MANILA, Nov. 20, 2012—Catholic bishops acknowledged Tuesday that the proposed reproductive health (RH) bill has been watered down, but gave no sign they will accept the measure.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) maintained that the birth control measure will remain unacceptable to the Church.
“Despite some amendments, this latest version of the House Bill 4244 is not acceptable because of its bad provisions,” said Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes in a statement.
“We would like to reiterate that our aim in objecting against the HB4244 is to protect not only the good of Catholics but the good of all, Catholics and non-Catholics,” he said.
Reyes is the chairman of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL), which is at the forefront of the Church’s campaign against the RH bill.
Recently, some lawmakers introduced the amended version of the controversial measure, which supposedly considered the concerns of various stakeholders and critics of the RH bill.
It is described as an offshoot from the consultations among congressmen and a series of dialogues between its authors and “critics” but still promotes contraceptives.
However, according to Reyes, the provision on contraceptives is the exact reason why they are against the RH bill.
“Even though it limits the giving of free RH care, services, and supplies to the poor and marginalized, this does not make the bill acceptable because it is wrong to promote contraception and give free contraceptives, whether to the rich or the poor,” he said. (CBCPNews)