Right to 'safe, satisfying sex' baseless, says lawyer

Posted at 12/12/12 1:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A lawyer specializing in international economic law believes there is no legal basis for the so-called right to "pleasurable sex" as stated in the controversial Reproductive Health Bill.

In his Twitter account, Atty. Jemy Gatdula of the Ateneo Law School said: "Anyone who says that 'satisfying sex' is a right or commitment provided for under international law is either a liar, deranged, or both."

He added: "The primary, true, and real battle in this RH bill or pro-life struggle is for the old to give way or be swept aside by the youth."

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile earlier proposed the removal of the phrase "safe and satisfying sex life" in the definition of reproductive health. Senators Tito Sotto and Jinggoy Estrada backed Enrile, saying it is not right for a law to contain these words.

However, Senators Pia Cayetano and Miriam Defensor Santiago said the phrase "safe and satisfying sex life " is integral in the definition and is used in international laws and treaties.

The Senate later voted to retain the words in the bill with 11 senators voting in favor and 6 against it.

Gatdula said the phrase "safe and satisfying sex life" is included in the  action program for the 1994 International Conference on Population Development (ICPD).

He said the action plan is not a binding international commitment but merely an "expression of political will."

Gatdula also noted the phrase "satisfying and safe sex" never appears in any international treaty and is only mentioned in the action program of the ICPD.

He said countries are not compelled to recognize the so-called "right to satisfying and safe sex" in the same way nations are bound to respect Article 2.4 of the UN Charter, for example, which prohibits member countries from encroaching on the "territorial integrity political independence of any state." With a report from CBCPNews