Still No to amended RH Bill

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MANILA, Nov. 8, 2012?In an apparent move to get the approval of the Catholic Church for the passage of the controversial reproductive health bill, Congress has amended some of the most contentious provisions of the measure to soften its anti-life stance.

But Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, in a statement said, despite amendments the Church remains firm in its stand against the measure because of provisions which it considers inimical to life.

“Our aim in [opposing] HB 4244 is to protect not only the good of Catholics but the good of all, Catholics and non-Catholics,” he stressed.

Reyes is the chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

“Despite some good amendments, this latest version remains harmful because of the bad provisions that are still there,” Reyes said.

The latest version of House Bill 4244, the bishop pointed out, has not veered from its promotion of artificial methods of birth control, of which the Church is very much against.

“In fact, the promotion of contraception is a constitutive or an essential part of this latest version [of the bill],” he said.

The Catholic Church has always promoted the use of natural methods for family planning as against the use of artificial contraception which it considers “intrinsically wrong”.

Amended paragraph

Among those amended in the controversial bill is the third paragraph of Section 2—Declaration of Policy?which promotes universal access to reproductive health care services, methods and devices.

The latest version prohibits “reproductive health care services, methods, devices and supplies” which prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum.

But Reyes said that although “it limits the giving of ‘free reproductive health care, services, and supplies to the poor and marginalized,’ this does not make the bill acceptable because it is wrong to promote contraception and give free contraceptives whether to the rich or the poor.”

He also said that contraception, as history has shown, brings “physical and moral harm in its train.”

“We remain steadfast in our position: the poor does not stand to gain anything from contraceptive use.  Poverty cannot be solved—neither fully nor partially—by contraceptive use and its promotion,” Reyes stressed. (CBCPNews)

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