Federation of Free Farmers , National Farmer Leaders Strongly Reject the RH Bill

The Federation of Free Farmers, meeting at its national convention on 3 May 2011 in Quezon City, reaffirms its commitment to uphold the sacredness of human life and the integrity of the Filipino family as the bedrock of Philippine society. These long-held and deeply cherished values are also enshrined in the Philippine Constitution and many existing laws.

Consistent with this position, the FFF registers its vehement opposition to the so-called RH (reproductive health) bills pending in both Houses of Congress. The main reasons are:

1. Filipinos in general and farmers in particular consider their children as blessings to their families and as assets to society. In contrast, the RH bills seem to treat pregnancy as a disease and child-rearing as an affliction, both to be prevented or even eliminated.

2. The massive promotion and provision of pills, implants and other artificial means of birth control will likely expose our women to greater, rather than less, risks to their health. The bad side-effects of these methods are medically recognized and have been validated by actual experience, especially among rural women, who face the daily reality of extremely limited medical supervision and facilities in the countryside. (On the other hand, natural family planning – such as the Billings ovulation method – is easily affordable, protects women’s health and the life of the unborn, enhances husband-wife interaction, and respects the religious faith and cultural sensitivities of the overwhelming majority of Filipinos.)

3. The RH bills assume mistakenly that lowering population will lead to a significant drop in poverty. Actually, history teaches that it is the opposite that holds true. Hence, the limited resources of government are better invested in economically and socially productive programs on food security, education and skills training, and improved governance, among others.

4. The provisions on mandatory sexuality education will likely bring about a tectonic shift in the youth’s mind set against our traditional and constitutionally protected values on the individual, marriage and the family. For instance, some of the RH bills apparently will recognize the right of adolescents to a satisfying sex life even outside of marriage, provided that the right is exercised “responsibly”.

Posted with permission from Eric Manalang