by Steven Ertelt
March 9, 2007
Manila, Philippines (LifeNews.com) — A proposal that would have prohibited families from having more than two children each has been defeated. Pro-life advocates are taking credit for stopping the family planning proposal that would be similar to China’s coercive one-child policy involving forced abortions and sterilizations.
Because the 13th Philippines Congress has adjourned without approving the bill, it’s formally dead for the legislative session.
The bill would have imposed up to six months imprisonment for families not upholding a reproductive health care agenda.
Eileen Macapanas Cosby, the director of the Filipino Family Fund, one of the leading groups opposed to the measure, told LifeNews.com in a statement that her group is happy the bill is dead.
“We helped Filipinos avoid ‘China-lite’ and a poor social engineering experiment for the families of Filipino Americans,” she said.
"These are not Filipino values. Nor should they be imposed on the Philippines as a means of poverty alleviation, especially since their constitution clearly protects life beginning at conception,” Cosby added.
Dr. Bullecer, president of Human Life International-Philippines, agreed, and said, “We are thankful to all our advocates for this victory, but we know that we need to be vigilant."
Sr. Pilar Verzosa, director of ProLife Philippines, concurred, saying, "We rejoice thanks to the efforts of the pro-life groups and the persistence and courage of the pro-life congressman."
Despite the victory, pro-life advocates are concerned that population control supporters will resubmit their bill in the next session, making the May 14 national elections particularly significant.
"Our solidarity is important or we risk the Philippines will go the way of many countries in Europe, Central and South America where abortion is now legal," Cosby said of her nation, which bans abortion. "We will be vigilant in providing innovative solutions and hope others join us."
Cosby said her group also worked with U.S. investigators to find that two localities had violated the Tiahrt amendment, a U.S. law that prohibits targets or quotas for total number of births.
Specifically, the violations included the setting of targets for the number of acceptors of family planning as well as specific family planning methods including sterilization.
Cosby’s group "is working closely with U.S. government officials to stop the funding of these corrupt practices, and to improve the quality of investigations so that mothers around the world are protected" the statement to LifeNews.com said.
The organization said President Bush wrote it a letter recently thanking it for its work and urging it to continue to “build on the deep bonds of friendship between the United States and the Philippines."
"Your good work sets an example of compassion and decency and helps make our world a better place," Bush said in the letter.
The people of the Philippines are strongly pro-life and more than 10,000 pro-life young people attended a rally in the Filipino capital last month.
An October 2006 poll conducted by the Pew Research firm found that 97 percent of those polled said abortion was never justified and only 3 percent said abortion is sometimes justified. None of the respondents told the polling firm that abortion is always justified.
Pew also asked residents about whether "the government should not interfere with a woman’s ability to have an abortion."
People from the Philippines were more likely to say they disagree with the statement compared with residents of United States, South Korea, South Africa, India, Brazil and Chile.
Last March, Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said she would veto any legislation coming from the nation’s legislature that would legalize abortion.
Related web sites:
Filipino Family Fund – https://www.filipinofamilyfund.org