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How to Kill As Many Unborn As Possible

The Reproductive Health Bill is now the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012. While the measure has passed all legislative hurdles, the RH Law is now facing a predictable challenge in the Supreme Court. More predictably, the challenge comes from Catholic Church associates. While the intention behind the challenge is supposedly to protect the unborn, it is clear that if the goal of Catholics is to protect as many unborn children as possible, striking down the RH Law is just about the worst thing you can possibly do.

On the first working day of the year, January 2, James and Lovely-Ann Imbong filed a petition for the Supreme Court to nullify the recently passed bill. “In behalf” of their minor children, the Imbongs also name their two offspring as petitioners. As has been pointed out, the “Imbong” name should be very familiar because the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has Jo Imbong, mother of James, as its lawyer. Also, James Imbong is the first nominee of the CBCP-backed Ang Pro-Life Party-List, which claims to represent not the Church, but OFWs. Try to stop yourself from laughing; it gets better. The CBCP has come out to state that they are in no way involved with the petition against the RH Law. Melvin Castro of the CBCP said that their counsel’s relation to the petitioners was “purely incidental.”

Pro-Life Philippines: Abortion is okay sometimes

Reason and Science of Contraception

It is typical for conservative Catholics to equivocate the RH Law with abortion. On the contrary, the availability of contraception diminishes the number of abortions. The logic is simple: people who use contraception want to prevent pregnancy resulting from particular sexual encounters. They can choose to have children from later coital acts by stopping the use of contraceptives. By reducing the number of pregnancies of people who do not want to be pregnant, the number of unwanted pregnancies decreases. Since unwanted pregnancies are the targets of chemical and surgical abortion, less unwanted pregnancies means less induced abortions. After all, why would you willfully abort a wanted pregnancy? Consistent and proper use of contraceptives therefore ensures that a pregnancy that does occur is wanted and planned instead of unwanted and by chance.

But, let’s not rely on pure reason and let some empiricism enlighten us. A four-year study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis came out last year to show that when free contraceptives were provided to a community, abortions decreased. It should be noted that from their study, most women (75%) chose to have “long-acting” contraceptives such as IUDs instead of pills, which must be taken daily. They found that abortions in St. Louis, Missouri, where the study was conducted, dropped by 20%, while the rest of Missouri’s abortion rates remained steady.

This result, however, is not enough to show that opposition to the RH Law will result in more abortions.


Intelligently Designed Abortion

Abortion is an unavoidable fact of pregnancy. Spontaneous abortions are more politely called “miscarriages,” but the essence is the same for either spontaneous or induced abortion—pregnancy ends and a fertilized embryo fails to develop into a child. Catholics would argue that the embryo is already a person and intentionally inducing abortion is murder. Miscarriages, then, would be accidental death. It turns out, however, that as much as 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. This estimate includes the great number of pregnancies that were never even noticed because the embryos were spontaneously aborted so early. That means, for any sexual act that successfully results in a fertilized embryo (which Catholics believe are people), 50% of all of these “people” will die. If the Christian God is anti-abortion, it’s hard to imagine greater hypocrisy.

The main mechanism of contraceptives is to prevent the meeting of sperm and egg altogether, meaning no embryo is formed. The opposition of the Church against condoms should have been a dead giveaway that their concern is sex and not unborn children. Chemical contraceptives, like the pill, prevent the meeting of sperm and egg through various means, such as by slowing down the transport of the egg from the ovaries to the uterus. But, even if a drug were specifically designed to prevent the implantation of a fertilized embryo (which is supposedly a person), its users would not rival the number of abortive events caused by well-meaning couples wanting to get pregnant. That’s not a strong enough statement. All the induced abortions performed in the world (over 470,000 in the Philippines according to 2000 data from the Guttmacher Institute), cannot even begin to compete with spontaneous abortions.

The Department of Health reported that there were 1,700,000 live births in 2000. If that is just 50% of all successful pregnancies, then that means there were also 1,700,000 embryos naturally aborted, or over three times the number of induced abortions in the same year. Therefore, if many pregnancies are prevented altogether through contraception, there will be less abortions. Thus, the Catholic plan of “openness” to pregnancy is tantamount to “openness” to spontaneous abortion. In contrast, a couple with no plans of ever conceiving risks no abortions. Comparatively, a couple that plans each pregnancy with contraceptives, and does not haphazardly sire dozens of kids, will not abort as many embryos as the well-meaning Catholic couple.


Accessories to Murder

If you want to avoid abortion altogether, the best way is not to have kids. If you want kids, you will risk having an abortion, whether or not you know about it. That is a fact we must accept as a nation. If you want to risk the least number of abortions, then you will need to plan your pregnancies and use contraception.

If you have as many kids as you want, you will abort just as many. It’s statistics. And if you want to kill as many unborn as possible, go a step further like the Imbongs and deny Filipinos the right to access to contraceptives.

The use of the Imbongs’ children in the petition, despite their being incapable to consent, is consistent with anti-RH values, since the Imbongs (and the Church) claim to represent children and the unborn in their crusade against reproductive rights. And in this crusade, they are not shy to employ the bloody imagery associated with the Catholic Church’s own medieval Crusades. About President Aquino’s signing of the RH Bill, Batangas Archbishop Ramon Arguelles compared him to the Connecticut shooter who killed 20 schoolchildren because the RH Law would supposedly kill millions. But, we can see from the scientific evidence that it is not contraception, and not even induced abortion, that will lead to the most aborted embryos—it is the Church’s anti-contraceptive dogma. If abortion is murder, the Imbongs are accessories, and the Catholic Church is the killer.

Posted in Religion, RH Bill, ScienceComments (3)

Pro-Life’s Pro Lies: A glimpse into the ANG PRO LIFE hearing

You may have heard about Pro-Life Philippines’ recent filing of their new congressional party list, ANG PRO LIFE. Perhaps you wondered how this camp, with high profile supporters like Golez, Pacquiao, Sotto, and Enrile, who have managed to delay reproductive health legislation for more than a decade, could realistically be called ‘underrepresented’ (a basic requirement for establishing a party list group). Maybe you were even concerned about how the running of this obviously religious group would violate the separation of church and state under our Constitution.

Apparently, you have nothing to worry about! But don’t take it from me, take it straight from the lips of Pro-Life president Eric Manalang himself. After briefly joining the Catholics4RH in their protest outside COMELEC this morning, myself and a couple other Filipino Freethinkers attended the actual party list hearing for ANG PROLIFE. Here is a transcript of Mr. Manalang’s (EM) first few minutes on the witness stand after being sworn in under oath, with the Hon. Lucinito Tagle and the Hon. Elias Yusoph serving as presiding justices (PJ).

PJ: What sector do you intend to represent with this party list of yours?

EM: This sector intends to represent the structure of families in the Philippines and the youth that belong to them, and more particularly the OFW families who are the most dysfunctional part of the family structure of Philippines, by the very nature of them, about 10 million of them having their parents or spouses abroad, and this is the sector we wish to represent as they are not yet represented.

PJ: Is it true that you are related to any religious group?

EM: I’m a Catholic of course and I won’t deny it, though they (nodding to the Catholics4RH contingent across the room) claim they’re also Catholics, but I would say I’m not part of CBCP or any form of formal Catholic brand organization.

PJ: What laws do you intend to propose to preserve the family?

EM: We intend to have the landmark law, the Magna Carta for Families, which in essence would be looking at the marginalized groups or dysfunctional families and put a safety net so this issue of having absence of fathers and mothers or children for that matter can be resolved by being able to put in legislation. As an example, connectivity between the OFW families and their loved ones abroad is one issue that has not been resolved because it’s the lack of communication that creates much of the dysfunction.

PJ: What is the relation of this law you intend to present to the RH bill?

EM: Uh, there’s no direct effect on the RH bill, your honor, because this law is really going to be able to provide safety nets for these families that are dysfunctional and marginalized.

There you have it! I’m not sure if ‘OFW’ is the ‘O’ in ‘ANG PRO LIFE,’ but he goes on to mention OFWs several times, so it must be in there somewhere! I suppose OFWs should rejoice in having strangers who care so much about them.

Let’s take a look at exactly how ANG PRO LIFE intends to help the OFWs by looking at their official description found on their website, (which, of course, must have NOTHING to do with the actual CBCP, because Eric Manalang just stated under oath that he wasn’t associated with them)!

“…Lobbying for the protection of LIFE and the Family in all its aspects and

incidents, before congressional committees and public offices where they

confront laws and policies that destroy and undermine the Pro-Life and Pro-

Family values enshrined in the 1987 Constitution (such as continuing attempts to

enshrine a Culture of Death in the Philippines through bills on divorce,

euthanasia, abortion, birth control, reproductive rights, population control,

and homosexuality). We believe and affirm that ANG PROLIFE will be the first and

only party list organization instituted with the primary objective and mission

to Reclaim the Culture of Life in the Philippines through direct participation

in the legislative branch of government, beginning with the forthcoming

Elections in 2013.”

Apparently, the presiding justices noticed this minor inconsistency and tried to help Manalang out of committing perjury, directly asking him about his group’s official statement. At this point, Manalang suddenly seemed to remember that yes, ANG PROLIFE would be getting around to that stuff as well. After a heated exchange wherein Justice Yusoph argued with Manalang about the merits of divorce legislation (which Manalang admitted to being against and which Yusoph was vehemently for), the two eventually seemed to reach middle ground over a joyful if somewhat incoherent round of gay-bashing.

Justice Yusoph: God created male or female, and he never created ‘ladlad’. That’s why the Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God, because of the presence of ‘ladlad’.

EM: We agree to that, your honor, that God is perfect. He would not create imperfection. A man is a man, a woman is a woman.

Justice Yusoph: Precisely. The role of a man should not be taken also by woman. Because if the role of woman is taken by the role of a…by you, a man, there is a total eclipse, am I right?

EM: (smiling) You’re right your honor.

Justice Yusoph: And if there is total eclipse, there is death!

EM: Correct, your honor! That’s darkness!

There’s a lot more than I care to transcribe here, but feel free to go over our upcoming video for how the conversation arrived there. Basically Eric Manalang was stating yet again how the RH Bill is defective because it is based on statistics from organizations that have no credibility, like, you know, the United Nations, and anyway they’re all foreign groups with foreign ideas like homosexuality that is all part of the grand US conspiracy to depopulate the Philippines because Kissinger.

It all ended with the spectacle of Atty. James Imbong (who must not at all be related to CBCP’s Atty. Jo Imbong because, again, Manalang has stated that they have no association with them) taking the witness stand, being questioned by himself as legal counsel.

All in all… seems legit.

As it would be a shame to take their most comforting words out of context, it being a public hearing, we made sure to film ANG PROLIFE/OFWs FTW party lists’ time on the stand in its entirety, and will be posting it on the site soon.

Posted in Advocacy, Personal, Politics, Religion, RH Bill, Secularism, SocietyComments (7)