‘Right to safe, satisfying sex’, baseless—lawyer

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MANILA, Dec.  12, 2012 —After causing such a ruckus in the Senate last week, the so-called right to “pleasurable sex”, apparently, has no legal basis, according to a lawyer.

Lying or insane

Far from mincing words, Atty. Jemy Gatdula of the Ateneo Law School said in an interview, “Anybody who says that satisfying sex is an international commitment has either got to be lying or insane.”

According to Atty. Gatdula, co-authors of Senate Bill 2865, Sen. Pia Cayetano and Sen. Miriam Defensor -Santiago talked about “safe and satisfying sex” as if it were a human right, recognized by international law, when it is not.

Atty. Gatdula, who specializes in international law, explained, the action program for the 1994 International Conference on Population Development (ICPD), cited by Sen. Defensor-Santiago, is not a binding international commitment, but merely an “expression of political will.”

Sen. Defensor-Santiago backed co- RH Bill author Sen. Cayetano in asking to have the “safe, satisfying sex” phrase retained in the bill during amendment discussions last December 4.

During the heated exchanges over the phrase, Sen. Defensor-Santiago stressed that the phrase “has become part of international vocabulary on human rights, particularly of women’s rights.”

No basis in international law                             

To further clarify the point, Atty. Gatdula said the phrase ‘satisfying and safe sex’ never appears in any international treaty and is only mentioned in the action program of the ICPD.

He explained, countries are not compelled to recognize the so-called ‘right to satisfying and safe sex’ in the same way nations are bound to respect Article 2.4 of the UN Charter, for example, which prohibits member countries from encroaching on the “territorial integrity political independence of any state”.

In short, it is this binding international agreement that forbids nations from invading one another.

Last Tuesday, Senate voted, 12-4 and 9-8, all in favor of the objections raised by Sen. Cayetano.

Sen. Cayetano stressed that the term ‘pleasurable sex’ should be included to define sexual health. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]

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