Press Release
December 13, 2011

DECEMBER 9, 2011
Reproductive Health Symposium held at the College of Immaculate Conception, Cabanatuan City

My sincerest thanks to the Commission on Family and Life of the Diocese of Cabanatuan for inviting me as keynote speaker in your Reproductive Health Bill symposium here at the College of the Immaculate Conception.

It is providential that we celebrated yesterday the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Additionally, we honor as patroness and guide of the Pro-Life Movement - Our Lady of Guadalupe, whose feast day we celebrate every December 12th . Thus, it can be truly said that your affair in right in the center of our divine inspiration and model - the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Everywhere, life and family are being threatened. The pro-active among us have organized various protectionist organizations that save endangered species. We shed tears for the beached whale, the trapped crocodile, the disappearing Tarsier of Bohol. We conserve minerals, forests, even our corals, seas and climate.

Yet, today, the most endangered species are none of these. It is the unborn child. The threat on the beginning of life in the womb of the woman is the dark reality of this new century, in this new millennium. Some say the unborn is unwanted; a source of shame, maybe; or an economic burden. Chemicals and physical obstacles are thrown against the unborn's eventual birth. And those that somehow hurdle the initial stumbling blocks have to fight against morning-after pills which are mostly abortifacient. Fertilized eggs are prevented from being implanted on the uterus of the woman, and those that succeed face the possible danger within nine months of other threats to its young life in the womb through the vacuum-aspirator and finally to the steel knives of abortionists who finally end the lives of the unborn.

The most endangered species of life today is the unborn fertilized egg of a woman. 2,000 years ago, a couple named Joseph and Mary had no room at the inn for the birth of the God-child Jesus. Today, there is no room in a woman's womb of an unborn, unwanted child.

The fight for life and the unborn is now in the halls of Congress. As I usually say in the Senate, the parliamentary status is that Senate Bill 2865, better known as the RH bill, is in the period of interpellation, with Senator Pia Cayetano responding to our questions. In the final analysis, it will boil down to a numbers game. Since there are 23 senators, it means that 12 votes in favor will make it pass; 12 votes against will make it fall.

A few days ago, I took exception to the insinuation by Senator Pia Cayetano that the Senate leadership was acting with intent to delay the discussion of the Reproductive Health bill. I said that is not so, evidenced by the many times we have debated on it on the floor of the Senate. As a matter of fact, it had been proposed in past congresses, only to be aborted and unborn these many years.

The basic arguments against the passage of the RH bill are the classic arguments in debate - It is not necessary; it is not beneficial; it could not be done:

1. It is unnecessary because the Department of Health is pursuing its program on reproductive health as it is. As a matter of fact, they publicly distributed condoms a couple of years ago on Valentine's Day at the flower shops in Dangwa, Manila;

2. It is not beneficial because there are proven side effects and carcinogenic properties of the various abortifacient pills being peddled in most drugstores. Science has been a tool of these anti-life advocates. But science has also revealed to us that the fertilized egg is a human being at its tiniest. And in an unknown moment, only God knows when He implants a human soul.

3. It is contrary to the Constitution and the laws and therefore, would be impractical to pass since it would only be declared unconstitutional.

The specific provision of the Constitution is as follows:

1.1. Article II of our Constitution provides, as a policy of the state, in Section 12, that the state "shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception." It makes no fine distinction between fertilization and implantation. When the law does not distinguish, we must not distinguish, as the legal maxim says.

1.2. Certain provisions of the RH bill impliedly repeals existing penal laws. The RH bill provides: Section 3 (i) "While this Act does not amend the penal law on abortion, the government shall ensure that all women needing care for post-abortion complications shall be treated and counseled in a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate manner."

The argument of the Pro-Choice group runs this way: Since some women will procure abortion anyway, let us treat them kindly. On the same logic, since some people will kill others anyway, let us treat them kindly?

The family is beset by inside and outside forces seeking its disintegration. Preventing births will make the family implode while economic forces tend to dismember the family. The family ante-dated the state. This non-human legal personality called the state should not dictate on human beings and families how many children they should have.

Then there are the supra-states known as international organizations such as the United Nations, World Health Organization, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. They worship economic growth and let life be subservient to good economic numbers.

We must be on our guard lest the mistakes of the Western world come to our shores. Seemingly innocent bills are being proposed which may open the door to the disintegration of family life, such as same sex marriage that is starting to happen in other places of the world.

We must maintain the integrity of the Filipino culture. It is pro-life that is why we call the pregnant - nagdadalang-tao - in the native tongue. Let us dare to be different, even if we are the only remaining Pro-Life country in the world. The sanctity of life is higher than the need for a high quality of life. Higit sa lahat, buhay; hindi paghahanap-buhay.

Every unborn child must have a birth day. We who have been born have no right to deprive others of this beautiful experience called life.

Thank you and good day.

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