Under the RH Law (RA 10354), the Catholic Must Choose

My thesis has been: there is nothing in “The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (RA 10354)” which prevents a good Catholic from being a good Catholic. Therefore, for any informed discussion on this topic a reading of the law’s text would be required.

I. Texts pertinent to religious convictions.

For me it is remarkable with how much care the legislators of RA 10354 provide for our citizens’ fidelity to religious conviction. A sampling of the statements this law makes in this regards are the following:

“The State recognizes and guarantees the human rights of all persons including … the right to choose and make decisions for themselves in accordance with their religious convictions, ethics, cultural beliefs, and the demands of responsible parenthood” (Sec. 2).

“The State recognizes marriage as an inviolable social institution and the foundation of the family which in turn is the foundation of the nation. Pursuant thereto, the State shall defend …The right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood” (ibid.);
“The State shall promote programs that: (1) enable individuals and couples to have the number of children they desire with due consideration to the health, particularly of women, and the resources available and affordable to them and in accordance with existing laws, public morals and their religious convictions (Sec. 3.f.)
“The State shall respect individuals’ preferences and choice of family planning methods that are in accordance with their religious convictions and cultural beliefs, taking into consideration the State’s obligations under various human rights instruments” (Sec. 3.h.).

“Responsible parenthood refers to the will and ability of a parent to respond to the needs and aspirations of the family and children. It is likewise a shared responsibility between parents to determine and achieve the desired number of children, spacing and timing of their children according to their own family life aspirations, taking into account psychological preparedness, health status, sociocultural and economic concerns consistent with their religious convictions” (Sec. 4. v).

Under prohibited acts, the law provides that any public or private healthcare worker many not “Refuse to extend quality health care services and information on account of the person’s marital status, gender, age, religious convictions, personal circumstances, or nature of work: Provided, That the conscientious objection of a health care service provider based on his/her ethical or religious beliefs shall be respected; however, the conscientious objector shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another health care service provider within the same facility or one which is conveniently accessible” (Sec 23 a. 3). Even in the matter of healthcare workers, the law respects conscience.

There is nothing in this law, as far as I can see, which offends against the Catholic notion of the family, since it recognizes the right of all to found families in accordance with their religious conviction. There is nothing that constrains Catholics to keep their families to a prescribed size, so that it would be illegal to bear more children than allowed, as is practiced in China. Parents, according to their religious convictions, may choose to have two children, or even ten. There is nothing in this law which constrains a family to use artificial contraception, nor even to use natural family planning, if this is against their religious sensitivity. Under this law, the Catholic can abstain from all family planning methods, or even abstain from sex altogether. There is nothing in this law which prevents Catholic parents, consistent with their religious convictions, from desiring and actually striving to provide sufficient food, shelter, clothing, education and the prospect for a good life in human society for themselves and their children within the concrete context of the Philippines today. Sec. 2 describes the “beneficiaries” of this act as “voluntary.” There is nothing in this act which constrains even a Catholic health worker to act against conscience.

Instead, RA 10534 also recognizes the right of children to proper care and assistance, to protection against neglect, abuse, and exploitation, and the right of a family to a “family living wage and income.” Thus, “The State shall also promote openness to life; Provided, That parents bring forth to the world only those children whom they can raise in a truly humane way” (Sec. 2). These, I presume, are certainly not contrary to our religious convictions.

II. Texts Pertinent to Abortion
Let us look at another set of texts. While there is still debate even on the theological level as to whether natural family planning is the only legitimate manner of contraception, if legitimate at all, there is general consensus that abortion is wrong. We can recall that the Philippine Constitution protects “the life of the unborn from conception” (Sec. 12, Art. 2).

“The State likewise guarantees universal access to medically-safe, non-abortifacient, effective, legal, affordable, and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies which do not prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum as determined…” (Sec. 2) The explicit reference to “non-abortifacient” contraceptive, further described as those “which do not prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum” was not in the original drafts of this law, but are now explicit in it.

Under the guiding principles for implementation, RA 10534 prescribes, “The provision of ethical and medically safe, legal, accessible, affordable, non-abortifacient, effective and quality health services and supplies… (Sec. 3 d). Again, even if one under this law were to choose artificial contraception, it must be non-abortifacient, that is, it cannot kill human life once it begins “from the first moment of conception.
In this light, RA 10534 defines “abortificient”: “Abortifacient refers to any drug or device that induces abortion or the destruction of a fetus inside the mother’s womb or the prevention of the fertilized ovum to reach and be implanted in the mother’s womb upon determination of the FDA” (Sec 4 d).

Furthermore, “The State shall promote and provide information and access, without bias, to all methods of family planning, including effective natural and modern methods which have been proven medically safe, legal, non-abortifacient, and effective in accordance with scientific and evidence-based medical research standards” (Sec. 3 e). Even in information given, methods must be non-abortifacient.

All family planning must be non-abortifacient: “Family planning refers to a program which enables couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and to have access to a full range of safe, affordable, effective, non-abortifacient modem natural and artificial methods of planning pregnancy (Sec. 4 e)

Again: “Modern methods of family planning refers to safe, effective, non-abortifacient and legal methods, whether natural or artificial, that are registered with the FDA, to plan pregnancy” (Sec. 4 l).
Even reproductive health rights do not include abortion nor access to abortifacients: “Reproductive health rights refers to the rights of individuals and couples, to decide freely and responsibly whether or not to have children; the number, spacing and timing of their children; to make other decisions concerning reproduction, free of discrimination, coercion and violence; to have the information and means to do so; and to attain the highest standard of sexual health and reproductive health: Provided, however, That reproductive health rights do not include abortion, and access to abortifacients” (Sec. 4 s)

In its provision for the care of those suffering from post-abortive complications, prescinding from moral judgments which ethicists or moral leaders may make on the origin of the complications, as they must, RA 10534 provides: “While this Act recognizes that abortion is illegal and punishable by law, the government shall ensure that all women needing care for post-abortive complications and all other complications arising from pregnancy, labor and delivery and related issues shall be treated and counseled in a humane, nonjudgmental and compassionate manner in accordance with law and medical ethics” (Sec. 3 j). Where error and sin may have been committed in abortion by particular persons, the law provides for their proper care, preventing further evil through incompetent care or abandonment to their own despair.

In the matter of use of the nation’s resources for all, RA 10534 provides, “The resources of the country must be made to serve the entire population, especially the poor, and allocations thereof must be adequate and effective: Provided, That the life of the unborn is protected” Expressly prohibited are “emergency contraceptive pills, postcoital pills, [and] abortifacients” (Sec. 3 n).
The Philippine National Drug Formulary System and Family Supplies can include only family planning products that are “non-abortifacient” (Cf. Sec 9)

As the lead agency for the implementation of RA 10534, DOH must “Ensure people’s access to medically safe, non-abortifacient, legal, quality and affordable reproductive health goods and services” (Sec. 19, 2).
The law, therefore, faithful to the Constitution as well as to general-held condemnation by Catholics of abortion as immoral, clearly proscribes abortion and abortifacient contraceptives. Those who assert that the use of contraception necessarily leads to abortion due to a “contraceptive mentality” must substantiate their assertion based on empirical data if they wish credence. The use of natural family planning, as a licit form of contraception, does not lead to abortion.

III. Texts Pertinent to Natural Family Planning
“Modern methods of family planning refers to safe, effective, non-abortifacient and legal methods, whether natural or artificial, that are registered with the FDA, to plan pregnancy” (Sec 4, l). RA 10534 provides for natural family planning.

“Natural family planning refers to a variety of methods used to plan or prevent pregnancy based on identifying the woman’s fertile days” (Sec 4, m). This is consistent with the Church’s recognition of Natural Family Planning or “rhythm” as consistent with its moral practice.

In the implementation of the law, RA 10534 mandates the Department of Health, as its implementing agency, to
“Engage the services, skills and proficiencies of experts in natural family planning who shall provide the necessary training for all [barangay health workers] BHW” (Sec 19, b, 3).

The appropriations for the implementation of this Act include natural family planning. (Cf. Sec. 25).
Natural family planning is a serious, available and funded option under RA 10534.

IV. Texts Pertinent to Implementing Institutions and Persons
Relative to: “Access to Family Planning. – All accredited public health facilities shall provide a full range of modern family planning methods, which shall also include medical consultations, supplies and necessary and reasonable procedures for poor and marginalized couples having infertility issues who desire to have children: Provided, That family planning services shall likewise be extended by private health facilities to paying patients with the option to grant free care and services to indigents, except in the case of non-maternity specialty hospitals and hospitals owned and operated by a religious group, but they have the option to provide such full range of modern family planning methods: Provided, further, That these hospitals shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another health facility which is conveniently accessible: Provided, finally, That the person is not in an emergency condition or serious case as defined in Republic Act No. 8344” (Sec. 7).

Under prohibited acts of RA 10534, it is prohibited to: “Refuse to extend quality health care services and information on account of the person’s marital status, gender, age, religious convictions, personal circumstances, or nature of work: Provided, That the conscientious objection of a health care service provider based on his/her ethical or religious beliefs shall be respected; however, the conscientious objector shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another health care service provider within the same facility or one which is conveniently accessible: Provided, further, That the person is not in an emergency condition or serious case as defined in Republic Act No. 8344, which penalizes the refusal of hospitals and medical clinics to administer appropriate initial medical treatment and support in emergency and serious cases” Sec. 23, 3).

In the implementation of RA 10534, “hospitals owned by a religious group” are excepted from the mandate to implement the law, even though they are given the option to do so, provided that they refer the person in need to another hospital and provided they are in an emergency condition already defined in a previous law, RA 8344.
The conscientious objections of health care providers based on his or her ethical or religious beliefs is respected.

V. Points for discussion and reflection
My thesis has been: there is nothing in “The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (RA 10354)” which prevents a good Catholic from being a good Catholic. In simply citing texts from this act I have tried to show that that the law recently passed in the name of responsible parenthood and reproductive health is sensitive to religious convictions, proscribes abortion and abortifacient contraception, provides for funded natural family planning, and respects conscience based on ethical or religious convictions for hospitals owned by religious groups and for individual health workers.

RA 10354, whether people like it or not, is now a law. If there have been those who fought its passage, the law has now been passed. There are those who have challenged the law’s constitutionality before the Supreme Court. That is their right. Eventually, the Supreme Court will decide. Meanwhile, we have a law. It can neither be denied nor ignored. In talking about it, in stating it is good or it is bad, or partly good and partly bad, it is good to start with a serious reading of the text.

As we have seen, the law respects religious conviction. It does not force reproductive practice or behavior on any one against religious conviction.

What is does presuppose is religious conviction(s) on the basis of which individuals make choices. Here, I believe, is the core of much of the emotional reaction to this act. The law presupposes that convinced Catholics, and convinced Protestants, and convinced Muslims, and convinced atheists, will make their choices according to religious convictions. If choices are made without religious conviction, that is a situation that the law itself cannot remedy, once it has provided for choice according to religious conviction.

For an apparently monolithic body like the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) I think there is preference for a situation where the choice is not given. It will not argue with the necessity for individual Catholics to choose personally to be good Catholics in general, but it argues against a situation where Catholics in a plural society have an opportunity to choose behavior that conforms to their moral teaching or not. There is fear, it seems, that many Catholics will not so choose, as many in fact already do not. That is cause for deep anxiety. It colors the ongoing negative evaluation of the law that has been passed. Rather than celebrate the situation where Catholics can choose to be Catholic and courageously live lives fundamentally defined by Humanae Vitae even as others live according to their religious convictions, they prefer a situation where no choice on responsible parenthood and reproductive health as provided in RA 10534 is afforded anyone.

Where there is diversity and Catholics cannot be counted on to choose according to their religious convictions, this is not due to RA 10354; it is due rather to shortcomings in proclamation, failures in religious education and especially in the pastoral care of our people – and an abyss that now exists between official Catholic teaching and actual practice of Catholics on an array of issues. It is possible for pastors to close their eyes to this by resorting to the internal forum when people who have too many children come to them for relief. In the end, however, the question is whether the majority of our married people choose to accept a teaching that insists on the unitive and procreative meanings for each and every conjugal act, unless one resorts to natural family planning. The defenders of the faith can insist on fidelity to this Church teaching, as they do, but when my driver responds startled to this teaching with, “Pero dadami po ang mga anak ko – at gugutom po sila!” (“But my children will multiply – and they will starve!”) whether I like it or not, among the options he chooses is neither rhythm nor abstinence.

There are many Catholics who object to an attitude relative to reproductive health or responsible parenthood becoming a litmus test of Catholicity. In some cases it is represented with such ferocity that Catholicity – originally meaning “for all” – becomes a new moniker for heroic sisters and brothers alone who follow Humane Vitae – to the exclusion of all others.

The issues involved in the transmission of human life (humanae vitae) are much more profound and much more urgent than whether or not one uses natural family planning or abstains from sex in order impede conception, or even in whether one uses artificial non-abortifacient contraception or condoms. The transmission of human life, within the Catholic communion, is based on a profound analogy of the Father transmitting life and love to the Church community through Jesus, and in the Church’s reciprocation of that love in the Spirit. It is life transmitted despite our sin, and love gifted despite our shortcomings, even as we are commanded today in faith to take care of one another, to do justice, to wage peace, to sensitize ourselves to different cultures, to be open to God’s manifestations even in other religions, and to pursue the common good. In obedience to this calling of the Church in this globalized world, there is no need to heap more heavy burdens on one another (cf. Mt. 23:4).  Instead, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God, and every one who loves God is born of God, and knows God” (1 John 4:7)

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About Joel Tabora, S.J.

Jesuit. Educator
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109 Responses to Under the RH Law (RA 10354), the Catholic Must Choose

  1. Maria Torte says:

    Thank you Fr. Joel for confirming my own view on the Law.

    • Fr. Joel wrote: “Those who assert that the use of contraception necessarily leads to abortion due to a “contraceptive mentality” must substantiate their assertion based on empirical data if they wish credence”.

      HERE’S THE DATA:

      “A study conducted in Spain shows that despite the use of condoms and birth control pills by two-thousand (2,000) women over the span of ten (10) years, the incidence of elective abortions doubled,” the petition read. “There can only be one explanation for this. The overdependence of individuals on contraceptives promotes irresponsible, reckless and imprudent sexual behavior. In the event of failure or misuse of the contraceptive method, unwanted pregnancies occur, forcing women to turn to elective abortion to terminate such unwanted pregnancies.” (Cfr. http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=13531)

  2. Steven Ermino says:

    You said it all right with regard to abortifacient methods. There is nothing about it in the RH. And I believe the Catholic Church is not fighting the RH for that matter. But I hope it is clear to you the big difference between the concept of abortifacient and the concept of contraceptive. While there is nothing in the RH that suggests that it is promoting abortifacients as you have clearly elaborated, the RH is clearly pro-contraceptives. And it is not telling us that it is giving us the option to use a contraceptive or not. And for that they cannot be held liable if they try to convince people to use it whenever they feel using so. And we know that contraceptive use is not sound with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
    It is true, and sad as the same time, that shortcomings in proclamation of the Good News on the part of the pastors of the Catholic Church is there. But it is even sadder that even among the pastors of the Catholic Church they cannot agree in the very first place what to believe in. And this article is an example of that. You may not have said it directly, but I strongly sense that for you Father, you find nothing wrong about contraceptives because you find nothing wrong about RH.
    And by the way Father, Natural Family Planning is not contraception, just in case you do not know that.

    • Atty. Buboy R. Sotto Jr. says:

      “It is true, and sad as the same time, that shortcomings in proclamation of the Good News on the part of the pastors of the Catholic Church is there. But it is even sadder that even among the pastors of the Catholic Church they cannot agree in the very first place what to believe in.”
      I concur.

    • Father Neil says:

      The Vademecum for Confessors (1997), “a document that has been prepared at the request of the Holy Father with the aid of the competent collaboration of professors of theology as well as some pastors” states in #2.4:

      “The Church has always taught the intrinsic evil of contraception, that is, of every marital act intentionally rendered unfruitful. This teaching is to be held as definitive and irreformable.”

      http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_12021997_vademecum_en.html

      • tonycsantos says:

        Thats great for catholics who want to follow that rule BUT, the law is for EVERY CITIZEN regardless of religion. And i may add, even catholics may not agree with that rule…

    • Rina F. says:

      “While there is nothing in the RH that suggests that it is promoting abortifacients as you have clearly elaborated, the RH is clearly pro-contraceptives.”
      “I strongly sense that for you Father, you find nothing wrong about contraceptives because you find nothing wrong about RH.”

      I don’t know if it was repeated enough: “…there is nothing in “The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (RA 10354)” which prevents a good Catholic from being a good Catholic.” “the law respects religious conviction. It does not force reproductive practice or behavior on any one against religious conviction.”

      I think it was a bold statement that the author purposely did not mention anything about his actual stand on “contraceptives” because it is NOT the point (hence not worth the print). The position is rendered irrelevant because his thesis is that REGARDLESS of personal views (his included) the law provides for you to exercise your beliefs – whatever they may be – and choose the appropriate method that suits your faith.

      (I can’t believe I am defending a priest but…) I doubt he was being secretive (or worse, deceitful) about his actual stand on contraceptives as your comment seems to imply. You may have just missed his point.

      • …//his thesis is that REGARDLESS of personal views (his included) the law provides for you to exercise your beliefs – whatever they may be – and choose the appropriate method that suits your faith.// – Wrong. Regardless of personal views the law provides certain provisions and prohibitions that WILL FORCE YOU TO ADAPT/OBEY/SUIT YOUR DECISION AND ACTIONS WITHIN ITS (RH law’s) “LAWFUL” PARAMETERS. Besides, the citizenry’s taxes are used to FUND this law, of which 80% is Catholic; thus their taxes are used purportedly against their religious tenets and beliefs.

      • tonycsantos says:

        Excellent response!!!!

      • tonycsantos says:

        Excellent response, RINA!!

    • Genevieve Dioneda says:

      False broadmindedness or tolerance of truth and error has carried many minds so far. Such indifference to the oneness of truth is at the root of all the assumptions so current in present-day thinking.
      This kind of broadmindedness which sacrifices principles to whims, dissolves entities into environment, and reduces truth to opinion, is an unmistakable sign of the decay of the logical faculty.

      The Church, founded on the Intolerance of Divinity, must be equally intolerant about the truths commissioned to her.

      “He that is not with Me is against Me.”

      The world may charge the Church with intolerance, and the world is right. The Church is intolerant; intolerant about Truth, intolerant about principles, intolerant about Divinity, just as Our Blessed Lord was intolerant about His Divinity.
      The Church cannot change, because her principles are God-made. Religion is not a sum of beliefs that we would like, but the sum of beliefs God has given. The world may disagree with the Church, but the world knows very definitely with what it is disagreeing.
      Excerpts from the writings of Ven. Fulton J. Sheen

      • ddee11 says:

        I’d like to agree when you say that God gave us a certain set of principles, ideals, and values, but don’t you think that everything else that the Church has formed up til now are interpretations based on the writings of “inspired” men.

      • tonycsantos says:

        Ms Dioneda, I suggest you read up on church history… lots of changes there… Also read-up Ms ddee11 comment.

    • tonycsantos says:

      Please read Fr. Tabora’s article again – Basically citizens can choose to stick to the teaching of the church on the use only of natural family planning methods according to one’s own belief. OR, for citizens, whether catholic or not, prefer to choose other methods provided these are, per the law, non-abortifacient. The clerics of the Catholic Church should be more active in teaching the Catholics the moral norm it prefers rather than INHIBIT others, with different views, from following the Church teaching.

      • tonycsantos says:

        oops, errata – …INHIBITING OTHERS, with different views, from following their own conscience..

      • Most clerics are already doing what you are asking, tonycsantos. But it is very unfortunate that a few clerics — some are very intelligent,even — are doing the contrary: they are teaching doctrines contrary to the Church’s teaching on the morality of contraceptives and RH law…

    • tonycsantos says:

      Mr Ermino, please address the issues raised in the article directly and i suggest do not assume that Fr. Tabora is in favor or contraceptive methods other than what the Catholic Church allows which if i remember right is rhythm (different from family planning through abstinence) if he did not say so in the article. This article is about the RH law and his thesis found in the first paragraph.

    • I salute to this reply….I am with you.

  3. Some of the advantages of natural family planning are that: (1) it does not require medicines, chemicals or devices; (2) there are no health risks; (3) it is approved by many religions; (4) it is inexpensive; (5) it can encourage communication and co-operation in motivated couples; and (6)
    it allows a woman to become aware and informed of her reproductive cycles. Ref.
    http://www.mydr.com.au/babies-pregnancy/contraception-natural-family-planning

    • joanna says:

      agree to all you have said. but when faced with a woman on natural family planning on her 5th, 9th, 12th pregnancy – what then?

      • Natural family planning is a way of life… it is first of all, the plan to live chastity within marriage, together with the aim of living matrimony according to God’s plan. Joanna, why ask about NFP on the woman’s 5th, 9th, 12th pregnancy if in the first place reaching to this number of pregnancy already puts into question the plan to live chastity in marriage and to live in accordance with God’s plan? NFP is not a method but a way of living.

  4. Arnold Abejaron says:

    As a Christian, I believe that the greatest test of maturity is being able to do your what your faith dictates in the face of “temptations” and being able to take responsibility for your actions. For Christian Catholics who believe that the contents of the RH Law constitutes “temptations” and will cause you to sin then the RH Law is not for you. But then there are Christians like me and citizens of this country who believe that nothing in the law causes us to sin. And if I do, then let my God be my judge and not any self-righteous person.

    I’m just too tired of of too much self-righteousness about this RH Law issue when there are so many problems in this world that needs to be attended to such sexual abuses being committed to women, children and men, environmental concerns, discrimination in many forms, etc.

    The RH Law has been there for a while but as a married man it never made me feel that I have all the license to be promiscuous or to be unfaithful to my wife. And if I would (God forbid!), then it is not because of the RH Law but because of my own decision and free will. What I know is that I have imbibed in me the teachings of my faith, with God’s guidance through prayer, to decide and do things and be responsible before God on the day of judgment. And so at this point, it is my humble submission that instead of arguing against the RH Law, which is an act of a secular state not directed to any particular religious group (and a function of the state), the Church hierarchy must direct its attention and effort to strengthening the faith of the people to become good Christians – followers of Christ – and to be an asset to our society.

    And, ooopps, no sugar coating here. Natural family planning or whatever name you call it, is still contraception (contra+conception) since its purpose is to prevent contraception. And I know it because we use it. :)

    • I agree. Natural family planning is still a form of preventing conception. I guess the people who say that this form of contraception is good while others are not is like arguing that organically-grown plants are the only good food while those that are not should not be eaten. Now tell me, who among you here eat only organic?

      • dboncan says:

        Maybe his will help: CCC 2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil: Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.

    • dboncan says:

      The difference between NFP and Artificial methods of regulating birth is that one does not interfere with the natural ends of marriage, natural law per se. By not interfering with this, one does not “handcuff” the grace of God in giving life. It may be in NFP that conception may happen but never so in using chemical means. This plus some chemical contraceptives may have abortifacient effects. If you compare the two then it is clear that the gap between them becomes wider and are really not the same. Perhaps in a purely temporal plane it may seem so.

  5. Some of the disadvantages of natural family planning are that: (1) it requires extensive instruction and many steps to predict ovulation (fertile period); (2) couples must be highly motivated; (3) it may result in periods of sexual frustration during periods of abstinence; (4) since the length of menstrual cycles and the day of ovulation may vary each month, the timing of intercourse must be adjusted accordingly; and (5) in practice, it is not as reliable as other methods of birth control.
    Ref. http://www.mydr.com.au/babies-pregnancy/contraception-natural-family-planning

  6. inonegod says:

    God bless you Fr. Joel.

  7. Tfornier MPS says:

    Natural family planning is “still contraception”? How can you contra …ception if for the first place there is no egg to be fertilized? maybe “control-ception” which is of course two different worlds…How can you say that it was a brownout that actually there is a blackout….?

  8. dboncan says:

    When theologians dissented from the teaching of humane vitae and said that artificial contraception would not have the effects to society that Pope Paul VI said it would, they were being short sighted and “faithless”.
    They were shortsighted because in hindsight, Paul VI’s predictions came through with more impact than he probably imagined! They were faithless because they did not take the magisterium as being inspired when the Pope came out with that teaching. (reinforced by Pope JPII and B16 themselves after) I cannot in my mind imagine how priests could ignore what has already come to pass with such sweeping ferocity throughout the world!
    The Catholic opposition to the RH law is not because it merely prevents one from being a good Catholic, this is an absurd argument which Fr. Tabora seems to be stuck in. That or the legal roundabout argument (which another Jesuit keeps writing about) in defense of a law that is not applicable only to Catholics but to a pluralistic society and therefor… WE KNOW THAT already and in a sense you are right, but… the bigger question that we are asking is: should a law whose repercussions are destructive to the moral and temporal fiber of a society be passed?
    The opposition to this bill goes beyond preventing Catholics from practicing their faith or from allowing them to be “good Catholics”. No law can prevent anyone from practicing their faith not even the communist regimes accomplished that! I think what Fr. Tabora missed (or ignores) is what the evil of institutionalizing contraception can and will do to a society (that is predominantly Christian), that is the main concern of the Catholic church.
    Without going into the parental and familial infringements, the religious liberty arguments and without mentioning the medical dangers and name-game that proponents insist on playing as it pertains to population control, abortifacient effects and definition of where life begins, issues which are, to say the least, an affront to life itself, there are some real societal effects that our esteemed Jesuit priests ignore to the peril of the society itself. Demographic decline, social security deficits are but the more long term and more benign repercussions that the Church sees.
    Perhaps the most pernicious, devious and evil effects of this whole debate, that Fr. Tabora forgets or ignores to bring up and which the Church (they belong to) recognizes, is the fact that to institutionalize contraception is to introduce a de facto access to abortion and hence the culture of death, as JPII calls it. Why, because what is abortion but back-up contraception! The reason why one would artificially contracept the marital act is the same reason why one would purposely abort a baby; because they fear the inconvenience and responsibility attached to it. Whenever artificial contraception is introduced in a country, the abortion rates, that proponents say will go down, always rises and even if it does fall with time as contraceptive use becomes more rampant, it never goes down to the same level as the pre-contraception rates. As regards to the poor who cannot support a family and still have more children, the question is; Is a “pandoras’s box” such as this the right way to go? Is Fr. Tabora saying that a solution like this is better than no solution at all, a solution that will prove (has proven) to be more destructive to society than poverty itself? I would like someone to show me how 55million abortions so far is better than the evil of poverty itself!

    So Fr. Tabora, it is not so much those who choose to live truly Catholic lives whom we are talking about, after all, to live morally is one’s free choice, but those whom one allows to be unduly exposed to this, as Paul VI calls it, “serious error” and leads them to the graver consequences attached to it. This “serious error” has as it’s repercussion the possible occasion to engage in abortion among other things!

    It is plain naivete to think that the RH law is merely a local anti-poverty reduction measure. It is not! One only has to see whom the proponents are associated with. One only has to legitimize abortion to eventually allow it to be legal and this is precisely what we have been talking about when we called your attention to C4RH. There’s a saying that goes, “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you what kind of peson you are”.

    • tonycsantos says:

      Long-winded statement. Bottomline is dont impose your own views on others!!!

      • philip hernaez says:

        how’s the view of pro-RH Law? since, it has been passed as Law, Pro-RH views will be imposed to others at gun point.

      • dboncan says:

        Perhaps you should read the teachings of the Church as regards to ones involvement in political life as a Catholic. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20021124_politica_en.html
        and while you’re at it, read Humanae Vitae and Envangelium Vitae as well. The position of pluralism of beliefs as it pertains to immoral and intrinsically evil acts as a pre-requisite for democracy is false!

      • tonycsantos says:

        Thanks for the references Fr Boncan. I will reread them. The short reply to you however is
        1) clerics are of course citizens of the country and should participate in its political life as other ordinary citizens do. What i dislike are threats of excommunication and bullying on catholics who have different views. The Laws are crafted for ALL citizens as long as the laws do not discriminate against specific religions.

        2) On the RHB and its impact on Humanae vitae… – please refer again to the article of Fr. Tabora.

      • dboncan says:

        Mr. Santos,
        1.Please name me a clear instance (documented words of the hierarchy) where a threat of excommunication was made to anyone. In fact, please give me a true and clear example of “bullying” (a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker). This is an abused term used by those who refuse to acknowledge a rebuke or correction made by their superiors.

        2. I enumerated two instances where the law clearly discriminates against Catholics, a. Family planning seminars required for marriage licenses, b. Sex education required for children in public school regardless of their religion. I have not even enumerated the societal consequences that institutionalized contraception will bring such as an increase in abortion and unwanted pregnancies. The church’s opposition is not merely religious, she sees this as an affront to natural moral law which everyone, regardless of faith is subject to.

        3. Humane Vitae canot be taken as a stand alone encyclical and must be taken in harmony with Evangelium Vitae and the Doctrinal Note on Catholics Participation in Politics…

      • tonycsantos says:

        “REBUKE” – there you go; why not DISCUSS… and agree to disagree? REBUKE by “SUPERIORS” – better to discuss as equals among citizens. Newspaper accounts threat of excommunication are all i can go on. (No time to research). If newspaper account not true; than very good. Let constructive discussions continue. Ultimately laws that are passed are a matter of the will of the majority; so if the minority loses – sorry. Maybe next time through a repeal of the law?

        As for the link between the RHB and resulting INCREASED pregnancies and abortions? Really now? I thought sex education, family planning and contraception envisioned by the law is supposed to reduce unwanted pregnancies? And abortion is still illegal as far as I know…

        Marriage planning seminars and sex education are good too for ALL – what you need to look into is the content of the seminars to ensure that, according to the law and the constitution, it does not tread on religious principles. If it does, then go to court. If it does not but you feel it is inadequate; then prepare supplementary guidelines for practicing catholics.

        Cheers!!

      • dboncan says:

        Dear Sir, A law that is against the natural moral law is an unjust law, As a Catholic you should be able to discern the erroneous postion of transposing a morally reprehensible bill into a mere democratic process for the sake of plurality (did you even read the doctrinal note I linked you?)

        Re contraceptives and abortion rates read this please” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2012/11/does-contraception-reduce-the-abortion-rate.html

        When it comes to a principle stand on a moral issue I think to suggest to agree to disagree is mere fence sitting. Catholics are not fence-sitters. Catholics should always know what side of a moral issue they stand and that is where the stand of the Catholic Church is, the magisterium. Good day

      • tonycsantos says:

        Dear Fr. Dboncan,

        I forgot to address your last comment regarding humanae vitae and all other encyclicals. That might be too much to discuss here as the thesis is quite simple. Read the first paragraph of Fr. Tabora’s article.

    • tonycsantos says:

      Mr Dboncan, please read the first paragraph of Fr. Tabora’s article. The point is that the Catholic or any non-catholic or Filipino citizen is allowed to follow his/her own religion/convictions/values in planning family size through methods allowed by respective religions/convictions/values. It is therefore the job of the individual citizen and the support group he/she relies upon to sort out the approach to be taken. Fr. Tabora’s article assists intelligent catholics in evaluating whether the RH bill as currently written MANDATES with corresponding legal penalties actions that do not respect the citizens’ religion/conviction/values. Fr. Tabora did state in his article the official stand of the Church but is not expounding on it because that is not the subject of this article. And please stop attacking the person – respect the person and discuss the issues rationally (pls refer to Fr. Tabora’s other article on discussing contentious issues)

      • dboncan says:

        Tell me sir: are Catholics free to opt out from being subject to family planning seminars prior to being granted a marriage license? Are Catholics who study in public schools free to opt out of sex education?
        Those two things alone, sir, relate to to a violation of freedom of practicing one’s religion! Like Fr. Bernas, Fr. Tabora erroneously accepts that a state may enact laws that are contrary to natural moral law.
        To add to this, as I have said above, the RH Law is not a poverty reduction measure, it is a population control measure aimed at one group, the poor whom the state has to support. As a Catholic, this is a grave injustice on it’s own and to think that this law is merely that is naive!

      • tonycsantos says:

        Dboncan writes (have to quote here as i couldnt find the reply button) “dboncan says:
        February 11, 2013 at 1:18 pm

        Tell me sir: are Catholics free to opt out from being subject to family planning seminars prior to being granted a marriage license? Are Catholics who study in public schools free to opt out of sex education?
        Those two things alone, sir, relate to to a violation of freedom of practicing one’s religion! Like Fr. Bernas, Fr. Tabora erroneously accepts that a state may enact laws that are contrary to natural moral law.
        To add to this, as I have said above, the RH Law is not a poverty reduction measure, it is a population control measure aimed at one group, the poor whom the state has to support. As a Catholic, this is a grave injustice on it’s own and to think that this law is merely that is naive!”

        My reply: The RHB is a work in progress as far as its implementation is concerned. But I recall reading that in case the law treads on one’s religious convictions, one can opt out. An example is when medical agents can refuse to offer contraceptives but are required to refer the client/patient to other medical facilities. In case of education, get copies of the planned curricula/materials and either suggest changes or inclusions to the implementing government agency or augment training at home or through the church agencies. I assume education in sexual matters is important in the agenda of the Catholic Church. One doesnt throw out the baby with the dirty bath water. I hope that my reply does not sound NAIVE…

      • The Doctrinal note: The Participation of Catholics in Political Life is a valuable help for all Catholics priest and laity alike. In Italy, the Catholic Action ( Azione Cattolica ) group is an example of how Catholics participate in the socio – political realities by participating in politics without politicking. Thanks to you dboncan and may God bless your apostolate!

    • In my opinion tonycsantos ( Fr Tabora blogname ? ) is reducing the Catholic Social Doctrine in a purely social reality only and interpreting it in a purely secularized faith without considering the fact that Christianity has its spiritual and eschatological realities too. If you talk about the law that should be equal to all w/o prejudice to race culture and religion as a right of each individual person to choose what is right for himself/herself, I think also, that we should not overlooked the fundamental and ultimate reason why the law exist …..which is to defend the lives of the INNOCENT, the POOR and the OPPRESSED. Marxism,Socialism and Communism are incompatible with the Catholic Church Doctrine as we all know!

      • “One doesn’t throw out the baby with the dirty bath water” is an observation letterally against the spirit and content of the Pope’s encyclical like Humanae Vitae. I supposed tonycsantos is not an specialist on the subject which I can confirm that what he said above is truly contrary if not contradictory to the true spirit and interpretation of the HV which blends responsibility and procreation in a most perfect and harmonious way.

      • tonycsantos says:

        Its simply amazing how you cannot resist from throwing in aspersions about the person in what should be a rational and respectful discussion of a contentious issue. Whether I am an expert or not on the encyclicals is NOT the issue. Just focus on the limited scope of the discussion found in the thesis declaration. A discussion on a whole set of encyclicals you proposed earlier is just not relevant.

      • tonycsantos says:

        I am honored that you think I am Fr. Tabora or Fr. Tabora is me – but I am not sure Fr. Tabora is pleased with your suspicion. Hehehe. In any case, I wonder how you would fare if you were living in an Islamic country… Appparently constructive dialogue is not possible with you so I shall leave you to your own devices. Have a good life Fr. Domino!!!

      • Wishing you also tonycsantos a Blessed Lenten Retreat and a Glorious Easter Sunday celebrations! Just don’t separate a person (L’io) from his/her thoughts (thesis) because a man’s personality and his/her own thoughts are one and the same thing otherwise that person is having a problem of “spiritual dichotomy” and sooner or later is destined to fall. Let me share to you some Biblical citations to better explain what I mentioned above:
        Luke 6:45 “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks”.
        Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear “.
        Proverbs 15,2-4 “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit verbs”.
        Thanks Tony and pls. pray for me also…God bless us all. Che Dio ci auita e perdona!

      • With regards to religious and interfaith dialogues I believed we should just follow the initiatives of the late Card.Carlo Maria Martini and other competent ecclesiastical authorities directives to avoid any personal and subjective interpretations of the matter.

  9. you’ve got that right that we have the free will to do what is right… so why the heck RH Law is needed? the good Father forgot to mention that while the texts in the RH Law seemingly points to the common good – but reflected experience and deep understanding would reveal that those texts which are good, only sugar coat the real evil intention of the RH law. it is never meant for the common good. RH law destroys common sense by its very existence. don’t Christians have the free will to USE contraception or NOT to use it BEFORE RH law? the answer is a RESOUNDING YES. so, what’s the use for the law then? isn’t the DOH since time immemorial freely distributing artificial birth control drugs and devices? so, what’s the use of the law then? the subject texts which the good Father pointed out (especially regarding marriage) ARE existing in the Family Code but he LEFT out the assailed points; he did not finished until those portions that were objectionable. i don’t know what to call that but this smacks of intellectual dishonesty…

  10. Steven Ermino says:

    Thank you dboncan!!! You said it all right.

  11. There are a lot of discussions and ideas regarding RH Law. I believed that each individual has the right to have control over his or her sexual and reproductive life. And make decisions without interference or coercion from others. The RH Law is there. But it is still the individual who will decide according to his or her belief.

    According to http://www.15andcounting.org: Access to sexual and reproductive health and rights is essential to individual, social and economic development within every society.

    Family planning is now universally recognized as a basic human right. We must accept and respect it.

    • //And make decisions without interference or coercion from others. The RH Law is there. But it is still the individual who will decide according to his or her belief.// No, because the RH law is there the person is not anymore free to decide according to his / her belief. It is because the law has provisions and prohibitions with accompanying penalties that will decide for the individual hi/her course of action. The individual has to decide and act within the parameters of the “lawful” provisions Besides, the person’s taxes are used to fund this law which is against the person’s dearly held beliefs.

      Access to sexual and reproductive health and rights enabled America to kill their unborn.

      Family planning may be recognized as a universal right but each country has to have sovereignty and decide for itself the definition of family planning which is for sure NOT contraception. (because according to universal accepted mantra from developed countries family planning is contraception) As a country which is predominantly Catholic Filipinos should take it upon themselves to show that our definition of Family Planning is different from those who kill their unborn and call it reproductive rights, and still according to them a very necessary component of family planning.

  12. To Fr Joel Tabora SJ:

    01. YES, the Catholic must choose. Consider: (1st) Choosing between POVERTY vs PROSPERITY, wherein the growing number of Children would likely deny/limit opportunities for a better Quality-of-Life, the Answer is obvious – reduce Family Size &/or space Pregnancies; (2nd) Choosing between NATURAL Family Planning (NFP) vs ARTIFICIAL Birth Control (ABC), wherein our Catholic Church insist upon Married Couples, wanting to space Children, to exercise “Sexual Abstinence” during the Wife’s Fertility, the Answer is tempting – perhaps, a Catholic’s View-of-Man, as a Rational Being, would be overshadowed by his easy access to ABC ensuring a “safe & satisfying sex” as frequently & instinctively desired; (3rd) Choosing between Citizen COMPLIANCE vs Civil DISOBEDIENCE, wherein Government has budgeted about P4 Billion (for Yr-1 alone, despite our Country’s rising Debt of about P7 Trillion to be paid by Future Generations, instead of empowering the Filipino Poor with better funded Healthcare, Education, & Livelihood) to procure & to provide Condoms/Pills (et al), to One & All sexually active, the Answer is contentious – depending on a Citizen’s concept of Love-of-Country.

    02. I am Catholic – but independent of the CBCP’s opposition to the “RH-RP Law of 2012″, I’m a strong advocate for Civil Disobedience of this Law for the following reasons: (1st) ECONOMICS: My View-of-Man is positive NOT negative. I attribute to MAN the Economists’ View of the “Value Added”. No one denies that the Philippine Economy is being bailed-out by our OFWs’ Contribution to their Motherland – despite shameful Corruption; (2nd) ETHICS: My conservative Catholic early-widowed Mother (God bless her soul) showed me (& my 6 other siblings) the reality of Divine Providence. Despite her very limited means, she paid the high cost of an Ateneo Education (for me & my 2 Brothers) in the belief that Jesuits would teach us the correctness of the Catholic Magisterium. I contend that the “Right-to-Life” is over & above the “Quality-of-Life” aggressively pursued by present-day society; (3rd) GOVERNANCE: I contend that PRODUCTIVITY (not Sex) is the Answer to POVERTY. To give our hungry uneducated sickly Filipino Poor Condoms (et al), for his own “safe & satisfying sex”, instead of enabling him to be productive, is an insult to his Self-Respect – a very basic Human Right of Hum an Dignity.

    03. I pray that TRUTH & PROSPERITY reign in our Land. Peace!!!!

  13. Arnold Abejaron says:

    The RH LAW is not about contraceptives alone. Reproductive health includes the health of your prostate which may get cancer soon. It covers the health of pregnant women to ensure they don’t die while giving birth. RH is too broad to be limited to this debate about contraceptives.

  14. Arnold Abejaron says:

    We talk a lot about church dogmas and doctrines here but at the end of the day it is God’s grace that will save us and not the works that we do. Perhaps it is high time that we find ways how to help our brothers and sisters in need. :-)

  15. Mike says:

    I admire the courage of Fr. Tabora in posting this about the RH Law and I agree with him.

    Reading of the text of the law and the use of Statutory Construction to understand it would already say that the law gives us the choice to use such contraceptives. And I reiterate that, “It is our choice.” It may be true to some extent that by this, the law might be making a fool out of us because we already have the free will to use such contraceptives even before the enactment of the law. But let us not forget that the law tries to reach everyone, the poor at its priority, to provide free contraceptives at the said public’s disposal. Meaning, even though it is already given that we have the choice to use contraceptives even before the enactment of the law, it is not mere choice that is given to the public in general, but a greater reach for the use of them, which will be given to the health centers in barangays. It makes the use of contraceptives more accessible to the public. Another thing worth noting is the education and training it provides to the families which will help a lot in the outcome of this law.

    If we go to the legal matters of this, let us also remember that there is a provision in our Constitution for the separation of State and the Church. Thus, let us also remember that this law is NOT SOLELY provided for the Christian Catholics, as the State should be non-partisan especially with religions, instead, it is provided for ALL the citizens of the State, regardless of their religion. Thus, the law enacted is a valid exercise of Police Power by the Government, through its Legislative Branch, unless otherwise stated by the Supreme Court.

    • Arnold Abejaron says:

      I concur with Mike.

    • I like your statement. Thank you.

    • The meaning of Separation of the Church and State is not that the Church may NOT have a say on the legal matters of the country. Instead, separation of the Church and State means that the State cannot favor one religion over the other, or the State cannot force its citizenry to adopt to a certain religion. Thus this RH law violates the separation of the church and state since it it openly disregard and disfavor certain religion’s tenets and beliefs, encroaching on the religious freedom of the religion’s said members. Further, the State will use its police power to coerce those said members of said religion (whose tenets and beliefs the State disfavor through this RH law). The police power of the State is used to oppress the religious freedom of its citizenry.

      • Arnold Abejaron says:

        notoRHLAW, can you use please be specific and point out to text in the RH LAW which you say that your religious freedom is oppressed by the state? – the text only. not your interpretation because only the Courts can give final interpretation of the law. thanks!

      • tonycsantos says:

        Please read the RH Bill and Fr. Joel’s article again – the law does not FORCE anyone…

    • ….//it is not mere choice that is given to the public in general, but a greater reach for the use of them, which will be given to the health centers in barangays. It makes the use of contraceptives more accessible to the public.// – Since time immemorial the govt through DOH had been FREELY DISTRIBUTING artificial birth control drugs and devices. so what gives??
      //Another thing worth noting is the education and training it provides to the families which will help a lot in the outcome of this law.// – Sexuality education which is a very sensitive topic should be left at the hands of the parents as it is their right. Impingement on that parental rights is tantamount to dictatorship.

      • Mike says:

        Sir/Ma’am, though I agree with you that the Church is entitled to voice its opinion on the legal matters of the country, I believe there was no mention in my post that states nor implies otherwise, instead what I only mentioned was that there is a provision in our Constitution about the Separation of Church and State. Further, what I mentioned is that, and I quote, “let us also remember that this law is NOT SOLELY provided for the Christian Catholics, as the State should be non-partisan especially with religions, instead, it is provided for ALL the citizens of the State, regardless of their religion.” :)

        Another point I want to clarify with your reply, and I quote, “separation of the Church and State means that the State cannot favor one religion over the other, or the State cannot force its citizenry to adopt to a certain religion. Thus this RH law violates the separation of the church and state since it [it] openly disregard and disfavor certain religion’s tenets and beliefs, encroaching on the religious freedom of the religion’s said members.” It is true, and I agree with your meaning of the Separation of Church and State, that “the State cannot favor one religion over the other, or the State cannot force its citizenry to adopt to a certain religion,” and I believe I explicitly mentioned this in my original post, and I quote, “the State should be non-partisan especially with religions.” But what I can’t agree with is your mention of the RH law’s violation of the separation of the Church and State. Let us remember, that the word “Church,” in the context of our Constitution, means “any religion or belief,” it is not the “Catholic Church” per se. RH law’s “open[ly] disregard and disfavor certain religion’s tenets and beliefs, encroaching on the religious freedom of the religion’s said members,” may be true to some extent, and I repeat, MAY be true to some extent, but this could only be true to a FEW or SOME members of the said religion. Were there open disapproval of other religions as to this law, aside from the open objection of the ‘leaders’ of the Catholic Church? To this, I would love to be enlightened as I haven’t encountered other religions’ open disapproval aside from the leaders of the Catholic Church’s. Thus, how can this law be “encroaching on the religious freedom”? As what was said, “It is our choice” as citizens of the State if we will utilize the benefits given by the law or not. The “State cannot force its citizenry” and It is not forcing anyone as I repeat, “It is our choice” if we are to utilize the offers of this law.

        The statement, as I see it, and I am sorry for lack of any other word for it, shows selfishness on the part of a member of a certain religion, since it MAY be true, that the law may be appalling to some of the “religion’s said members,” but this will only be true to a certain degree, and is not true to ALL of the Catholic Church’s members, and this certainly does not apply to other religions, as I have not encountered any objection from the others. Even the members of the Catholic Church is not ONE in objecting against the law, as it is not evident that they are. Were there public objections to this effect from the members of the Catholic Church that made noise nationwide? I haven’t encountered any, personally or through the news, aside from that of the “leaders” of the Catholic Church. Thus arouses the question, “Are the ‘members’ of the Catholic Church really against the law? If they are, why don’t they show their objection to the State and to its citizenry, to compel it to abolish the law?” It seems to me that in your opinion, Sir/Madam, since ‘a few or some’ members of a certain religion see the law appalling, means that it should be abolished. Then, there is a huge turn around of what you’ve mentioned, since it is some of this “religion’s said members” that are trying to “force [the State's] citizenry to adopt to a certain religion.” Isn’t that a clear violation of the Separation of Church and State clause done by “religion’s said members”, as you have aptly defined?

        Another point of yours that I cannot seem to agree with is this, and I quote, “the State will use its police power to coerce those said members of said religion (whose tenets and beliefs the State disfavor through this RH law). The police power of the State is used to oppress the religious freedom of its citizenry.” I have the following questions: 1)How will these “said members of said religion (whose tenets and beliefs the State disfavor through this RH law)” be coerced by the State’s inherent power called the Police Power, if the law itself gives them the freedom to choose? 2)Is there an express provision of the RH law that obliges the citizenry to use contraceptives? I want to be enlightened about these since 1)I can’t see how these “said members of said religion (whose tenets and beliefs the State disfavor through this RH law)” be coerced by the State’s Police Power if from the first place, 2)there’s no express provision that obliges them to conform with it. As earlier pointed out, “It is our choice” if we are to utilize the offers of the said law or not. As I re-visit the article of Fr. Tabora, he quoted provisions from the RH law which would already give the readers the GENERAL PURPOSE OF THE LAW (if they read the article properly) that the law merely STRENGTHENS the implementation of healthcare services that is provided in the country (hospitals owned by religious groups are even excepted from this law, so how come this law “oppress[es] religious freedom”? That I can’t understand, and I also want to be enlightened.), and does NOT “coerce those said members of said religion (whose tenets and beliefs the State disfavor through this RH law)” and “oppress the religious freedom of its citizenry.”

        To this effect, I want to share with you that the Freedom of Religious Belief has two aspects, namely: 1)Freedom to believe, which is absolute as it is confined in the realm of thought of individuals and cannot be abridged by the State, and the 2)Freedom to act on one’s belief, which is subject to regulation by the State, where the belief is translated into external acts that affect the public welfare. Thus, I believe, this topic falls under the Freedom to act on one’s belief. And I think that is self explanatory.

        I also want to share that there are requisites that the Courts look at if there is a valid exercise of Police Power: 1) Lawful Subject-the subject of the measure of the police power, that is, that the activity or property sought to be regulated affects the public welfare. The interest of the public, generally, as compared to a particular class requires interference by the State; and 2) Lawful Means-the means employed are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose, and not unduly oppressive on individuals. Both tests must concur for a valid exercise of police power. (Ynot v. IAC. G.R. No. 74457. March 20, 1987). Given the two requisites, let us look, as laymen of this country, if the RH Law is a valid exercise of police power exercised by the Legislature. The RH Law has a *Lawful Subject as the primary purpose of it is to PROVIDE and STRENGTHEN the implementation of healthcare services in the country. The State’s *Means is likewise lawful, as it is deemed that all other remedies for the stronger implementation of healthcare services in the country is already exhausted. Thus, the enactment of a law, given that no other means are available, is wiser and more efficient so as to provide quality healthcare services to our countrymen. Nor it is unduly oppressive on individuals since the law does not demand upon individuals to subscribe to it. Again, it boils down to the very core of Fr. Tabora’s article, “We are given a choice.” All in all, I submit that the RH Law is a valid exercise of police power and it is likewise constitutional as provided in the foregoing arguments. I also remind you that a law is deemed constitutional and is binding to all (though I will repeat, this law gives us the choice if we’re to utilize it or not), until otherwise stated by the Supreme Court.

        As to the quotations you’ve made with my original post such as the “accessibility of the contraceptives” and the “education and training” the law provides, I would remind you that the law is not just about the contraceptives per se, its about the accessibility and strengthening of our country’s mechanism to provide quality healthcare services to our fellowmen, while as to the education, the above-writer failed to notice that I said it is given to “families”, meaning, not to the children directed at gunpoint. The best case scenario for this will be education provided by healthcare providers for the parents as to how they will relay the sanctity of family coupled with facts about reproductive health to their children, which will then be reinforced by the teachings done in schools. How will it be a dictatorship if from the first place, the role of the parents are not taken away from them by the State, but instead, the State just tries to help said parents to effectively relay to their children the said topic?

        A random thought, though. Personally, I admire the above-writer’s persistence in defending his/her beliefs as to the RH law, and I salute you for that. But I advice you, if not as a friend, as a fellow Filipino, to re-read the article Fr. Tabora wrote or the provisions of the RH law itself, given the premises that the point we’re driving at is quite evasive for you.

        Thank you for your time reading my comments and I hope that though we are of opposing ideals as to this matter, I have not acquired an enemy with you. :)

      • Arnold Abejaron says:

        Perhaps you need to know that there is such a thing as the legal principle of Parens Patriae in which the State’s responsibility may be exercised. Not all parents are ideal. It is precisely why in the first place we have CICLs in society. Why is there no objection to RA 9344 from the Catholic Church when in this case the State is getting involved in family matters? Parang walang consistency. :-(

    • tonycsantos says:

      EXCELLENT response, Mike!!!

  16. Eusta says:

    At bottom what are “defenders of the faith” doing but trying to please a diety. This is not rooted in reasoned morality but in bewilderment. They have imagined to have become privy to the whims and caprice of a hidden god and are seeking to gain favor by enforcing a holy law that otherwise the diety doesn’t care at all to enforce himself. Half a world away, Islamists are flogging women for behavior, such as going to school and mixed dancing, that are supposedly offensive to an all-powerful god. Presumably god is so offended he made some men go insanely mad to carry out the dirty deed of punishment he couldn’t be bothered to do himself. In this part of the world the defenders of the faith no longer wield such power of enforcement so they are left to resort to mere whining and tirades.

  17. Lydia Ingle says:

    Thank God for your wonderfully brilliant thesis on the RH bill, and thank you, of course, very very much.
    Lydia Ingle

  18. Right to reproductive health includes equality and equity for men and women. This is to enable individuals to make free and informed choices in all spheres of life, free from discrimination based on gender.

  19. Reproductive right includes reproductive decision-making, including voluntary choice in marriage, family formation and determination of the number, timing and spacing of one’s children and the right to have access to the information and means needed to exercise voluntary choice. Ref. http://www.unfpa.org/rh/rights.htm

  20. bailallie lidasan says:

    Thank you Fr. Joel for this. This is really helpful for Reproductive Health advocates who espouses QUALITY OF LIFE for all. For the record, natural family planning is a form of contraception, just to correct some whose comment says otherwise. I suppose Reproductive Health will be more palatable even to those opposing them if they will try to look at the totality of Reproductive Health and its benefits to all members of the family. RH gives you CHOICE OF A GOOD LIFE and a CHANCE TO LIVE IT, to quote a former Speaker of the House (a known anti RH Law though he was not talking about RH during a wedding). Must we deny these to all?

  21. Steven Ermino says:

    for the record too, natural family planning as viewed by the Catholic Church, is not contraception. if it is, then it is different to how the Catholic Church views it and definitely a kind of view proposed by other individuals or other social groups. we have to be clear here as to who says what so as to avoid misconceptions.

  22. Pingback: The Catholic Church: Between the Sublime and the Ridiculous - www.NewsDesk.asia - www.NewsDesk.asia

  23. lorenzom21 says:

    Thank you Fr. I am one such who has been driven out of the Catholic Church because of the RH Bill. Reading your article makes me proud of my Jesuit education, and gives me hope that religion in the Philippines can go in the right direction. Here are my thoughts, if you have the time. http://letsfightthegoodfight.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/jesuits-the-last-saving-grace-of-my-faith/

  24. tekamunasandali says:

    fr. joel, being a priest, you blog should conclude guiding the people on the issue of morality and not on what is and what is not and flowering words as the world already does.for, after-all that is what the church is meddling about…so to ask you simple and clearly after those verbose of arguments…is RH moral or immoral? what is your stand?

    • tekamunasandali says:

      so we could choose wisely (morally or immorally)

    • tonycsantos says:

      Fr Tabora’s stand can be read in the very first paragraph – “My thesis has been: there is nothing in “The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (RA 10354)” which prevents a good Catholic from being a good Catholic. ” So if you are a Catholic, then follow the teachings of the church or your own conscience. Claro ba?

      • tekamunasandali says:

        ay oo nga pala, my mistake: akala ko ang thesis also implies that : there is something in ‘The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (RA 10354)” which leads a good Catholic to being a better catholic…meron nga ba? eh contra ang CBCP eh….bakit kaya? kaya ang tanong ko lng,sino mas enlightened sa issue at sino ang nagsasabi ng totoo…

      • tonycsantos says:

        His thesis only states that and does NOT suggest that there is something in the RH BILL that will make a catholic a better catholic because it is religion-neutral as required by the constitution. As to why the CBCP is against the RH BILL, you should direct the question to them. My personal opinion is that CBCP does not want any other form of birth control OTHER than natural rhythm and abstinence and insists that the sexual act be only for the purpose of procreation. Thats fine with me too but the law is not just for catholics even if we are the majority but is for ALL citizens whether practicing or non-practicing or dissenting catholics, MUSLIMs, atheists, buddhists or whatever faith or non-faith. The CBCP has other arguments but bottomline is think is that. But I am not an expert on the CBCP position.

    • The MAIN ERROR in the thesis of Fr. Joel ( there is nothing in “The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (RA 10354)” which prevents a good Catholic from being a good Catholic) is the the word “Catholic” because their is nothing catholic in all his arguments. It is a thesis for the Protestants but absolutely unfit and somewhat poisonous for us Catholics. I think the thesis will be all rationale and meaningful if he change the word instead of catholic to protestants. ” THERE IS NOTHING IN “RA 10354″ WHICH PREVENTS A GOOD PROTESTANT FROM BEING A GOOD PROTESTANT.

  25. tonycsantos says:

    Thank you for this article, Fr. Joel. Together with Fr. Bernas, you have confirmed my ideas on the subject as well.

    • philip hernaez says:

      mr tony santos, be careful and watchful.. coz if your are away, your wife will play. she won’t get afraid to do that. she won’t get impregnated because of condoms and pills. for sure, she will eventually do that to you coz the society will suffer of moral decay.

      • tonycsantos says:

        Dear Philip, please stick to the issues and avoid attacks on the persons in this discussion. A true christian does not resort to malicious comments like yours. May I refer you to the other article of Fr. Tabora’ guideline on discussing contentious issues.

  26. peaceforum2 says:

    Yes it is true that we have the right to choose. But priests and pastors like you should teach the solid truth not the half truths. How can water mix with oil? How can Christ eat dinner with Satan? True the RH law contains many good items that respects conscience but nonetheless it will promote a contraceptive mentality among our people, which is a far more evil. If this mentality sets in and entrenched itself, it will be very hard to changed. Not everyone’s faith are at the same level. Some are of stronger faith and some are of weaker faith. By writing this article you confuses the faithful, not so much the stronger in faith, but the weaker in faith. As pastor is it not your duty to care for those weak in faith? How many souls will be misled by this article. Not every one has the academic mind. What about the simple souls out there? They might misconstrue this as legitimizing doctrinal dissent. Our church has been under attack for some time, should you not help instead rather than muddle things?

    • tonycsantos says:

      I take exception to your comment that Fr. Tabora’s article MUDDLES the issues. His writing is perfectly clear and ALL of his statements are truthful. As to the “level” of faith of the readers, that is not the topic here. I strongly suggest that you tackle the issues being raised in the article per se instead of assuming that Fr. Tabora is in cahoots with the devil. Please read his other article on discussions for contentious issues. Lets be RATIONAL and RESPECTFUL of the persons invovled in the discussion. And lets not hide behind “peaceforum2″ while casting stones…. come out and state your name…

    • tonycsantos says:

      And by the way, if you read Fr. Tabora’s article again, he mentioned the teaching of the Church with regard to contraception and the purpose of sexual activities – procreation.

    • kaede says:

      “True the RH law contains many good items that respects conscience but nonetheless it will promote a contraceptive mentality among our people, which is a far more evil.”

      Agree!

      • tonycsantos says:

        Following your line of reasoning, we should also BAN GOOD TASTY FOOD AS IT PROMOTES OBESITY!!! BAN ALL OTHER GOOD THINGS AS THESE PROMOTE MISUSE!!!

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  28. Hello Father. Thank you for this article I am now enlightened about RH Bill. I thought this law allows abortion.
    You see Father, I am from an impoverished community and most of my neighbors who got pregnant will try to abort their pregnancies on their own. They drink various medicines, drink lots of alcohol, overwork their bodies just to abort the babies they could not afford to bring up humanely. Some of them are successful in aborting, while most are not. Some babies are born with defects because of what mothers have done.
    At one point I thought the availability of abortion would cure this problem. But after reading your article and the comments that followed, what must be done is STRENGTHENING THE CATHOLIC FAITH.
    Why can our church afford to send missionaries abroad and not take care of the flock that’s lost nearby?

  29. Antonio says:

    …And for those who choose to be good Catholics, read on:)

    AS FRUITS OF THE SAME TREE: THE ABORTIFACIENT NATURE OF THE SO-CALLED MORNING-AFTER PILL

    by Maria Luisa Di Pietro
    Institute of Bioethics,
    Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome

    In calling attention to the common roots of contraception and abortion (“as fruits of the same tree”) in n. 13 of the Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, John Paul II stresses that this “connection” is not only cultural but also technical:
    the close connection which exists, in mentality, between the practice of contraception and that of abortion is becoming increasingly obvious. It is being demonstrated in an alarming way by the development of chemical products, intrauterine devices and vaccines which, distributed with the same ease as contraceptives, really act as abortifacients during the very early stages of the development of the life of the new human being”.

    How close this “connection” is became apparent during a recent debate on the so-called “morning-after pill”: is it an abortifacient or a contraceptive?

    The responses published by the press diverged: “these products are not abortifacient but work against implantation”; “the morning-after pill can be contraceptive or abortifacient”; “the morning-after pill is abortifacient”.. Of course, such a variety of answers can only create confusion: how ever can it be—we might ask—that contradictory opinions could be expressed about a fact that should instead be empirically demonstrable?

    The term “morning-after pill” indicates a series of preparations based on oestrogens, oestroprogestogens or progestogens, which are given to a woman after but not more than 72 hours after (hence the name “morning-after) sexual intercourse that is presumed fertile. The oestrogens, oestroprogestogens and progestogens are synthetic hormones administered for the purpose of contraception and/or abortion.

    Thus the “morning-after, pill” is one approach to so-called “emergency contraception” or “an interception” which also envisions the administration of danazol or the insertion of a coil as alternatives to the above-mentioned hormones.

    The effective action of “emergency contraception”, and hence of the “morning-after pill”, is abortifacient in 80 per cent (oestroprogestogen or progestogen) to 100 per cent (oestrogen, danazol, coil) of the cases the embryo is prevented from being implanted in the endometrium after the alteration of its physiological development, and/or the blocking of the action of the corpus luteum, which produces progesterone, an essential hormone for the continuation of pregnancy.

    We can not rule out the fact that, if oestroprogestogen or progestogen is administered before ovulation has taken place, the release of the egg cell can be inhibited with a true contraceptive effect, which occurs in 0 to 20 per cent of the cases.

    So how can it be said that the “morning-after pill” or any “emergency contraception” is not abortifacient? Or that it merely prevents implantation? In fact, those who say that the “morning-after pill” is not abortifacient but prevents implantation do not realize that they are affirming its abortifacient nature when they say that it prevents implantation: since this action can only take place after fertilization and works by preventing the continued development of the embryo, it can only be abortifacient.

    This is so true that, in order to deny its abortifacient action, those who are proposing its use have also had to redefine pregnancy. By calling into question years and years of scientific certitude on the basis of which the period from fertilization to birth has always been defined as “pregnancy”, some now maintain that pregnancy only begins after the embryo’s implantation in the uterine wall, therefore not before the sixth day at the earliest or before the l4th day at the latest. Thus, a product that prevents implantation could not terminate a pregnancy and could not be abortifacient!

    Some, of course, are hesitant about this redefinition of pregnancy and, in order not to press the issue, will merely speak of a similarity between an action that prevents implantation and one that is abortifacient: but it is obvious in any case that this semantic manipulation has a precise purpose. In this way—as The New England Journal of Medicine says—it is possible to manipulate public opinion into accepting “emergency contraception”. Merely redefining contraception to include the prevention of implantation does not alter the fact that the prevention of implantation is problematic for some people (NEJM, 1993, 328/5, pp. 354-355).

    What has been said by those who maintain that preventing implantation is not abortifacient is denied moreover by E. Beaulieu, who, as the inventor of RU 486, otherwise known as the “abortion pill”, surely cannot be accused of religiously-motivated opinions: “interruption of pregnancy after fertilization can be regarded in the same way as abortion” (“Il punto sull’RU486″, JAMA—Italian ed., 2 [1990], p. 12). A product which prevents implantation is therefore abortifacient.

    Then there are those who, while recognizing that the “morning-after pill” is abortifacient, call attention to the fact that in up to 20 per cent of the cases it might also act as a contraceptive: this would only occur if it were taken before the release of the egg cell from the ovary. But is it likely that a woman who for various reasons takes a “morning-after pill” would know what precise point in her cycle she has reached, in order to determine whether the result will be abortifacient or contraceptive? Perhaps she should have an ultrasound to monitor the development of the ovarian follicule and a dose of hormones to predict the moment of ovulation; but this is neither the intention nor a realistic possibility for those who turn eagerly to the “morning-after pill”.

    Furthermore, even if it is true that the woman who takes the “morning-after pill” may not be pregnant or that the abortifacient effect will not occur, the woman who requests the pill and the doctor who prescribes or administers it willingly accept the risk of causing an abortion. Indeed, had there been a pregnancy they would have opted precisely for abortion. In other words: we are dealing with a life (or—but we cannot foresee it—the possibility of life), which in any case is not accepted so that there is a readiness to resort to the risk of killing in 80-100 per cent of the cases.

    In the recent debate on the “morning-after pill” in particular and on “emergency contraception” in general attention was drawn to only one situation which so many desperate persons are facing these days: violence to women in wartime. But watch out: campaigns for the “morning-after pill” do not only concern war zones and they do not only target women who have been raped.

    If we look at what has happened in recent years, we can see certain events which are perhaps little known because they did not deeply. touch the “heartstrings” of human emotion as in the case of sexual aggression, and, one could say, have become part of the everyday life to which we are now accustomed.

    Just think that, along with the many calls for all “emergency contraception” to be sold over the counter at pharmacies, that is, without a medical prescription, and to be readily available at all health-care centres for women and particularly for adolescent girls, there are also aid plans which envisage constant, programmed shipments of “emergency contraceptives” to developing countries and refugee camps.

    It is in fact a routine practice of family planning organizations to send reproductive emergency kits, not only after a war—which suggests a concern for the woman who has just been raped, although no concern for the baby—but to those places where violent behaviour has not been curbed and so there is a desire to solve the situation in this way. See, for example, what was planned in 1996 for the Great Lakes region in Central Africa: at least $500,000 was allocated to promote reproductive health. The aid package included: family planning; the prevention of so-called unsafe abortions; “emergency contraception” for women who were victims of sexual violence or who had “unprotected” or unplanned sexual relations.

    By forcing or tricking women into thinking they are choosing freely, but in fact by violating their personal freedom of choice, some people are working against human life, against women’s dignity and against the rights of the person.

    Is a woman really respected when she is led to believe that by taking a “morning-after pill” she will not be killing her child? Is she not instead being reduced to another form of slavery, linked to the ignorance not of those who might not have the opportunity or ability to know, but of those who have been deliberately kept from knowing the truth? Is respect shown for an adolescent’s right to be educated, to know herself and to acquire the ability to earn respect when all assistance is reduced to prescribing and administering the “morning-after pill”?

    The right to be educated: yes, because in this case, too, education is the only form of prevention. And to forestall the distribution of “emergency contraception”, women—and men—must be helped to realize the value of every new life called into being, to discover the true meaning and value of sexuality, to understand the meaning of responsible parenthood. This is the only way to go—certainly not that of advertising or dispensing contraceptives.

    Abortion cannot be combated with contraception. This is because those who try to prevent pregnancy with barrier methods or hormonal contraceptives—moreover, the latter’s abortifacient action cannot be ruled out—will seek an abortion if contraception fails.

    As we have said, the campaign to promote the “morning-after pill” also targets women who have been victims of sexual aggression.

    Some have written that, in this case, conception was the result of a violent act, the most cruel, wicked and detestable (would that adjectives could fully express the brutality and inhumanity of this act) that a woman can suffer: refusal to accept the elimination of this life—it is said—would be a sin of insensitivity!

    Given that the very idea of eliminating a life, even one that has just been conceived, is in itself an expression of great insensitivity, we would like to reflect on two questions.

    The first: do those whose only concern for people who need everything (shelter, food, water, clothes, comfort, identity) is sending them reproductive emergency kits (from the “morning-after pill” to injectable progestogens, etc., etc.) believe they are being sensitive to the human tragedy of war and violence? And how many think that they are resolving the trauma of rape suffered by women by eliminating the “trace” of this violence? The second: does the nature of human life vary according to the circumstances in which it was conceived?

    It is a fact that the after-effects of rape will never be erased from a woman’s memory, just as she will never be able to forget that someone treated her as an object, someone attacked her with a brutality unworthy even of animals. But not even abortion will erase this memory: those who suggest it, those who impose it, those who request it, answer violence with violence, not only towards the woman but especially towards the child, whose life should be respected like any other life conceived.

    With abortion, wrote John Paul II in Evangelium vitae, n. 58, “the one eliminated is a human being at the very beginning of life. No one more absolutely innocent could be imagined. In no way could this human being ever be considered an aggressor, much less an unjust aggressor! He or she is weak, defenceless, even to the point of lacking that minimal form of defence consisting in the poignant power of a newborn baby’s cries and tears. The unborn child is totally entrusted to the protection and care of the woman carrying him or her in the womb”. Even to think of eliminating this life is thus another act of violence.

    For the woman to accept this child growing in her womb, the child of someone who did not love her, can be extremely difficult: she must be given help and support, she and her child must be cared for. She needs affection, not a box of pills!

    When the baby is born, the woman will decide whether to keep it or to give it up to others for care. With the one great certainty however: she has not added to that madness of destruction and death which tried in an instant to erase her dignity as a woman, her world, her aspirations, her hopes. In these cases, real understanding for the woman means practical help for her and for the life of her child.

    Taken from:
    L’Osservatore Romano
    Weekly Edition in English
    28 July 1999, page 6
    L’Osservatore Romano is the newspaper of the Holy See.
    The Weekly Edition in English is published for the US by:

    The Cathedral Foundation
    L’Osservatore Romano English Edition
    320 Cathedral St.
    Baltimore, MD 21201
    Subscriptions: (410) 547-5315
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    lormail@catholicreview.org

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    • tonycsantos says:

      An excellent resource for Catholics to read. Some points I would like to make:

      1. This is where concerned catholics can help EDUCATE catholics (or even non-Catholics) . And perhaps it might be good to find out how education materials like this can be included in the RH Bill education activities. This will help citizens ( not just Catholics) make their own decisions about methods other than those allowed by the Catholic Church. In any case, all contraceptive methods offered by the RHB program should contain information about these methods and the implementing agencies should ensure that they are not abortifacient
      2. The arguments for not aborting a life which is the result of rape is quite strong.
      3. This is a very good example of constructive dialogue.

      • Antonio says:

        As a teacher of Biology, not any of the contraceptive methods are 100% “safe” except NFP-Billings method which is simply about self control and abstinence.

  30. Kephas says:

    The RH Law is like the “Red Districts”. They are there and that’s a fact. We do not want our children to go to those places (I suppose) endangering themselves consciously or not. Do we just talk about it? Let’s not rely on our Church alone to teach our children/ our misguided adult brothers and sisters to do what our faith teaches. Even if they flood our places with condoms and whatever, they will rot in the warehouse if we do our job of loving and teaching/ be examples of what our faith teaches. Thanks Fr. Tabora.

  31. Pingback: A Jesuit’s Doublespeak on the RH Law | Filipino Freethinkers

  32. XhenEd says:

    As I am a graduate of Ateneo de Davao University, I’m greatly disappointed of Fr. Joel, our dear President, because of his pro-RH stance.
    Think of the Catholic people, Fr. Joel! (sorry for the exclamation mark)
    You think that Catholics have a choice to choose artificial planning or natural planning. Yes, it is true. But, I believe that prevention is important. We should prevent our Catholic brothers to be tempted to use contraceptives. By having RH law, Catholics who are not deeply rooted in their faith can be easily swayed by the temptation to use contraceptives. It’s not as if Catholics will follow the Church’s stance.
    Yes, it is true that the RH law also provides for the natural family planning. But, will all Catholics follow that. I think not. It’s because there are many Catholics that just lives as Catholics by name but not by heart. Why would they wait for the “right” time to have an intercourse if they can do it “now”? (I hope you get my point.)
    As a priest and as a philosopher, you know that artificial family planning is not procreative. Is it not the Church’s teaching that sex should be procreative?

    I’m not really sure if you’re for contraception, but looking at the arguments, you’re letting the flock to be swayed by bad people.

  33. Alemrac says:

    I only have one suggestion which will maybe enlighten both pro and anti RH law – mag-survey tayo sa lahat ng religious (priests, brothers, nuns) who have used any form of contraceptive for whatever purpose and ask them how they feel about it. Then let us publish the results of the study without revealing identities of the respondents – perhaps then we will be more grounded in our arguments – since it will really be based on the experience of the ordained religious! The laity have a lot to say already about using or not using contraceptives which are grounded on their experiences. It’s time to hear the views of experienced religious! This is a serious research proposal!

    • Jumiel says:

      Good suggestion. But where will this serious research proposal lead to? Again to show that the experienced religious are also sinners and therefore why not follow what the world suggests? We already have bishops and priests convicted on sex crimes.

      What bothers me is until when will the Church keep the convicted offenders protected under its wings? Ty God bless.
      Ty God bless.

  34. Hi, just wanted to say, I loved this post.
    It was practical. Keep on posting!

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