MANILA, Sept. 5, 2011— Pro-reproductive health (RH) bill lawmakers should rethink their position on the measure if only to address maternal deaths in the country, a Catholic Church official said.
Fr. Melvin Castro of the Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines recent study in the US only shows that RH bill is not the answer to maternal mortality.
“Sana e makita ito ng ating leaders sa pamahalaan na sana huwag nang ipagpilitan ang bagong batas na gagastusan pa ng buwis ng mamamayan,” said Castro.
Over the weekend, reports came out saying researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle studying maternal deaths in 181 countries showed that the maternal mortality rate in the Philippines has dropped by 81 percent from 1980 to 2008.
Separately, the 2010 report “Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2008” by the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the UN Population Fund, and the World Bank, placed the Philippines’ maternal mortality ratio or MMR at 94 per 100,000 live births in 2008, which is equivalent to 4.6 deaths a day.
This is way lower than the 2004 report placing maternal deaths in the country during the year 2000 at 4,100, or equal to 11.2 a day.
The improvements come while RH bill, which seeks to promote the use of contraceptives in family planning, is pending in Congress and abortion remains illegal in the country.
The study, Castro said, only shows that the problem can be resolved if only the government dedicates its service in serving women, especially pregnant mothers.
“Kung talagang ang pamahalaan ay seryoso na tulungan ang ating mga kababaihan na maging malusog at mapayapa at secure ang pagbubuntis at panganganak ay magagawa yun e kahit walang batas sapagkat iyan e natural na dapat ginagawa ng pamahalaan,” he said.
“Mapapakita talaga dito sa study na ang kailangan ay hindi panibagong batas kundi ang mahalaga ay ang pamahalaan at pribadong sector ay tutukan ito,” Castro added.
To note, RH bill proponents and supporters have been claiming the need to address maternal deaths in the country as a reason to immediately pass the measure. [CBCPNews]