MANDALUYONG City, Feb. 11, 2012—Not only will Filipino voters be forced to consider the polarizing pro-life question in the coming mid-term polls, it is “the” issue of the May elections, according to a member of Ang Prolife party list.
“This is the first time, I think, in so many recent years that the issues of family and life have become so crucial and so much in the consciousness of people and that probably is an indication of how crucial it is,” said Atty. Jeremy Gatdula, who is also an Ateneo Law School professor.
Strong opinions were expressed with particular rabidity, especially over social networks, in the months of the RH bill debates and even now with a divorce bill pending for the next Congress.
According to Atty. Gatdula, what has been the bone of contention for many a Twitter hashtag points to something more fundamental.
Family, primary institution
He said due importance should be given to family life-related issues, since they have overarching implications on all aspects of civic life — economic, social and political.
“(F)or some reason, the one true and best institution created for education, for welfare, even actually even for the economy is actually the family. All the other institutions that are around are merely meant and can only be, at best, to be a supplement…to that family institution,” Atty. Gatdula explained further.
Atty. Gatdula, explained, politicians and legislators always give issues like the tax rate system, the reform of governance, and trade a lot of focus, but if the primary institution of the family is destroyed, no government intervention will suffice.
Backlash, difficult to reverse
Hardly a theoretical possibility, Atty. Gatdula explained how countries that have enforced anti-life legislation are experiencing a backlash difficult to reverse.
He talked about how publications like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times cited studies about the exponential increase of depression among women in the U.S., in direct relation with contraceptive use.
Atty. Gatdula also mentioned findings that children from broken families perform poorly in school and eventually, are less productive in the work place.
Also contrary to the claims of contraception advocates, he said, contraceptive use has not decreased abortion rates, but have, in fact, increased them.
“So we know that [poor family life] translates to a lot of things. We just have to look at the other countries,” he added, saying the Philippines does not need to have the same experience.
Others with Ang Prolife party list include James Imbong, general counsel of the St. Thomas More Society Philippines; Lorna Melegrito, executive director of Pro-life Philippines Foundation; Lareina Manalang-Garcia, a teacher; and Edgardo Joven Tirona, an advocate for poverty alleviation and social development. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]