The common sexist notion is that women talk too much. But on the issue of reproductive health, a bachelors’ club and a bachelor president may well be gearing up to talk each other to death.
I’m talking of course about the CBCP bishops and President Aquino. Listen to the palace’s spokesman and pray tell if you can detect any sense of urgency: “As you know we still have a dialogue with the bishops on the end of February. We committed to propose a responsible parenthood bill with inputs from the dialogue. … The President will limit his power to certify measures as urgent based on what is stated in the Constitution. It refers only to emergency cases. So most likely, [the RP bill] will not be certified as urgent.”
But really, what can these bachelors with palaces talk and agree about?
The bishops are sworn to obey the pope and Humanae Vitae—they can’t agree to any law that includes artificial contraception as a choice, even if it’s called “The Most Sacred, Blessed and Responsible Parenthood Within Holy Matrimony Act.”
The president has sworn to a Constitution where human rights and Church-and-State separation are fundamental principles. His idea that informed choice must be central to family planning is a mere reiteration of constitutional tenets. He cannot endorse the bishops’ NFP-only doctrine without junking his “daang matuwid” (honourable path) and following his predecessor’s hobby of trashing our basic law.
And so we had mighty men glaring at each other the last few months. A tense deadlock, dramatically broken when the most powerful of them all decided… to talk some more.
Poor mothers and infants die each day, half from pregnancies unplanned, others due to simple RH services unavailable. Will bachelors with palaces notice or care?