In a recent interview, Ex-CBCP President Oscar Cruz said that Noynoy deserved to be excommunicated if he was proven to have an indirect hand in abortions due to the passage of the RH Bill (emphasis mine):
There are 2 ways for someone to be excommunicated. Abortion or harming the pope. But just in case the President signs the bill into law…he will not be excommunicated. Unless, if the church proves that he has an indirect hand on abortions, meaning because of his approval of the bill and abortions happen, then he becomes guilty,” Cruz warned.
According to Oscar, indirectly causing an abortion is grounds for excommunication. According to this logic, if the passage of the RH Bill causes a single person to have an abortion, then all those involved in passing the RH Bill are equally deserving of excommunication.
If the RH Bill passes, popular support will be one of the main reasons. According to a 2008 SWS survey, 7 out of 10 Catholics favor the passage of the RH Bill. Should pro-RH Catholics be excommunicated as well?
Whatever the CBCP decides, excommunication is their call — the Vatican’s, to be more precise. But consider this: If indirectly causing an abortion is grounds for excommunication, then the CBCP should excommunicate themselves first.
Here are the facts. Studies from all over the world show that increased contraception use reduces the number of induced abortions1:
Recent studies offer strong evidence of a widely supposed but difficult-to-demonstrate benefit of reproductive health services: that increasing the use of effective contraception leads to declines in induced abortion rates.
In 2008, there were an estimated 560,000 induced abortions. If CBCP hadn’t been blocking the passage of an RH Bill for 13 years prior, this number would probably be a lot smaller. Stated more plainly, the CBCP is indirectly responsible for every abortion in the Philippines that could have been avoided through the information and contraception that a family planning program could have provided.
So before Oscar and the CBCP goes excommunication-happy on pro-RH Catholics, they should study the facts and check whether they still have the authority to excommunicate. They might have been auto-excommunicated a long time ago.
1 In cases where increased contraception use fails to reduce abortion incidence, here’s the story:
In seven countries—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria, Turkey, Tunisia and Switzerland—abortion incidence declined as prevalence of modern contraceptive use rose. In six others—Cuba, Denmark, Netherlands, the United States, Singapore and the Republic of Korea—levels of abortion and contraceptive use rose simultaneously. In all six of these countries, however, overall levels of fertility were falling during the period studied. After fertility levels stabilized in several of the countries that had shown simultaneous rises in contraception and abortion, contraceptive use continued to increase and abortion rates fell. The most clear-cut example of this trend is the Republic of Korea…
Rising contraceptive use results in reduced abortion incidence in settings where fertility itself is constant. The parallel rise in abortion and contraception in some countries occurred because increased contraceptive use alone was unable to meet the growing need for fertility regulation in situations where fertility was falling rapidly.