Once again Republic of the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is in the news. This time RINJ is cheering.
Good news about support for family planning and reproductive rights of Filipino families.
RINJ salutes the Philippines President issuing of an executive order (no. 12) to help fund and compel full implementation of the 2012 Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) statute. That law faced a complex array of religious and political conflicts and has been seriously stalled.
So badly has the much needed reproductive health act been interfered with, dozens of contraceptives have been forced off the ‘available’ list for patients, doctors and hospitals across the entire country. The Supreme Court did that claiming some rather fishy smelling procedural issues that allege Department of Health missteps. The fishiness comes from a questionable distinction between church and state.
The Catholic Church with its archaic thinking on family planning and reproductive rights is killing more mothers and babies than the thing it opposes. The strangle hold it has on its patrons’ collective conscience has driven fertility rates far above where they should be and has pushed millions of babies into the streets into morbid poverty.
Sometimes one more baby is enough to break a struggling single mom or Filipino family and put them among the millions already homeless. The infant and maternal mortality rates in the Philippines are among the worst in the world.
Family planning and respect for reproductive rights are inalienable rights that must not be broken. Meddling has created a domino effect of long term catastrophic effects not just in the Philippines but in many areas of the world particularly Africa and South America. The Catholic Church needs to step back and stop meddling with Public Health in the Philippines and stick to its role as a spiritual and moral compass. In the end of this fight between lawmakers and clergy the Church will fail in an undignified flop.
Runaway fertility rates are a contributor to poverty in the Philippines and we have seen that the thousands of single moms and babies arriving at the doorsteps of Catholic Churches receive only help from kind passersby and not the Church itself. The doors are locked.
President Duterte is probably right when he blames poverty and Public Health malaise on the Catholic Church itself. On this issue the problem is clear. Human development and combating poverty are co-dependent on inalienable reproductive rights of Filipinos. Getting in the way of these rights is KILLING FILIPINO WOMEN.
In the Philippines, the maternal death rate at childbirth is staggering.
The Philippines Department of Health and the people of the Philippines must have the benefits of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health.
The women of The RINJ Foundation have been unequivocal about the foundation’s urging for global respect of reproductive rights of families.
While unambiguously supporting the aims of Philippines Executive Order 12, The RINJ Foundation continues to urge the Philippines President to stop extra-judicial killings and instead apply the rule of law and the rights of the accused for solving the public health issues surrounding substance abuse. Murdering the weak, the poor and the ill is an egregious offence against humanity.