Women lawmakers still behind RH bill

Posted at 11/07/12 4:55 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A group of women solons denied they have withdrawn support for the reproductive health (RH) bill that is now undergoing amendments.

Pangasinan Rep. Kimi Cojuangco, Diwa Rep. Emmeline Aglipay, and Bagong Diwa Rep. Bernadette Herrera called on fellow lawmakers to stop the delays and finally put House Bill 4244 to a vote before session ends on Dec. 19 this year.

They said the bill has long been pending in both houses of Congress for the past 11 years. All three women lawmakers also called on authors and supporters of the bill to exert more effort in finally bringing the issue to a vote.

The lawmakers stressed the importance of passing the bill, given increases in maternal mortality and teenage pregnancy rates.

The women lawmakers were joined in a press conference by reproductive health advocates, including former Health Secretary Alberto Romualdez who spoke on the impact of the bill on the country’s health system, and UP Prof. Ernesto Pernia who said that the country will benefit economically from the bill.