL advocates to spread their lies and poison the minds of innocent Filipinos.
Argument # 1: The Philippines is overpopulated
The battle cry of proponents of RH BILL and its principal sponsors both in congress and the senate is that the Philippines is already overpopulated and this is the root cause of poverty. Their battle cry will be vindicated if the Philippines is truly overpopulated. The projected population of the Philippines in 2010 is 94.01M1 and according to the advocates of RH BILL we are dangerously overpopulated and sooner or later our country will be plunged into irreversible poverty. The assumption that we are overpopulated is entirely baseless, their only evidence for their belief that we are overpopulated is the numerical value of our population other than that is simply false assumptions. They keep on telling people through mass media that we are overpopulated yet they did not provide us with any parameters for knowing that we are truly overpopulated. Demographically we are not overpopulated since our population growth rate is steadily declining and there are still a lot of uninhabited spaces for us to live in. The National Statistics Office noted that since 1995 up to 2025 our population growth rate is plunging from 2.32% to 1.4%2 aside from that our total fertility rate is also going down from 3.7 in 1998 to 1.5 in 2025 3just enough to replace the population. These two statistical indicators prove that our population is declining, but how do we explain the latest statistical data that shows the growth of our population from 94 million in the year 2000 to 97 million in the year 2012? The increase in our population is the effect of the increase in growth rate 10 or 20 years ago. The declining growth and fertility rate of the recent statistical data will have its effect 10 to 20 years from now. Basing on these statistics the idea that we are overpopulated is far from reality. They only make use of the overpopulation argument in order to make it appear that there is a need to control the population, but in reality we are not overpopulated and overpopulation is a myth!
Argument # 2: Population spawns poverty
The basic logic behind this argument is that as our population increases it will also increase the poverty rate of our country, in other words the causative factor of poverty is population. Furthermore, they also argued that in order to combat poverty we must control our population. Although the intention of our lawmakers in confronting the problem of poverty is good yet they are throwing a wrong solution to a real problem. Population control is not a solution to poverty, common sense tells us that there can also be poverty in a small population. Population is not our enemy as a matter of fact it is the reason why our economy is still intact in the ongoing global crisis. Economist Bernardo M. Villegas, Ph.d wrote “Lessons are being learned from the ongoing global crisis. One of them is that a large and young population can partly insulate a country from ill effects of global recession.1” In a global perspective population has no relation with poverty, there are countries that has even greater population than us, yet, they are more progressive and has less population in poverty compared with us. The following figures prove my point.
|Comparison of Population|
|Comparison of Poverty rate|
Basing on these statistical data it tells us that there is no correlation between population and poverty. As we have seen the first four countries namely China, India, United States of America and Japan have a higher population compared to Philippines. However, looking at its poverty percentage Philippines has a higher poverty rate compared with the other countries. This data proves two things, an increase in population has no connection with poverty and an increase in population can bolster economic growth. Clearly the arguments used by proponents of RH BILL cannot hold water upon close scrutiny.
There is a principle in medicine “treat the cause not the symptoms”, treating the symptoms of a disease will only temporarily alleviate the person’s discomfort. But, once the effect medicine runs out the symptoms will reappear again. The same principle applies in preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. “Unwanted pregnancy” is a symptom of disease called promiscuity, once you treat promiscuity there will no longer be “unwanted pregnancies”. Human being becomes “unwanted” if they are a result of illicit affair and promiscuity. Thus, in order to prevent “unwanted pregnancy” we must exhaust all possible means to prevent promiscuity and illicit affairs. Teaching the youth how to use through sex education how to use various artificial contraception in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases will only make it worst because you are not condoning promiscuity but encouraging it. Telling the youth to use condoms to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases is tantamount in saying that it is not wrong to engage in premarital sex as long as you don’t get pregnant and will protect yourself from diseases. Premarital sex is wrong not only for moral reason but because it is contrary to our nature as human beings. Sex outside of marriage and for the purpose of gratification rather than the transmission of life is a perverse act. Dr. Sigmund Freud wrote “It is a characteristic common to all the perversions, that in them reproduction as an aim is put aside. This is actually the criterion by which we judge whether a sexual act is perverse – if it departs from reproduction in its aims and pursues the attainment of gratification independently.2”Freud argued that a sexual act becomes perverse if its aim is no longer reproduction but gratification. In teaching the youth how to avoid pregnancy and attain gratification by the use of artificial contraception proponents of the RH BILL are teaching them how to become perverts.
Argument # 4: Promotion of condom use can lessen the cases of H.I.V infection and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The department of health June 2012 report stated that, “Sexual contact was the most common mode of HIV transmission, accounting for 94% of all reported AIDS cases.1” With this given fact the proponents of the RH BILL proposed the promotion of condom in order to prevent the transmission of HIV (the virus the causes AIDS). Though their intention in preventing the spread of HIV is good, however they are using a wrong solution to a real problem. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) admits that condom use cannot eliminate or prevent the transmission of HIV, it can only reduce the risk of transmission. The CDC reported “Consistent and correct use of male latex condoms can reduce (though not eliminate) the risk of STD transmission. To achieve the maximum protective effect, condoms must be used both consistently and correctly. Inconsistent use can lead to STD acquisition because transmission can occur with a single act of intercourse with an infected partner.2” Notice that the CDC said that it can only reduce the risk of transmission but it will never totally prevent its transmission thus even if condom is use consistently and correctly there is always the possibility of transmission. With this problem on hand the CDC concede that the most effective way to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV is through abstinence and monogamous relationship; “The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are to abstain from sexual activity or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.
3” Most people who are infected with sexually transmitted diseases are those who are living a promiscuous lifestyle like those who engage into premarital sex, adultery, prostitution, homosexual acts and having ,multiple sexual partners. The only solution in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV is to avoid a promiscuous lifestyle.
Argument # 5: Promotion of contraception will decrease maternal death rate
This is another laughable argument used by proponents of RH BILL, they argued that preventing pregnancy will considerably decrease maternal death rate. Let’s us get our facts straight, according to the Department of Health the top 10 mortality rate in the Philippines are a.) Diseases of the heart, b.) Diseases of the vascular system, c.) Malignant neoplasms, d.) Accidents, e.) Pneumonia, f.) Tuberculosis, g.) Chronic lower respiratory diseases, h.) Diabetic mellitus, i.) Certain conditions originating in perinatal period and j.) Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis.1 Perinatal period is defined as a period immediately before and after birth. The perinatal period is defined in diverse ways. Depending on the definition, it starts at the 20th to 28th week of gestation and ends 1 to 4 weeks after birth.2 The Department of Health noted that the top 5 causes of maternal death are a.) Complications related to pregnancy occurring in the course of labor, delivery and puerperium, b.) Hypertension complicating pregnancy (Eclampsia), c.) Post-partum hemorrhage, d.) Pregnancy with abortive outcome and e.) Hemorrhage in early pregnancy.3 Every pregnant mother is at risk in developing either one of this complications, thus the best way to prevent and reduce the risk of having these complications is not to prevent pregnancy that as if pregnancy by itself is a disease. Improving our health care system especially health centers and additional special trainings for health professionals can considerably reduce maternal death rate because we are now more prepared in prevention and management of perinatal complications. To follow the logic of proponents of RH BILL it would be like saying “Let’s not send poor children to school so that we will not have shortage on classrooms!”.
Argument #6: The RH BILL do not espouse abortion
Pro-life advocates are often accused of being deceivers and liars for exposing the hidden agenda of RH BILL which is abortion. Admittedly there is a provision in the RH BILL that explicitly state that abortion is still illegal, but why do we still keep on insisting that the RH BILL is promoting abortion? It’s because it classified the pill and I.U.D under the ambiguous term essential medicine. The Pill is both contraceptive and abortifacient, the Pill works in four ways a.) It suppresses ovulation, b.) It alters cervical mucus to help block sperm entering the cervix, c.) It alters the lining of the womb to prevent nidation (imbedding or implantation) and d.) It alters the movement of fallopian tubes, delaying the passage of ovum, reducing the possibility of fertilization.1 The 3rd effect of the pill which is the prevention of implantation is no contraception but abortifacient. Life begins at conception and what is prevented from being implanted in the womb or uterus is a fertilized egg which is already a human being. If not implanted the fertilized egg will die which is also tantamount to abortion. The Intrauterine Device (IUD) also acts in the same way it prevents implantation of the fertilized egg because it makes the womb or uterus not conducive for implantation. Possibly this is the reason why they classified these abortifacients as essential medicines so that it will no longer be questioned by the public.
THESE ARE THE MOST COMMON ARGUMENTS USED BY PROPONENTS OF THE RH BILL IN ORDER TO BOLSTER THEIR POSITION. BUT EVIDENTLY UNDER CLOSE SCRUTINY THEIR ARGMENTS CANNOT HOLD WATER.