Sunday, August 31, 2008

Go forth and multiply... responsibly

Now, what can be wrong with educating the public and allowing them to choose? Really.

Prudence MD invites us to share our views on The State of Reproductive Health Care in the Philippines.

Here's mine. I have nothing against those who are fighting the Bill, especially the Catholic Church. What I have against are the implications of this resistance to our nation.

  1. Only 82.27% percent of Filipinos are Catholics. What about the other 17.73% who can actually make use of the artificial family planning methods?
  1. Are Filipinos stupid that they can’t decide for themselves when given a choice between artificial and natural family planning method (NFP)?
  1. Aren’t we shortchanging Filipinos in general when the Reproductive Health offers only NFP methods?
  1. What happened to free will?
One of the many things that I have picked up from the Doctor to the Barrios Book series of Dr. Juan Flavier is his belief in INFORMED CHOICE. Meaning, offer several information/option to a patient and let him/her choose. I mean, if we limit the choices to natural methods of family planning, where is the choice in that?

  1. I thought that it was eons ago when the State and the Church separated? Are we seeing a comeback of Father Damaso?

What ticked me off the most is the fact that our President GMA can’t even separate herself from the Church. Remember her recent State of the Nation Address where she insisted on natural methods? Was she afraid to lose the Church's support? Well, she there's not much of it to begin with. At least, the Former President Fidel Ramos had the balls to make a stand (even if it is against the Church and he could lose its support).

Where and when does the State’s independence start and Church’s influence end? In fact, Rep. Garin revised this Bill, taking into consideration the Catholic Church.

  1. Natural family planning methods are the least effective of all the methods of contraception as proven by several studies. Does the Catholic Church even read these?

On a personal note, I am highly frustrated about the opposition that this Bill is getting. I see mothers in the barrio who are gravida (number of pregnancies) 14 or higher and these are not isolated cases.

Does the church even realize what 14 pregnancies can do to a woman, to the child and most especially to this country who can barely support its people?

If using a pill to prevent fertilization is sinful, let me ask you this: is it not equally sinful to bring a child to this world whom you cannot even feed, clothe much less, send to school?


Photo from here.

This is a contribution to The Blog Rounds 18 at Prudence MD: The State of Reproductive Health in the Philippines.


ness said...

Amen, MerryCherry. I wholeheartedly agree.
And did you know there are so many children sired by Catholic priests themselves?

janette said...

Hi Dr. Cherry,
You are absolutely right. Why bring many children into thsi world if u cant even feed nor clothe them. Some politicians wld hide in the cloak of 'population power'. They shold not treat people as commodities, they shld instead stop politicking and play a role in improving the quality of life of the Filipinos. Take a look at our population graph. The widening base of young people, once they reach fertility, it wld be a boom of babies. The future generation will blame us for this. Janette Loreto Garin

MerryCherry, MD said...

Doc Ness, let's not even go there. That deserves a blog of its own. Argh! Sorry to read about our spa nightmare. :(

Ma'm Janette Garin, thanks for leaving a comment. I truly agree with your 'population power' theory. You have my full support of that bill. We need more of you in the Congress.

Anonymous said...

hi doc che. Im back. Dito pala si cong. garin. :-) sa first district kasi ng iloilo ang upv kaya i must've known her. I've been reading sorts of articles like this lately. honestly, i come from a family of nuns and priest. anyways, I have 7 siblings and i could say i am a living testament to the disadvantages of a big and poor family. Lucky for me, i've earned a sablay. thanks to the taxpayers and to my parents who feed me suam and kamote in my crucial years. i agree with doc che, parents should have an informed decision, however, there's a downfall to that. correct me if i'm wrong, but research shows ( i'm sorry, i must admit, this is a lame assertion because i am just gleaning from my not-so-retentive memory of my development economics lessons 2 years ago) that poor families tend to have more children because poor parents are risk averse, they perceive children as investment in their old age and for other various economic reasons. of course, the consequences are negative - malnourished kids, unschooled youths, high crime rate etc. i believe that population policies should come with sound economic policies too. as for the influential Catholic church, I'll be damned because i have this suspicion that they are just afraid that if the Filipino nation will rise to the top economic echelon because of a good population policy, their influence will wane and their coffers will be diminished just like what happened to their churches in Europe. :-D

MerryCherry, MD said...

Linapuhan, nag nose bleed ako sa comment mo! Ang haba pero agree ako dun sa sinabi mo.

"...that poor families tend to have more children because poor parents are risk averse, they perceive children as investment in their old age and for other various economic reasons"

Hay, this is a multi-faceted issue. But it's a start pag na-pass ung Bill, right?

But I'm glad nagka-sablay ka despite the fact na 7 kayo. You make your family proud.

Anonymous said...

what a vicious cycle. im guessing one of their premise also is to discourage teens from going into premarital sex? (opening yet another can of worms!)

Got meloinks? said...

Gotta agree with linapuhan. Overpopulation is always defined more on the economics rather than on physical population density. An example of a physically overpopulated place with a sound economy is ... Manhattan. :-)

So, all those population reduction measures are a sham without real economic growth.

All those economic measures, though virtuous, are an unwitting tool by the corrupt forces in the government who want to gloss over their corrupt practices with fancy pop. reduction measures.

MerryCherry, MD said...

Craigjem, yeah, it's a vicious cycle. Sad :(

Meloinks, I totally agree with you and Linapuhan. But we have to start somewhere, you know. Even if it is a small step, at least, it will get us there, hopefully. :)

Anonymous said...

agree doc che. one small baby step is better than not moving at all. :-D

Got meloinks? said...

I hope we have to start somewhere but only for the right reason.

The right reason is that -- life is short; there isn't much we can do.

The wrong reason is that we aren't tired of being bombarded nonstop with almost a century of we-have-to-start-somewhere platitudes. ;-D

MerryCherry, MD said...

The right reason is that -- life is short; there isn't much we can do. --

On this one I have to disagree with you Meloinks. Even though I am on my last breath or last minute on earth, I can still do much. It just all depends on your strategy and goal. :)

Got meloinks? said...

i couldn't agree more. we need more of you che. i wonder if i wrote or commented something more rhetorical. i hope it was rhetorical. it's just an observation.

i do things always with hope. but what is a blog but an outlet for the alternative rhetorical questions, the more brutal ones? :-)

in spite of you and us, in spite of the shining moments, it is true again and again and again that the ruling class in our short history squandered the lead and headway made by our predecessor idealists. naks :-)

but the resistance lives on!!!!

MerryCherry, MD said...

Meloinks, winner ka talaga. Iskolar ka ba? I mean, did you got to UP for college? You really write (and reason) like a true iskolar ng bayan. And that's a compliment. :)

theworkingmom said...

Very well said, Cherry! Though I would still feel that we should start with on how babies are formed, education on NFP if that's what the couples want, education on artificial methods, etc. Without education, people just won't know any better.