SC receives second petition vs. RH law

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MANILA, Jan. 9, 2013—Another petition to halt the implementation of RA 10354 has been filed at the Supreme Court, citing the measure’s promotion of the use of abortifacient devices such as intra-uterine devices (IUDs) and its mandate to purchase abortifacients using taxpayers’ money, thereby violating Constitutional provisions protecting life and health.

The Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines, Inc. (ALFI) together with members of its Board of Trustees, friends, their spouses, children and grandchildren filed Wednesday a petition for prohibition, with request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)/Preliminary Injunction against the reproductive health (RH) law, or The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.

RA 10354 has “opened the floodgates to an attack against the right to life. While it gives a semblance of respect for life by generously using the words “non-abortifacient” and “do not prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum,” it allows the use of abortifacient devices such as the intrauterine device (IUD), and the purchase of abortifacient substances using taxpayer’s money,” the petition stated.

The measure also impairs the right to health of both the mother and her unborn child “by mandating the dispensation and use of hormonal contraceptives, including contraceptive pills, which have been established as carcinogenic, causing breast cancer, cervical cancer, and liver tumor, among others,” the petition continued.

ALFI, represented by Atty. Ma. Concepcion Noche, who is also the group’s president, is a multi-sectoral, nationwide organization committed to fostering and defending the sanctity of marriage, promoting family solidarity, and protecting life in all stages of development.

The group likewise cited the violation against the Constitution-guaranteed right to the free exercise of religion which the RH law commits by making certain acts mandatory, such as the provision of RH services by health care providers even though this runs contrary to their religious beliefs.

Named as respondents in the petition were Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa; Health Secretary Enrique Ona; Education Secretary Armin Luistro; Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman; Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II; Budget Secretary Florencio Abad; Socio-Economic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Arsenio Balisacan; the Philippine Commission on Women, represented by its Chairperson Remedios Ignacio-Rikken; the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., represented by its President Eduardo Banzon; the League of Provinces of the Philippines, represented by its President Alfonso Umali; the League of Cities of the Philippines, represented by its President Oscar Rodriguez; and the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, represented by its President Donato Marcos.

The first petition to halt the implementation of the RH law was filed with the Supreme Court on Jan. 2 by lawyers James Imbong and Lovely Ann Imbong.

The RH law, signed by President Benigno Aquino III last December despite massive protests from civic and faith-based groups, family and life advocates, and child development experts, is scheduled for implementation on Jan. 17. (CBCP for Life)


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