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Philippines May Pass Reproductive Health Bill, Precursor to Abortion

by Steven Ertelt | Manila, Philippines | LifeNews.com | 12/11/12 3:05 PM

International

After fourteen years of debate, political leaders in the Philippines may be on the verge of passing the controversial, anti-life “Reproductive Health Bill” (RH Bill). The legislation is seen as a precursor to potentially legalizing abortion in the pro-life, Catholic nation.

Leading pro-life groups and the Catholic Bishops have opposed the RH bill because it directly contradicts the protections of life and family guaranteed in the Constitution of the Philippines which states:     The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.

Among other objectionable provisions, the RH Bill would force medical professionals and businesses to promote and perform a full range of “reproductive health services,” regardless of conscientious objection. The bill promises to fine and jail opponents who spread as-yet-undefined “malicious” falsehoods about the bill, and would pay for contraceptive services with taxpayer funds. It is feared that the RH Bill will move the Philippines one step closer to legalizing abortion, which is currently illegal under any circumstance.

Versions of this bill have been filed and re-filed in Congress since 1998, but through the efforts of the pro-life community, and because of prayers from around the world, it has failed every time.

However, a vote on the bill in the House is now imminent and the pro-life group Human Life International is worried — saying a week of aggressive moves by Philippine President Benigno Aquino and pro-RH Bill congressmen has drawn to a close a period of amendments and debate.

“This shows the true priorities of certain pro-RH political leaders of the Philippines, that in the wake of a typhoon that has killed hundreds and left tens of thousands displaced, they are pushing the passage of this controversial bill. The situation for our Filipino brothers and sisters is dire,” said Father Shenan Boquet, president of Human Life International.

He told LifeNews: “The famous corruption of the Filipino government has been on full display in the last week, with denials of legitimate requests for amendments and open pork-barrel bribery of congressmen to support the RH Bill. We know that the House is scheduled to vote on the bill Wednesday, and the Senate next week, but the pressure on those opposing the president’s agenda is incredible, and the situation could change quickly.

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“All we can do at this point is support our pro-life Christian brethren in prayer, so I ask that all Christians reach out to members of their families and communities and please pray for the protection of the Filipino people from this diabolical bill. Pray that the underhanded high-pressure tactics will fail, and that the Lord of Life will intervene and truth and life win out,” Boquet added.

For more on the anti-life provisions of the RH Bill, visit http://www.rhbillnever.com