Catholic & pro-RH? I'm for condoms, contras, IUD, the injectable

rh law st MANILA - I'm a Roman Catholic; I didn't want to, but now I'm thinking of safe sex. You see, I have just read one, on my email the position paper of the very Catholic Bukás Loób sa Díyos Covenant Community on House Bill 96 (old number), and two, on his website very un-Catholic Representative Edcel Lagman's sponsorship speech of House Bill 4244 (new ardor, same banana). And I can tell you that I'm in favor of that hard-earned banana.

In 1,507 words, the BLD people express their strong objection to the passage of the RH Bill into Law; you can email me for a pdf copy if you wish: They are intelligent people; they don't need me to explain their side.

In Rep Lagman's case, I have read and understood his published position on the matter, all of 2,048 words, and now I'm wishing so many of his wishes; here's a list of items not necessarily in the order of importance:

use of condom during the sexual act
sex education starting at Grade 5
safeguarding the future of Filipino women
helping parents plan their family
freedom of informed choice
sustainable human development
access to all forms of family planning
improving maternal & child health & nutrition
reducing maternal & child mortality
preventing high-risk pregnancies
effective contraception
spacing of pregnancies
lowering incidence of abortion
spreading the gospel of breastfeeding
preventing spread of sexually transmittable infections
eliminating violence against women
male taking responsibility in reproductive health
the use of pills, IUDs, and injectables.

That makes me pro-RH Bill, doesn't it? Yes, I'm all for the passage of it.

The use of the condom is good advice for pro-RH male prigs, not only the male chauvinists. I say, the male advocates of the RH Bill and their masculine supporters should be wearing condoms anywhere because, you know, the urge to make love can come anytime and, by golly, I would like them to feel they are having safe sex!

Sex education should be part of the curriculum starting at Grade 5 because, otherwise, as Rep Lagman says, the youth often get information from polluted sources and from their peer who may not have the correct information about sex. Since we have to give the benefit of the doubt that the advocates of the RH Bill are sincere people and they believe they are right, an RH Law should provide that sex education be required for children of pro-RH parents, to give substance to that parental belief, but only optional for children of anti-RH parents who believe that the pro-RH parents are wrong. Fair enough?

Starting with the extended family of Rep Lagman, an RH Law should mandate a nationwide grouping of Filipino women so that they can attend classes and understand how an RH Law safeguards their future. I studied to be a teacher, but I don't understand and therefore I cannot teach how an RH Law will work in safeguarding any future, yet it is the right of those women to be educated, right? Let the educating then be the problem of the educator, not the sponsors of the RH Bill.

I think that for the pro-RH Billers to convince the anti-RH Billers, a critical mass of parents should now be trained, funded by RH House advocates from their CDFs, to explain to people like me, a journalist who doesn't understand how an RH Law would help parents exercise their right to plan their family. As a father, unfortunately, it's too late for me anyway. Many years ago, when I told my Peace Corps friend that my wife and I already had 6 children, he asked me, "Why, you never heard of family planning?" I replied, instantly, "Of course I have. As a matter of fact, I plan to have 12!" And it came to pass. My reply proves that I am a wit; my history proves that I am a good family planner.

I informed him of my choice, didn't I? I do believe in freedom of informed choice. So, an RH Law should provide that the children of pro-RH parents be informed of their choices by Government officials, half of whom unfortunately don't communicate much, while I can exercise my right of informed choice and inform my grandchildren why they should not attend such sex education classes.

Of course, I believe in sustainable human development, and if Rep Lagman and his boys (and girls) believe that an RH Law will result in sustainable development; if family planning is all we need to go from Point A to Point B, then we will be saving billions of pesos because with an RH Law, we would then have no need of the National Economic Development Authority or the Department of Interior & Local Government, or even the University of the Philippines, the bastion of elite economists. With an RH Law, the UP economists can go jump in the lake!

By all means, let the families of the pro-RH Bill have access to all forms of family planning so that they can have peace. I am assuming that they understand what it is to be family, and that they know peace.

If they believe that an RH Law they so crave will improve maternal & child health & nutrition, let the pros convince the antis how a law mandating the use of condoms, contraceptives, IUDs and injectables can improve the health of anyone. That is faith. Now then, let them show by example; let's have the families of the pros under a massive 5-year study with monitoring & evaluation done by international health and wellness experts. Otherwise, they know that faith without works is dead.

Perhaps, the RH Bill should have a provision that in Year 1 upon passage of the law, volunteers from the families of the pros be made the subject of a nationwide study to show that an RH Law would actually reduce maternal & child mortality compared to a control group of families belonging to the antis. After which, the antis shouldn't be hard to convince about the error of their ways.

Even so, I'm surprised that our modern doctors cannot prevent high-risk pregnancies by themselves, that they need the power of an RH Law to perform their duties. Where did they all study anyway?

It is claimed that an RH Law would lower the incidence of abortion. I don't understand why, with safe sex, there would be need for abortion at all. I would imagine that there would be hardly any babies made in the first place, so that to abort those babies would give us zero population growth. If overpopulation is the cause of poverty, then with zero population growth, we would all be rich, right? Yeah, but I don't wanna be rich and lonely.

I understand the implementation of an RH Law would be in favor of breastfeeding. I'm thinking of the effects of contraceptives on the female body. Don't they adversely affect, among other things, lactation? Again, I could be wrong. So, let experiments be conducted on female volunteers from pro-RH families according to the provisions of an RH Law, and then if positive results are obtained from a double-blind study of 1% of the total female population, with very highly significant differences between Control and Study populations, then those who belong to the 90% would be convinced that an RH Law would be good for breastfeeding.

Will an RH Law prevent the spread of sexually transmittable infections like HIV-AIDS? I hope so, because as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Except that I know that not having sex with someone with HIV-AIDS is the best prevention of all. It also costs zero, zilch, nothing, nada.

In the matter of an RH Law ensuring that the men will take responsibility in reproductive health, I wish the pro-RH people luck - I know the males are hard-headed!

Finally, I don't understand how an RH Law will eliminate violence against women. I can assure you, without fear of contradiction, based on my experience of 44 years of legally married life, with no extra-marital affairs, that making love without a condom, without an IUD, without a contraceptive pill, without an injectable, is most certainly not violence to the woman - it is ecstasy!

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