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Reflections

“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.”

― Archibald MacLeish

Saturday, August 4, 2012

YES To The RH BILL For The Sake Of The Philippines!


The EQ Post strongly believes that parents can have as many babies as they want BUT they have the obligation to raise each of them properly.In the Philippines,there are baby factories all over the poor communities simply because the man just wanted SEX and the woman could not say NO or didn't know what to do to prevent unwanted...pregnancies. That's why the EQ Post is 100% for the Reproductive Health bill.

EQ POLL: Do you support a government-driven population control program?

Yes65%

No
6%

Not Possible (the Church will oppose)
28%


Key facts

  • An estimated 222 million women in developing countries would like to delay or stop childbearing but are not using any method of contraception.
  • Some family planning methods help prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
  • Family planning reduces the need for unsafe abortion.
  • Family planning reinforces people’s rights to determine the number and spacing of their children.

Family planning allows people to attain their desired number of children and determine the spacing of pregnancies. It is achieved through use of contraceptive methods and the treatment of infertility (this fact sheet focuses on contraception).

Benefits of family planning

Promotion of family planning – and ensuring access to preferred contraceptive methods for women and couples – is essential to securing the well-being and autonomy of women, while supporting the health and development of communities.

Preventing pregnancy-related health risks in women

A woman’s ability to choose if and when to become pregnant has a direct impact on her health and well-being. Family planning allows spacing of pregnancies and can delay pregnancies in young women at increased risk of health problems and death from early childbearing, and can prevent pregnancies among older women who also face increased risks. Family planning enables women who wish to limit the size of their families to do so. Evidence suggests that women who have more than four children are at increased risk of maternal mortality.
By reducing rates of unintended pregnancies, family planning also reduces the need for unsafe abortion.

Reducing infant mortality

Family planning can prevent closely spaced and ill-timed pregnancies and births, which contribute to some of the world’s highest infant mortality rates. Infants of mothers who die as a result of giving birth also have a greater risk of death and poor health.

Helping to prevent HIV/AIDS

Family planning reduces the risk of unintended pregnancies among women living with HIV, resulting in fewer infected babies and orphans. In addition, male and female condoms provide dual protection against unintended pregnancies and against STIs including HIV.

Empowering people and enhancing education

Family planning enables people to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. Family planning represents an opportunity for women for enhanced education and participation in public life, including paid employment in non-family organizations. Additionally, having smaller families allows parents to invest more in each child. Children with fewer siblings tend to stay in school longer than those with many siblings.

Reducing adolescent pregnancies

Pregnant adolescents are more likely to have preterm or low birth-weight babies. Babies born to adolescents have higher rates of neonatal mortality. Many adolescent girls who become pregnant have to leave school. This has long-term implications for them as individuals, their families and communities.

Slowing population growth

Family planning is key to slowing unsustainable population growth and the resulting negative impacts on the economy, environment, and national and regional development efforts.

Contraceptive use

Contraceptive use has increased in many parts of the world, especially in Asia and Latin America, but continues to be low in sub-Saharan Africa. Globally, use of modern contraception has risen slightly, from 54% in 1990 to 57% in 2012. Regionally, the proportion of women aged 15–49 reporting use of a modern contraceptive method has risen minimally or plateaued between 2008 and 2012. In Africa it went from 23% to 24%, in Asia it has remained at 62%, and in Latin America and the Caribbean it rose slightly from 64% to 67%. There is with significant variation among countries in these regions.
Use of contraception by men makes up a relatively small subset of the above prevalence rates. The modern contraceptive methods for men are limited to male condoms and sterilization (vasectomy).

Global unmet need for contraception

An estimated 222 million women in developing countries would like to delay or stop childbearing but are not using any method of contraception. Reasons for this include:
  • limited choice of methods;
  • limited access to contraception, particularly among young people, poorer segments of populations, or unmarried people;
  • fear or experience of side-effects;
  • cultural or religious opposition;
  • poor quality of available services;
  • gender-based barriers.
The unmet need for contraception remains too high. This inequity is fueled by both a growing population, and a shortage of family planning services. In Africa, 53% of women of reproductive age have an unmet need for modern contraception. In Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean – regions with relatively high contraceptive prevalence – the levels of unmet need are 21% and 22%, respectively.

The United Nations Population Fund has for the first time declared access to contraception as a “universal human right,” CBS reports. From the UNFPA’s “State of the World Population 2012,” issued today:

All countries should take steps to meet the family-planning needs of their populations as soon as possible and should, in all cases by the year 2015, seek to provide universal access to a full range of safe and reliable family-planning methods and to related reproductive health services which are not against the law. The aim should be to assist couples and individuals to achieve their reproductive goals and give them the full opportunity to exercise the right to have children by choice.

Although the report has no legal effect, it “effectively declares” that placing barriers to family planning measures are an infringement of women’s rights. UNFPA executive director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin said, “Not only does the ability for a couple to choose when and how many children to have help lift nations out of poverty, but it is also one of the most effective means of empowering women. Women who use contraception are generally healthier, better educated, more empowered in their households and communities and more economically productive. Women’s increased labour-force participation boosts nations’ economies.”

The U.N. report concluded that effective family planning initiatives could save $5.7 billion worldwide. From Salon

In the Philippines, a country of 96 million people, access to birth control is mostly limited to those with the means to buy it. A "reproductive health bill" in the national legislature seeks to change that: It calls for public education about contraceptives and government subsidies to make them available to everyone.
The church and like-minded opponents have stalled the legislation for 14 years. Following Vatican dictates, Philippine bishops oppose any "artificial" measures to prevent pregnancy, sanctioning only natural means such as periodic abstention from sex.
It's one example of how religious and political forces affect women's control over childbearing and, as a result, the trajectory of population growth in the developing world.
The church's stance puts it at odds with many of its followers in the Philippines. Eight out of 10 Filipinos are Catholic. Even for weekday Mass, popular churches draw huge crowds that tie up Manila traffic.
Polls show, however, that 70% of the population supports the reproductive health bill, which also calls for sex education in schools.
Birth control is a source of political dispute in many societies, including the United States. In the Philippines, however, the battle has been particularly acrimonious because of the church's wide reach and influence.
Priests denounce the reproductive health bill during Mass. Some churches post billboards with gruesome images of aborted fetuses and the message "NO to Reproductive Health Bill — YES to the Gospel of Life."
Lawmakers say the church threatens to deny them Communion if they vote for the legislation.
In 2010, Benigno Aquino III was elected president after pledging to sign the bill. Bishop Nereo Odchimar, then president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, suggested Aquino might be excommunicated if he followed through on the commitment. From The L.A. Times