Don't Pray For My Soul (Abortion, Reproductive Health, and HB 16)
Before I outline my stand on reproductive health, let me give you a good idea of where I stand on the issue of sex and RH in general:
- I am for responsible, prudent sex, but sex should be enjoyed to its fullest.
- I write “Roman Catholic” on legal forms for purposes of filling out those forms. I was born, raised, and educated as a Roman Catholic, but I am – for all intents and purposes – an atheist. There are, however, times that I go to Church out of duress, or a kind of desperation that makes me a temporary God-believer.
Let me get to my points…
Point #1. I am pro-abortion on two counts:
- If pregnancy and/or childbirth directly threatens the survival of mother and child.
- Unwanted pregnancies under exceptionally meritorious circumstances (i.e., the complete inability to raise the child, or if the pregnancy and childbirth gravely threatens the social standing of an unwed or underaged mother).
Point #2. I am for contraception on two counts:
- I’d rather have a 95% effective condom protecting me and my schlong than the extreme Catholic view of 0% protection.
- The problem of overpopulation in the Philippines is a serious one, and if it takes condoms and other contraceptives to at least partially address the issues, then the measure is welcome.
Let’s talk about the Catholic concept of Hell for a bit. I’m sure that pious, Church-going Catholics and/or Christians are legitimately afraid of burning sulfur and oceans of flame, but there’s also hell in hunger and poverty.
Just because I am for abortion doesn’t mean that I’m a baby-killer, and I advocate infanticide, or we should “decriminalize” abortion. There are situations that pregnancy or childbirth can threaten the survival of both the mother and the child. There are some situations that an unwanted pregnancy can bring so much shame, hunger, and other extreme compromises that I’m sure women – and their children – should not endure.
As someone who believes in the merits of abortion, I do not advocate dilation and curettage done with a wire-hanger. There should be a legal clause that allows for medically-supervised abortion, one done with the proper instruments, technique, and under exceptionally meritorious circumstances.
I am aware that abortion is NOT legal under HB 16, it violates the Constitution, and it violates the sensibilities of right-thinking, decent people. RH is not an endorsement of abortion, and HB 16 is NOT A PRO-ABORTION BILL.
So just because there are pro-choice advocates like myself doesn’t mean that the RH bill is automatically a triumph for abortion. HB 16 is a triumph of our laws addressing the pressing problems of society. Do we favor existing norms and beliefs in society and ignore the need for something to address overpopulation? Heck no; reproductive health is a public issue.
As Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel pointed out in her privilege speech, RH is a secular issue debated as a form of public policy. I may be an atheist, but I don’t think that God will smite the godless condom-wearing Sodomites of the Philippines with pillars of fire and turn us all into pillars of salt because of an RH bill. The RH bill seeks to prevent and address the problem of overpopulation and encourage safe sex practices, not to enforce the wearing of a condom.
Besides, there’s already solid proof that condoms are a good way to help prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted illnesses, not to mention sperm cells. If you don’t trust the liberal anti-Christian stuff found on the World Wide Intarnets, then go see your doctor.
HB 16 is a rare instance that I actually agree with the Government (OK, shoot me now). Let’s deal with issues of corruption, much less Hell, later on, and judge this bill on the basis of it being a public policy. To say that we should maintain a “Christian” or “Catholic” perspective is to spit at the very foundations of free expression: not to merely say that not every Filipino is a Christian, but also to say that 40% of Filipino Catholics believe in the merits of an RH bill. Let us take this bill as a means to address overpopulation because of a long-overdue means to manage our growing population.
All ideas, no matter how wrong they sound, should always be tested in the crucible of debate. In a democracy, there is room for all sorts of ideas and all opposition. So don’t pray for my soul; enlighten me with ideas – a sound opposition – to why an RH bill should not be passed in the Philippines.