The RH Bill is Pro-Life: De La Salle Professors


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Faculty members from De La Salle University outline their arguments and support the RH Bill

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The RH Bill is Pro-Life: De La Salle Professors

  1. 1. THE RH BILL IS PRO-LIFE We, the undersigned Faculty Members of the De La Salle University, acting individually, and with reasoned conviction, cognizant of our role in society as champions of enlightenment and in pursuit of our mission to create a haven for critical Christian thinkers committed to serve society, particularly the poor, assert that: The right to life is a fundamental Christian tenet that finds full meaning when combined with the inherent rights of humans to a decent, safe, and productive existence as well as to an all-round development. Thus, beyond protecting the very important right of the unborn, it must extend to a recognition that a life that is weighed down by poverty, sickness, and social inequality - now compounded by environmental stresses - deprives humans of agency to transform themselves and the world for the common good. A key dimension of the democratic ideal at the core of our community and country is the promotion of pluralism and diversity. In a society marred by great imbalances of power and wealth, the freedom that comes with choice has become a privilege. Empowering the poor and the marginalized, women in particular, requires opening up opportunities for their self- actualization. In this modern day, it is alarming that death from childbirth continues to claim 4,500 women every year or about 12 every day. Lack of access to quality and affordable reproductive health services and timely information as much as poverty has kept many women from finding their own voice, exercising their basic rights, and taking their place as full members of society. The current population level, ranged against the level of our physical, environmental, and natural resources, is only one – albeit important – factor to the worsening quality of life of Filipinos. While our population growth rate has declined somewhat below the two percent threshold, it is still higher relative to the increase in the incomes of families in the 7th to the 10th decile groups – the segment of the population with the highest proportion of those living in absolute poverty as well. Here, among these groups, the quality of life is severely compromised due to an increase in population. Part of a meaningful celebration of life itself is the affirmation of the inherent moral standing of every human being, who has the capacity to make reasoned decisions, guided both by moral and ethical considerations, as well as by scientific truths and conventions. The ability to make moral judgments, however, requires knowledge and information, and for those living in materially constrained circumstances, requires further support from the society. The capacity to provide that support now rests with the State and its instrumentalities. Our belief in the above mentioned premises leads us to express support for the Reproductive Health Bill in both houses of Congress as a much needed step toward the attainment of a just and democratic society which celebrates life at its fullest range and quality. Our support to the RH Bill is grounded on the following convictions: Enacting the RH Bill into law would strengthen the capacity of the State to assist women and their partners to make informed choices, thereby helping them to become healthy and responsible parents and attain a life of quality for themselves and their families. This is achieved by providing women and their partners, particularly the poor, with information and other forms of reproductive health support, including safe and affordable methods that do not violate the Constitutional provision declaring as illegal abortion and, by implication, the sale and promotion of abortifacient birth control technologies. The passage of the Bill, and with the active participation of parents and the guidance of the educational and moral leaders of society, will help provide the youth with access to age-appropriate knowledge and information that would equip them to make decisions that would prevent them from having early and premarital sex, unwanted and teen pregnancies, and abortions, and help them become healthy and responsible parents in the future. The RH Bill is not a panacea to solve the problem of poverty; it is a vital component of the complex set of interventions that all sectors of society, not only the State, should undertake to promote and make successful. The RH Bill provides only options for individual citizens, and does not contain coercive or punitive mechanisms to compel or penalize persons to act against their own religious beliefs, moral and ethical convictions, and cultural sensibilities. For example, and to respect the religious rights of individuals, a health worker cannot be compelled by the state to disseminate artificial contraceptives, or parents may pull their children out of sex education classes. The Bill would ensure the allocation of public funds to finance what appear to be personal and individual concerns such as the number and spacing of children a couple should have, or the health and well-being of individuals on issues that may not be seen in the ordinary sense as public health risks. This is consistent with the Christian value of empathy and social
  2. 2. responsibility, and of shared commitment to the promotion of a quality of life where a healthy balance between populationand its physical environment is achieved that would help ease the burden on our collective social fabric and limitedresources.It is for these reasons that we are confident that we are affirming our commitment to a life with quality when we set oursignatures herein.The following members have already signed the Statement, with their original signatures on file:Prof. Ma. Arcadio G. Malbarosa, Political ScienceDr. Antonio P. Contreras, Political ScienceProf. Louie Montemar, Political ScienceProf. Anna Malindog, Political ScienceDr. Grace Roldan, Political ScienceDr. Antoinette Raquiza, Political ScienceProf. Gina Lomotan, Political ScienceDr. Francisco Magno, Political ScienceDr. Levita A. Duhaylungsod, Political ScienceMr. Robin Garcia, Political ScienceProf. Mark Evidente, Political ScienceProf. Allen B. Surla, Political ScienceProf. Antonio Pedro Jr., Political ScienceProf. Michael Angelo B. Promentilla, Chemical EngineeringProf. Ma. Carla Pacis, LiteratureMr. Anthony Lawrence A. Borja, Political ScienceDr. Luis F. Razon, Chemical EngineeringMr. Anton Simon M. Palo, PsychologyDr. Robert E. Javier Jr., PsychologyThe following members have signed the Statement by e-mailing us their scanned signatures:Dr. Allan Benedict I. Bernardo, Counselling and Educational PsychologyProf. Ronnie Holmes, Political ScienceAtty. Avelino M. Sebastian Jr., College of Law
  3. 3. The following members have expressed support through e-mail, and have indicated they will sign:Dr. Arturo Pacificador Jr., MathematicsDr. Rochelle Lucas, English and Applied LinguisticsDr. Danilo Dayag, English and Applied LinguisticsDr. Jeane Peracullo, PhilosophyThe following has expressed support and e-mailed an authorization to consider him a signatory to the Statement:Atty. Arno Sanidad, College of LawVia RH Bill Portal:Atty. Emily Sanchez Salcedo, Commercial Law Department(the following as shared by Louie Checa Montemar)Redento B. Recio, Polsci/LSIGArnel B. Galgo, COSCARey Pomarca, COSCAJ. Bartolome, COSCAJon Alcazar, COSCAMa Ella Oplas, Polsc