Faith, sex, and population growth

Posted at 10/06/10 1:02 AM

Pro-life advocate sees doom, gloom over reproductive health bills

MANILA, Philippines - Poor couples will only suffer if the reproductive health (RH) bills that have been filed in the House of Representatives are approved and enacted into law, a pro-life advocate said.

Eric Manalang of Pro-Life Philippines Foundation Inc. believes that the measures disregard the opinion of a majority of the Filipinos.

He claimed that the measures will also "kill" the poor sector, which accounts for 85% of the nation's total population.

Six bills relating to reproductive health have been filed in the lower house. All the bills push for better access to safe, legal, and effective means of ensuring reproductive health, safeguarding women's rights, and reducing the maternal mortality rate in the country.

Manalang does not believe that a large population causes poverty.  He said a nation's population can raise the country's production value.

He also pointed out that a large population boosts domestic consumption.

The problem, he said, is that the government has been implementing policies that do not maximize the nation's resources.

"The Philippines is the richest country in this part of the world, maybe the whole world. Why has we not been able to maximize our resources? We have wrong policies implemented wrongly for a long period of time," he told ANC's Headstart on Tuesday.

"We are an agriculture country into follow the series of economy and replace imports. We should increase where our land is blessed by God, with so many seeds and plants and mountains," he added.

Cultural, political impacts

Aside from its "anti-poor" impacts, the reproductive health bills will have a cultural impact in the country, Manalang said.

"Once you start a contraceptive mentality culture, people go overboard," he said.

Manalang added that the current bills in the lower House are "loaded" with anti-life provisions that are allegedly influenced by the United States.

"It is initiated by US, a form of aggression, [a] form of changing our beliefs. At the end of the day, it is an affront of sovereignty. Everything the US wants to impose is anti-Christian," he said.

"Maliwanag [na ito] ay isang puno na napakaraming bungang masama. Isang bunga dyan ay tungkol sa sekswalidad and effectively, removing the concept to Filipinos. Its really very strong, its part of the sexual education component," he added.

'Agents of abortion'

Manalang also claimed that some pills and condoms are "agents of abortion" as they contain chemicals that kill either sperm cells or human eggs.

"There are condoms that have in them lubrication that kills sperm. It's not as simple as having lubrication," he said.

Manalang is also opposing the "withdrawal method," wherein a man pulls out his penis from the woman's vagina before ejaculation. He said the practice is unacceptable and violates laws set in the Bible.

"We are not technical, we are moral. More than just technical, its moral, on what should be done for humanity. If we are looking at the point of view of moral or else you'd end up filling ourselves, this world will end up to the way it was before man came," he added.

Robbing conscience

Manalang also believes that the RH bills "rob" the Filipino conscience and shake the nation's moral foundation.

He said it is not too late for President Benigno Aquino III to pull out his support for artificial contraception.

"I think the President needed not just a conscience but an informed conscience. Let's sit down and let's go to this process into the educating their conscience on the moral basis of population," he offered.

"It is not the content but the way it is being presented such that there is a robbing of our conscience. A country needs a conscience that is informed," he added.

"Reproductive health is anything but for reproduction or for health. Anytime a woman puts on a chemical or a mechanical thing inside her body, that is not healthy. What we're proposing and promoting, is that we use all natural family planning," he said.

Manalang said the the government should not be blinded by results of surveys, which he claimed were made with "agenda" against the Church.

He said the Aquino should "watch out" and tread carefully because the Church will not hesitate to launch a civil disobedience campaign against the reproductive health bills.

"If our beliefs are threatened as Catholic Christians, do you think there will be no revolt?," he said. "Listen not above faith but within faith. Democracy is the majority and its the majority, its the Catholics, Christians, and the Muslims [who are against the bill]." - With ANC