by Steven Ertelt
March 13, 2006
Manilla, Philippines (LifeNews.com) — Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo says she will veto any legislation approved by lawmakers that would legalize abortion in the Pacific island nation. She called her pledge the "best birthday gift" she could give to Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, who is the chairman of the Philippines Catholic Bishops Conference.
Macapagal-Arroyo’s comments came during a Mass she participated in that celebrating Aniceto’s 69th birthday.
"We are taking measures to strengthen the Filipino family. Perhaps this will be the best birthday gift I can offer you," she said according to a Philippine Daily Inquirer news report.
Macapagal-Arroyo added that Aniceto was a close advisor on population and abortion issues, but did not make any reference to House Bill No. 3773 that pro-life groups have condemned because it would implement a China-style population control.
The legislation would prohibit familles from having more than two children. The idea conjures up images for forced abortions and sterilizations that occur in China.
Eileen Macapanas Cosby, Executive Director of the Filipino Family Fund, condemned the bill.
She said the bill will "pave the way for the kind of human rights nightmare that is already in China, with its coercive sterilization and contraception practices."
"This Philippine version is really just ‘China-light.’ This is not a policy growing from Filipino values, it is social engineering from the outside being imposed on the Philippine people," she said.
The Catholic Church has also weighed in strongly against the bill as the nation is 87 percent Catholic.
During her speech, Macapagal-Arroyo said she would be giving remarks soon in honor of women’s month, but that they would come from the pro-life perspective.
"I will affirm that, I should say it is that I should declare that a strong family makes for a strong republic," she added, to the loud applause of some 3,000 Catholics.
Aniceto said he had a closed door meeting with the president and indicated, "She said that as a Catholic, I will never approve of any bill like abortion."
Related web sites:
Filipino Family Fund – https://www.filipinofamilyfund.org