Reproductive health bill or popularly known as RH bill is a very hot topic nowadays. Television, newspaper, radio, internet ... almost all communication media are now flooded with different views about this bill.
What really is this RH bill? At first I was not interested to know about this bill but I noticed that almost every Sunday when we go to mass, the priest tries to incorporate the topic in his homily citing that this bill is not pro-life and that it is pro-abortion. I even heard from others that this bill will set a two children policy for each couple and that artificial contraceptives will be imposed on couples who already have two children. What??? Isn't this a kind of suppression to our right to decide for our family? With these kind of inputs I get, I decided to look for a copy of the RH bill and read for myself the contents of this bill.
I got a copy of the full context of RH bill (House Bill No. 4244) from Likhaan website and though it's a little long read, I tried to understand the contents.
After reading the full context of RH bill, I learned that:
1. The state will encourage parents to have two children as an ideal family size but attaining this ideal family size is not mandatory or compulsory so their is no punitive action to be imposed on parents who will have more than two children. This is clearly stated in Section 20.
2. Under Section 28.a.2, any healthcare service provider whether private or public is prohibited to refuse to perform legal and medically safe reproductive health procedures to any person of legal age on the ground of lack of third party consent or authorization. In case of married persons, the mutual consent of the spouses shall be preferred. However in case of disagreement, the decision of the one undergoing the procedure shall prevail. - This means, an individual has still the ability to decide for herself/himself, the kind of family planning method she/he wanted to use.
3. Under Section 3.9, while the Act recognizes that abortion is illegal and punishable by law, the government shall ensure that all women needing care for post-abortion complications shall be treated and counseled in a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate manner. - This bill doesn't tolerate abortion but anyone who will have an abortion and experience complications after the said procedure will be treated and counceled.
This means, if the RH bill will be passed into law, we still have the freedom to choose on what size of family we want and what method of family planning we will use and for me, this is what matters most because personally, I don't use artificial family planning method. This was my main concern about this RH bill and since it's clear that I can still use the natural way of planning our family, then there's no problem with me if this bill will be passed into law.