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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Special Announcement!!!!!


We will be having a whole-day Reproductive Health Fair in Quezon City tomorrow from 9:00am to 5:00pm to make a statement regarding the Big Rally of the Catholic Church Against the Reproductive Health Bill that is being planned for 2nd reading in the Lower House.

The rally/parade will start at 9:00am at the corner of Kalayaan Ave., and Elliptical Road, QC PLEASE WEAR WHITE.

The parade will end at the Adarna Restaurant along Kalayaan Ave. where the whole-day affair will take place.

A short program will be held after the parade in the morning at the venue. In the afternoon, numerous activities are lined up so please drop by any time.

Please read and disseminate the press release written below of this message.

We hope you can join us in any ways you can - send your letter of support, talk to your parish, to to your community, be there tomorrow, be the light for everyone.

Thank you,

Ging Cristobal


The church has been using this slogan since 2001 -


D - divorce
E - euthanasia
A - abortion
T - total contraceptive
H - homosexual relations

Aside from the Anti-discrimination bill that is being lobbied by LGBT groups and the Comprehensive Reproductive Health bill being lobbied by Repro Health groups,

There are no bills on divorce, euthanasia, abortion nor same-sex marriage.

intrigued? read on...


1. Group slams Church stand on repro health bill

We, members of different private and non-government organizations, have banded together to counter efforts by some members of the Catholic Church to muddle the issue on the Reproductive Health Bill filed in Congress. Instead of using the light of reason to study the two bills, they claim that the Church has pointed out issues that are not in the bills.

They are spreading vicious lie that abortion is at the heart of the Reproductive Health Bill.

Nothing can be farther from the truth. Reproductive health is a basic need. It promotes the well-being of women and in the end saves lives. It emphasizes family planning, maternal and child health and nutrition as well as prevention and treatment of reproductive tract infections and sexually transmitted infections. It wants to give access to information and counseling on sexuality and sexual health, as well as breast and reproductive tract cancers and other women’s diseases. It also aims to ensure the reproductive health of men and adolescents, as well as end violence against women and prevent infertility and sexual disorder.

The Reproductive Health Bill, in the end, aims to raise the quality of life of Filipino women. In this regard, we want to stress that Catholics should have a choice and not be confused by the welter of disinformation coming from some segments of the Catholic Church. They should not twist the truth for, as any good Catholic knows, the truth should set us free.

Being mature people of faith, the Filipino Catholics should be allowed to have the freedom of choice. They should be allowed to decide; the Church should not infantilize the people by deciding for them. Moreover, we expect the government to help promote reproductive health care services to the people. It is a commitment of this government, as embodied in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) that should be reached by 2015. The Philippines is a signatory to this agreement in the 2005 World Summit in New York.

Unfortunately, President Arroyo has chosen to turn a blind eye to the call of the times for reproductive health. The refusal of some Catholic clergy to give communion to congressmen who would push for the bill is tantamount to political blackmail. And they have joined forces to put up a wall of resistance against this Bill.

Let us give the Filipino Catholics a choice – one borne of a deep study of the situation at hand and a cold analysis of the issues. There is no need to foist the fear of fire and brimstone, or the withholding of one’s right to receive the Holy Sacrament of Communion. Only gangsters and people of lesser faith resort to blackmail, harassment, and intimidation.
We ask the Catholic Church to let the people free

2. Pro_RH Legislators: The People’s Champions

The Filipino people need champions.

Champions in Congress to craft policies that respond to the needs of their constituents. We need them to address pressing issues through laws so that pro-people and pro-poor programs are implemented, rights are respected and, therefore, lives become better.

A national policy on reproductive health (RH) is one of our needs. At a time when prices of basic commodities and services are soaring amidst widespread poverty, ordinary people urgently need all the help they can get.

Wage increases, tax breaks, food and electricity- consumption subsidies are good but not enough. These initiatives are not sustainable. With the ever-increasing scarcity of resources, government will eventually not be able to adequately address the needs of the people.

Legislators have to deal with the need of our families, especially the poor to plan their lives. RH information and services are needed to enable people to make informed and intelligent decisions that will: save women¢s lives, facilitate having children that parents can provide for, prepare the youth to handle responsibilities that go with having relationships, and empower men to realize and use the various options available to them in planning their families.

The existence of such urgent needs cannot be denied. In the City of Manila alone where RH services have been virtually absent for the past eight years, throngs of residents flocked to the Tondo Sports Complex last Friday to avail of free family planning information and services offered by NGOs and the City Health Department. Manila residents in poor communities acted on their need at the first opportunity offered them.

An increasing number of local government units (LGUs) are also stepping up to address this need as evidenced by the passage of RH ordinances in Aurora province, Sulu, Olongapo, and Quezon City to name a few. Moreover, there are LGUs that are presently processing their own RH ordinances.

In Congress, we have RH champions. These legislators have taken action based on the facts that:

10 Filipino women die daily due to pregnancy and childbirth complications;
3 out of 4 of these women who die are aged 15-19 years old; and
Internationally, 99% of all women who die from such causes come from developing countries.

We, RH advocates laud the courage, determination and foresight of these legislators to work for measures that offer strategic solutions to current crises.

Like many of our people, we are one with our legislators who stand with ordinary Filipinos; with women on the issue of RH. As shown by the 2004 Pulse Asia survey:

86% of respondents support candidates with programs for women¢s health;
82% supports candidates who are in favor of couples¢ free choice of family planning methods;
82% considers candidates supportive of a law on population as worthy of their votes; and
83% favors candidates who support allocating funds for family planning.

We ask our legislators not to give up on our needs--not to give up on our rights.

We ask our legislators to continue being our champions until that day when all Filipinos, rich and poor, shall have the opportunities to pursue a life of quality.

3. Fight for L.I.F.E.

The call from Ozamiz Archbishop Jesus Dosado to deny communion to "anti-life legislators" has been hitting the newspapers lately.
This position is consistent with the "Stop D.E.A.T.H. (divorce, euthanasia, abortion, total reproductive health, and homosexuality)
Campaign" of the Catholic Church for the 40th anniversary of the Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life) on July 25.

We are aghast at how some bishops and other religious leaders are using an antiquated 40 year-old encyclical (Humanae Vitae) in
spreading disinformation on the reproductive health bills and the anti-discrimination bill filed in Congress. The bishops choose to
demonize these bills and look for bogeymen that are not at all present: abortion in the Reproductive Health Bills and same-sex
marriage in the Anti-Discrimination Bill.

In the Catholic community, bishops are supposed to be the symbol of truth and morality, yet they propagate blatant lies and have yet
again threatened the policymakers as well as the general public with "excommunication" if they do not agree with their stand. This
makes us wonder: What are the real reasons for the Church's antagonism towards these bills?

We do not see the logic in the Catholic Church's opposition to reproductive health, particularly to its ten elements:
1. Family Planning
2. Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition
3. Prevention and Management of Abortion Complications
4. Prevention and
Treatment of Reproductive Tract Infections/ Sexually Transmitted Infections/ HIV/AIDS
5. Education and Counseling on Sexuality and Sexual Health
6. Breast and Reproductive Tract Cancers and Other Gynecological Conditions
7. Men's Reproductive Health
8. Adolescent Reproductive Health
9. Ending Violence Against Women and
10. Prevention and Treatment of Infertility and SexualDisorder.

These are geared for the betterment of the people and country.

We expect our national government to prioritize the needs of the Filipino people. The country's bleak situation is made even worse bythe government's refusal to promote the provision of reproductive health care services to the people. The Philippines has committed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 in eradicating extreme poverty, which includes promoting gender equality, reduction of child mortality, improving maternal health and combating HIV & AIDS—a commitment reiterated by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) during the 2005 World Summit in New York. This is nothing but mere hypocritical grandstanding done at the expense of the lives of our women and children. The stance GMA has taken on the issue of family planning or birth control—that of a devout Catholic—turns out to be politically motivated. She is siding with the bishops because there is no political advantage to be gained in doing otherwise.

The arrogance of some Catholic Church leaders and GMA herself has made them blind to the plight of the masses whose suffering is further aggravated by the current food and economic crises. This plight has been brought about by a confluence of factors, including a lack of access to reproductive health care services. The bishops' attempts to block the bills' passage through political blackmail— dangling the Holy Eucharist in the faces of supportive legislators— hit only the poor women, children, and families who are at the losing end of the deal. This makes us think: What now is the greater sin?

We do not believe in the viability of the "Stop D.E.A.T.H." campaign of the Catholic Church, because it is neither scientific nor mass-oriented.

To this, we answer: "Fight for L.I.F.E. (good Leadership, Inclusiveness, Freedom of choice, and Equality for all)."

Aside from curtailing people's access to reproductive health information and services, we believe that the "Stop D.E.A.T.H" campaign of the Catholic Church will only open the floodgates to hate crimes against the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) community, reproductive health advocates, and ordinary citizens who believe that choosing what is good for them is a basic

We therefore beseech the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to stop their political blackmail and for the national government to do their avowed task of creating policies that respond to the real needs of the people. We cannot afford to merely oppose measures and not offer real, practical, humane, and responsive solutions, not when millions of lives are at stake.

We have lost confidence in GMA long before this issue, with her dirty record of political maneuvering. Time and again, she has shown that the interest of the ordinary Filipinos does not matter to her.

No to "Stop D.E.A.T.H."!
Fight for L.I.F.E.!
No to hypocrisy!
Oust Gloria!


CBCP mobilizing forces to campaign against birth control
By Sandy Araneta / Monday, July 14, 2008 / Philippine Star

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is mobilizing its forces to campaign against birth control proposals pending in Congress.

According to Fr. Melvin Castro, CBCP’s executive secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL), the bishops decided to lobby before congressmen and explain the position of the Catholic Church on family planning and birth control issues.

“God willing, once our bishops would have a dialogue with these lawmakers, and through this mobilization, I hope they would think more deeply about these bills which they are signing,” Castro said over the Church-run Radyo Veritas. Castro said the bishops would lead the information campaign against pending bills on birth control that is considered against the teachings of the Church.

When asked in particular on the pending bills in Congress, Castro said lawmakers have already consolidated the proposals into a single bill for “responsible parenthood” in the apparent effort to make it appear that the legislation was meant to promote public welfare.

“I will encapsulate this. Congress has consolidated these bills, on reproductive health, and responsible parenthood. These are all very positive, But in the back of these bills, it is not,” Castro said.

Castro claimed a provision in the one of the bills being pushed is to require sex education to be taught from fifth grade. “Most alarming is this one. If we would go to rural health centers today, this is a reality, there are no antibiotics, not even a paracetamol. But according to this bill, a contraceptive will be considered as a special medicine. And this should be universally accessible to all,” he said.

He said contraception, or any means to control our bodies, is not in accordance with the teachings of the Church.

MalacaƱang, for its part, maintained the government’s population management and family planning programs had been effective and relevant amid warnings that the policies on the issue could put the country’s economy to the brink.

Lawmakers have warned the country’s current population of 90 million could hit 100 million in the next five to seven years if effective birth control measures cannot be implemented. With about 85 percent of Filipinos Catholic, artificial birth control remains a sensitive issue as the Church strongly opposes any means other than natural methods in family planning.

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza and Deputy Presidential Spokesman Anthony Golez defended President Arroyo’s population management policies after some groups and former President Fidel Ramos hit the administration for its ambiguity on the issue of family planning because of its subservience to the Church