TAYTAY, August 2, 2011—Floods and a heavy downpour brought on by typhoon “Kabayan” were unable to dissuade some 500 residents from attending a symposium on the Reproductive Health (RH) bill organized by Fr. Ronnie Lapara, PSDP, and the Family and Life Apostolate (FLA) ministry of San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in Taytay, Rizal.
Questions such as “Matitigil po ba ‘yung tulad ng nangyari sa aking anak na sapilitang pinatali ng hindi ipinaalam sa amin maging sa aking anak?” and “Ano po ba masasabi ninyo na para daw po sa empowerment ng kababaihan ang RH bill?” were raised and addressed during the July 31 event.
One of the speakers, Buhay Party List pro-life advocacy staff Jose Descallar, explained to the 78-year-old lady who raised the first question that rather than such occurrences becoming less frequent or unheard of altogether, these will become more rampant should RH be legislated.
As to the notion that the legislative measure aims to empower women, Descallar pointed out that existing laws already address the concerns of women in different aspects of life. Laws such as the Magna Carta of Women (R.A. 9710) and the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004 (R.A. 9262) were among the measures enacted for the sake of women, he said.
The RH bill is not about women empowerment; in fact, it leads to the abuse of women in ways that many are unaware of, he said.
The other speakers in the afternoon’s event, all members of Filipinos for Life?an organization committed to informing the public on the issues surrounding the threats to life and family values?were introduced by Mr. and Mrs. Ismael Tan of the parish Family and Life Apostolate after Fr. Reynaldo B. Olan, PSDP, gave the welcome remarks.
The 500 residents of “Pabahay ni Erap” San Juan Resettlement, in Brgy. Napindan, Taytay first listened to Prof. Aliza Racelis of the University of the Philippines, who read portions of the “Ang Katotohanan Tungkol sa RH Bill” flyer.
Over 100,000 of said flyer were distributed by Filipinos for Life all over Metro Manila in the first half of the year.
Racelis followed up with the demographic and economic arguments against the RH bill now pending in Congress.
After Descallar’s witty but informative take on the legal and legislative aspects of House Bill 4244, nurse trainer Anna Cosio delivered a brief presentation on medical concerns pertaining to the bill, keeping the participants visibly riveted as they learned the truth about the side effects of contraceptives.
Carlos Palad, a staff apologist of Defensores Fidei Foundation, delved on the moral issues and explained why the Church rejects the measure, in the process shedding more light on the concept of “separation of Church and State.”
The event was concluded with closing remarks and prayers by members of the FLA ministry, and with the suggestion that another symposium be presented to the residents?this time on Natural Family Planning (NFP), the method of planning one’s family which is in keeping with the precepts of the Catholic Church and respects the natural workings of the body as well. (Raymond Bandril)