MANLA, April 8, 2014 — Despite RH proponents’ outright claiming of victory, the much-contested RH law lost much of its sting with the Supreme Court declaring several key items in the said law unconstitutional, says the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
RH watered down
“Although the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the RH law, it has truly watered down the RH law and consequently upheld the importance of adhering to an informed religious conscience even among government workers,” said CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas.
In a landmark decision earlier today, April 8, the SC justices struck down as unconstitutional 8 items in the RH law found in sections 7, 17 and 23 of the said law.
Section 7 is a major provision in the law, pertaining to “Access to Family Planning”; section 17 is titled “Pro Bono Services for Indigent Women”; and section 7 “Prohibited Acts.”
Church mission continues
In a statement released in behalf of the bishops’ conference, the Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan also lauded the High Court’s decision because it has “stood on the side of the rights of parents to teach their children,” probably referring to the struck down item in section 7 of R.A. 10354 allowing “minors who have suffered a miscarriage access to modern methods of family planning without written consent from their parents or guardians.”
Rallying the faithful behind Christians’ mission in the face of “authoritarian regimes, wars and revolutions”, Villegas said the Church can continue doing its work “even with such unjust laws.”
“The Church must continue to uphold the sacredness of human life, to teach always the dignity of the human person and to safeguard the life of every human person from conception to natural death,” Villegas said, encouraging staunch pro-lifers to hold on to the Church’s teachings on family and life.
Noting that the even if RH issue will continue to be a point of contention, Villegas said both pro and anti-RH groups can work towards the common good.
“We cannot see eye-to-eye with our pro-RH brethren on this divisive issue but we can work hand-in-hand for the good of the country,” he added. (CBCPNews)