During interpellations Monday on the privilege speech given by Pangasinan Rep. Kimi Cojuangco, who is among the sponsors of House Bill 4244 which seeks to establish a taxpayer-funded contraceptive welfare program and mandatory sex education, the congresswoman went into a diatribe on the Catholic Church. Cojuangco was within her rights to try to convince her colleagues to vote for the measure. But the attack, which contained utter falsehoods, was uncalled for.
Cojuangco needs a fact-checker. First of all, no massive rally has been called for March 25 to mark the “Day of the Unborn,” an international celebration promoting the dignity of human life. Rather, it was suggested by Pro-Life Philippines that pro-life groups hold “candle-lighting activities for the unborn; prayer meetings to spread the message of life and love; poster-designing contests revolving around the pro-life theme; seminars and exhibits related to pro-life issues; printing and distribution of leaflets and other information materials to encourage awareness of culture of life issues; and rallies or small public meetings to propagate the pro-life message.”
Cojuangco accuses Catholic bishops of being a stumbling block, claiming the Philippines was still in the “dark ages.” But the bill is 80% redundant, as many provisions are already found in the 2009 Magna Carta for Women and other regulations. We do not need this bill.
The congresswoman herself appears to be in the dark about the ill effects of artificial contraceptives which she wants to distribute to women at the expense of taxpayers. Oral contraceptive pills are classified by a WHO research unit as Group 1 carcinogens along with asbestos, arsenic, formaldehyde, and plutonium.
Cojuangco should get her facts straight and carefully study the Church’s position on the RH bill, instead of engaging in juvenile attacks unbecoming of a legislator.
The Church is opposed to chemical pills because these can lead to very early abortions. Medical literature have documented that aside from suppressing ovulation and thickening the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg, chemical agents in the pill have a third mechanism – terminating life by making the endometrial lining of the ovary hostile to a newly formed human being in cases where the first two mechanisms fail.
It’s irresponsible for a lawmaker to recommend chemical contraception without disclosing its dangerous side effects and without considering the ethical and moral implications. Women deserve to know the truth about the pill.
Cojuangco makes the erroneous and misleading claim that the family planning method accepted by the Church does not work, “Period.”
German researcher Dr. Petra Frank-Herrmann found in 2007 that the Symptothermal Method’s effectiveness is “comparable to the effectiveness of modern contraceptive methods such as oral contraceptives, and is an effective and acceptable method of family planning. The Symptothermal Method involves monitoring fertility signs such as body temperature and cervical mucus secretions. It is a modern method of natural family planning endorsed by the Church, along with the Billings Ovulation Method and the Basal Body Temperature Method.
On the contrary, artificial contraceptives, which are so widespread in countries like the US, have not reduced abortion because of significant failure rates. Cojuangco should be informed that in the US, half of women who had abortions used contraceptives in the month when they became pregnant.
For Rep. Kimi Cojuangco to accuse the Church of meddling in state affairs is deceptive. The RH bill will trample upon individual and religious rights by forcing Catholic hospitals and doctors to provide contraceptives and sterilization services and mandating Catholic schools to teach contraception to students. Worse, Catholic taxpayers will foot the bill.
The proponents of the bill are in fact the ones seeking to impose their own views, using taxpayers’ money, and with the coercive force of law. We call for more legislative debates on the bill, so Cojuangco and her allies would see the light.