FILIPINOS FOR LIFE OFFICIAL STATEMENT:
Akbayan’s tirade vs. Sotto unfair, out of context, narrow-minded
FILIPINOS FOR LIFE (F4L) strongly condemns Akbayan Citizens’ Action Party for unfairly and maliciously accusing Senator Tito Sotto of ignoring the plight of women.
The statement by Akbayan’s youth leader is at best narrow-minded and out of context.
Sotto was merely questioning the basis of the oft-repeated statistic of 11 maternal deaths a day, in the context of a legislative debate on a bill that seeks to establish a wide-ranging national policy. It is therefore fair to examine the basis of this bill. THERE IS NOTHING TO APOLOGIZE FOR.
In the first place, there was no derogatory statement on women, and the sarcasm, if at all, is directed at foreign lobby groups, some of them pro-abortion, that routinely peddle this statistic. The supposed offense is in the creative, nay, malicious imagination of Akbayan’s propagandists.
Based on our own estimates, the correct figure is 4.8 maternal deaths a day, based on 2008 data from the National Statistics Office and the National Statistical Coordination Board. This assumes a maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 99 per 100,000 live births and 1.784 million live births in 2008. Assuming a high MMR of 169 per 100,000 live births, the figure is 8.3.
We do not downplay the problem of maternal deaths. Indeed, it is a problem that needs concrete solutions, like more birthing centers and midwives. But we should guard against the excessive emotional use of the outdated statistic to influence Philippine government policy.
If Akbayan is really pro-women, it should tell its women constituents that contraceptive pills that would be distributed for free under the RH bill are considered by a WHO agency as a Level 1 carcinogen. Pills, according to reputable literature produced by entities such as the US National Cancer Institute and the Mayo Clinic increase the risk of breast and other cancers.
If Akbayan really is pro-women, it should tell mothers that the pills it wants them to ingest daily could expel a fertilized ovum, which is already a human being. It should inform women that pills don’t always prevent ovulation. In case the pills do not prevent ovulation and fertilization occurs, the pills have been proven to create an environment that is hostile to the beginning of life. Akbayan’s lawmakers should be reminded of what the Constitution says about the protection of the unborn.
Likewise, may we remind former Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel to elevate the level of the debate on RH. Her repeated references in social networks to an incident decades ago involving a dead movie starlet are uncalled for and below the belt.
Contact: Anthony Perez (email@example.com)