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A youth’s view of the RH bill

In a tradition-bound society, it is not surprising that such measures will meet resistance, when all we seek is reproductive health information and services

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ILLUSTRATION BY NATASHA RINGOR

I belong to a family of medically-inclined individuals. My late grandfather was a doctor. He started Sta. Rita Hospital in our hometown. As majority of my relatives are healthcare professionals, they took over from my grandfather and later renamed it Dr. Eutiquio Atanacio Memorial Hospital, in honor of our beloved old man.

The hospital is on the ground floor of our ancestral house. I spent most of my childhood summers and holidays in that house. Having been used to this kind of environment, scenes such as mothers being rushed to the delivery room are nothing new to me.

I grew up believing that my life would be dedicated to this field of work,  medicine—and here I am, a medical laboratory science student. As such, I’m aware of the issues related to my chosen career. Yes, I am talking about the reproductive health (RH) bill. A lot of people are talking about it. It has been an issue way before the current administration.

I’m here to talk about my side of the matter as a youth, and as someone who has a background in the field. I do not intend to take a stand on behalf of all the youth, or of medical practitioners. I know this is a very sensitive topic, and we all have our own views and opinions. I’m merely stating facts, and I’ll try my best to balance my judgment. I pass on to my readers the responsibility for their conclusions after reading my article.

Maternal and child care

What is the RH bill? I will not discuss the whole thing, since a single article won’t suffice. Put simply, the RH bill is a proposed law that addresses the issues of maternal and child care, economics in relation to population, and circumstances that involve sexual intercourse.

It is geared toward the development of the nation’s healthcare, by giving Filipinos of whatever economic status access to medical and health services.

But if these are the reasons behind the controversial bill, if it was written for the benefit of the Filipino community, why is it opposed by many?

Great influence

It cannot be denied that religion plays a big part in our society. It has great influence on how its followers decide on a particular matter. It is no secret that the Catholic Church is against the bill, so it’s not surprising that devout Catholics are against the bill.

While they have their own basis for going against this proposed law—and some even show evidence of the harmful effects of the drugs in this bill—the main argument of anti-RH advocates is doctrinal. Many of them believe this bill goes against the teachings of Christianity. They believe that the bill will draw us away from God.

In my family, health is our top concern. Ironically, some of our family members oppose the bill. They believe that the benefits we will get from this law are outweighed by its harmful effects. There is too much risk, they say, compared to what we can gain from it. They are apprehensive that the only ones who will benefit are the hospitals and pharmaceutical companies that will provide the drugs and health services mandated by the bill.

Since the government will partially or fully subsidize certain healthcare services and medications if the bill becomes law, the focus might be directed to how these companies will be able to get more patients, rather than how they can provide better services, knowing that the government will be there to pay for the patients.

We live in a tradition-bound society, so it is not surprising that measures such as the RH bill will meet resistance or even outright disapproval, when all  we seek is reproductive health information and services. Indeed, there is a vocal segment in our community that rejects the proposed measure. However, without the bill, we are denied access to accurate information about sexuality, family planning, pregnancy, childbearing and related diseases.

Belonging to the younger generation, I might easily be suspected of being in favor of the bill without understanding what it is all about. After all, don’t young people tend to be nonconformist? But let me explain why we need to have a law that addresses this particular concern.

Increased risks

Ignorance of important RH information exposes the youth to increased risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexual diseases such as HIV-AIDS, among other problems. The reproductive health bill will ensure that relevant information and appropriate life-saving services will not be withheld from the Filipino people, especially the youth.

I was raised in a family of medical practitioners. I have a great appreciation for the responsibility, as well as the rewards, of providing healthcare. But I also understand its challenges, even as I belong to the youth sector.

My mind and consciousness tell me that the issue of reproductive health should be addressed by the state through comprehensive healthcare reform. This is my stand. What is yours?


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Tags: Legislation , Lifestyle , RH Bill , Social Issues , Youth

  • bgcorg

    It is enough for one good man to do nothing so that evil may thrive.  “The good that I can do, let me do it now, for I shall pass this way but once.”  If the cross is the symbol of pain, suffering and death, and we do not embrace it, die to ourselves, so that by our obedience, we would be raised in glory one day with Christ, we have wasted our chances.  Discipline, temperance, abstinence are among the virtues that could strengthen us, not draw us away from the way, the truth and the life. 

    • http://twitter.com/AtoPascual Antonino Pascual

      hypocrite

      • neney

        Ganyan ba ang tingin mo sa lahat ng naghahangad na maging mabuting tao? 

      • boypalaban

         hypocrite – Edcel lagman…kunwari concern sa mahihirap at kababaihan, tagapagtanggol ng kurakot at pekeng pangulo…may pitong anak….siya ang una dapat gumamit ng contraceptives…di maganda ang lahi…

      • boypalaban

         simulan mo na mamigay ng condom at contraceptives sa mga walang pang-tuition ngayong second sem sa college…sa mga na-demolish ang bahay diyan sa makati…sa mga biktima ng karahasan at mga natural na sakuna…

  • 444mangyan888

    My eldest is so passionate about this RH thing, he being a catholic missionary worker. While I try to make our heated debates to the utmost reasonable level, I always end up being pained for not being able to carry him completely along the plain of reason. But it is more to my incapacities than to his abilities and intelligence. Be that as it may, I am glad the youth now are taking their stand again to such issues of national importance. Deja vu of how we were when we had to go to the mountains, picket lines and far-flung barrios to do our immersions. This time, it is the challenge to intellect and reason.
    It’s good reading to encounter the likes of Hans being so tempered in his understanding of the issues on hand.
    This augurs well for the country.
    And woe to the politicians who are of lesser spirits and brains !!

  • RFreemont

    The RH bill advocates are misappropriating the language of women’s rights. They are opportunistic. They are exploiting the women’s rights movement to impose their population control agenda. The real aim of the RH bill is to reduce the fertility of women and has little to do with women’s health or maternal and child care. Building infrastructures such as health clinics, schools, roads, and transportation are more cost-effective in improving the living standards and health of women and children. More economic opportunities would give women more freedom and independence and better education would make them more informed to make healthcare decisions on their own. Under existing laws, there is individual reproductive freedom and there are no restrictions on access to healthcare, including maternal and child care. Women and children have reasonable access to healthcare information and services. Women and children have reasonable access to doctors or healthcare professionals for consultation. Medicines and medical supplies are not being withheld. Passing a law that guarantees affordable medicines would do more to improve women’s health. Getting more informed and improving access to healthcare do not require passing the RH bill.

  • RFreemont

    It is not necessary to pass the RH bill to consult a doctor or get expert advice about ideal family size. The RH bill advocates are misinformed.

    • boypalaban

       pera pera lang yan…
      sabi nga ng mga pulitiko…”Nakauto na,Kumita pa,…naging Bida pa…”

      • http://twitter.com/AtoPascual Antonino Pascual

        kaya nga! hehe. panalo ka talaga boypalaban, wala ka na ngang nagawa, dak-dak ka pa ng dak-dak. oh di ba? :D

      • boypalaban

        isa kang dakilang disipulo ni edcel lagman…may pitong anak na tagapagtanggol ng mangungurakot, sinungaling at pekeng presidente na may pekeng sakit at malakas lumamon na nagkakahalaga ng 1 milyon…at tagapagtanggol ni renaTONG Korokot na isa rin sa mga panginoon mo…

  • RFreemont

    POPULATION DENSITY

    Lesson 1

    The Philippines has a lower population density than Singapore, Bahrain, Taiwan, South Korea, Netherlands, Lebanon, India, Israel, Belgium, and Japan.

    (Warning: This Population Density free online course will not earn you credit for the mandatory or compulsory RH Population Control Brainwashing class. Consult your Big Pharma-sponsored RH instructor for details)

  • http://twitter.com/AtoPascual Antonino Pascual

    bgcorg, yung alaga mong madumi ang bunganga na si boypalaban, nakawala! haha. Itali mo na bilis, baka maikalat niya pa yung rabis niya, delikado yan :D

    • boypalaban

       itali mo ako ng mga koleksiyon mong mga condom…
      pati ang pansahog mo na mga pills…
      bunganga na pala ang kamay ngayon…
      malala na epekto sa yo ng condom overdose…

  • basilionisisa

    sensya ka na Hans sa mga nababasa mong trolls dito sa article mo… yan ang sinasabi kong sana lahat ng Kabataan kagaya mo (marami naman siguro), dahil wala nang pag-asa sa mga Katandaan natin.



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