RH law subverts definition of ‘health’ – wellness coach

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MANILA, April 10, 2014 – As it turns out, the Reproductive Health law, is not only ‘unhealthy’, but subverts even the World Health Organization’s own definition of ‘health,’ says a well-being coach trained in the U.S.

Well-being program director Mary Jean Netario-Cruz massages the arm of an elderly person with magnesium oil at the Kanlungan ni Maria – Home for the Aged, Inc. in Antipolo. (Photo: Oliver Samon/CBCP News)

Employing the term ‘health’, choices such as contraceptive pills flooding the market today do not advocate well-being in the ‘strict sense of the word’,” said Mary Jean Netario – Cruz, a member of American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP).

Netario – Cruz, a certified integrative well-being coach, who earned her certification in nutrition from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, found it odd how provisions in the RH law, the subject of fiery debate for past couple of years, go against the WHO definition of ‘health’.

“Everybody knows oral contraceptives work to suppress something in the body from performing its normal function,” she said. “As the body works counter to its nature, discomfort and pains are generally felt.”

Studies show side effects of oral contraceptive use include deep vein thrombosis, heart attacks, strokes, depression, bleeding, and increased risk for breast and cervical cancer.
In what looks like a mixed message of sorts, the WHO and the United Nations (UN), a major backer of the passing of R.A. 10354, share an interchangeable definition for ‘health’ and ‘reproductive health.’

According to Netario – Cruz, the framework of the World Health Organization (WHO) defines “health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not only the absence of diseases.”

The UN guidelines on Reproductive Health, released by the UN Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs and was a basis for the drafting of the RH law, defines reproductive health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of reproductive disease or infirmity.”

According to Netario – Cruz, when pain, not to mention disease, is experienced, as is the case with regular contraceptive use, it does not take a physician to tell that something is wrong with body.

“In that sense, one cannot claim, in the strict sense of the word, that the Reproductive Health law espouses well-being,” she said.

As a health practitioner who views the issue in a secular way, Cruz nonetheless respects the choice taken by women and men in terms of sex life and procreation, but extolled the Catholic Church for firmly standing by its moral authority.

She said the real intent of the law is to “indirectly control” population growth, which is forecast to grow by the millions in the next few years.

Netario – Cruz also extolled the sobriety and unwavering stance that the Church demonstrated in the wake of Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of RH Law. (Oliver Samson)

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