Tag Archive | "reproductive health"

FF Podcast 58 (Audio): That Abstinence Video


FF Podcast 58: That Abstinence Video

Are you a bobo boy or a gaga girl? This week, we talk about the Department of Health’s abstinence dance video.

You may also download the podcast file here.

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FF Podcast 58: That Abstinence Video


Are you a bobo boy or a gaga girl? This week, we talk about the Department of Health’s abstinence dance video.

You may also download the podcast file here.

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast feed

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast feed

Filipino Freethinkers podcast on iTunes

Filipino Freethinkers podcast on iTunes

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FF Podcast (Audio) 38: Filming an Abortion


Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) 38 - Filming an Abortion

This week, we talk about Emily Letts, an abortion counselor who filmed her own abortion and posted it online.

You may also download the podcast file here.

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Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) feed

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Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) on iTunes

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FF Podcast 38: Filming an Abortion


This week, we talk about Emily Letts, an abortion counselor who filmed her own abortion and posted it online.

You may also download the podcast file here.

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast feed

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast feed

Filipino Freethinkers podcast on iTunes

Filipino Freethinkers podcast on iTunes

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FF Podcast (Audio) 36: Watching Your Words


Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) 36 - Watching Your Words

This week, we talk with Carlos Celdran about an encounter with the anti-RH and about watching your language around children.

You may also download the podcast file here.

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Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) feed

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Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) on iTunes

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In Baguio for RH Verdict


We went to Baguio last April 7 for the Supreme Court’s decision on the Reproductive Health Law. Here’s how it turned out.

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FF Podcast (Audio) 32: Flesh-Eating Disease in the Philippines?


Filipino Freethinkers Podcast 32:Flesh-Eating Disease in the Philippines

This week, we talk about the story propagated by ABS-CBN’s Bandila program regarding a supposed mysterious flesh-eating disease engulfing Pangasinan.

You may also download the podcast file here.



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FF Podcast (Audio) 28: Abortion Rights in the Philippines


Abortion Rights in the Philippines

This week, we talk about abortion rights in the Philippines. We go into detail about what’s been happening with the 7th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights, which conservative Catholics have been trying to shut down.

You may also download the podcast file here.




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Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) feed

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Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) on iTunes

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FF Podcast 28: Abortion Rights in the Philippines


This week, we talk about abortion rights in the Philippines. We go into detail about what’s been happening with the 7th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights, which conservative Catholics have been trying to shut down.

You may also download the podcast file here.

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast feed

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast feed

Filipino Freethinkers podcast on iTunes

Filipino Freethinkers podcast on iTunes

Posted in Media, Podcast, Politics, Religion, VideoComments (1)

FF Podcast (Audio) 010: Pro-RH at SC and Advice for Atheists with Religious Parents


Pro-RH at SC and Advice for Atheists with Religious Parents

The Filipino Freethinkers’ Podcast-that-is-also-a-Video is back! For its tenth episode, Red, Pepe, and Margie talk about the pro-RH presence at the recent Supreme Court hearings on the RH Law, and–in a Podcast-that-is-also-a-Video first–answer an online query about living with religious parents. Press play and enjoy!

You may also download the podcast file here.




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Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) on iTunes

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Refuting Tatad’s Petition


As you’re reading this, the Philippine Supreme Court will be having the oral arguments regarding Republic Act 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, aka the RH Law.

One of the people expected to make an appearance at the proceedings is former Senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad, a man who has been frequently touted by the Catholic Church as one of its champions in opposing the RH Law.

Tatad has figured prominently in the opposition to reproductive health in the years leading up to the law’s passing last year. He’s also among the petitioners that was the cause for the SC to impose an SQA on the RH law.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the Tatad petition, since it makes use of the most common arguments that the RCC loves to resort to in opposition to reproductive health. Tatad starts off his argument by citing every Filipino’s right to personal and family privacy:

Articles 11-13

…Which is not an issue at all, since this is also what the pro-RH side of the Philippines supports – the right of privacy of every family regarding their sex lives. Tatad’s points on a family’s right to birth control methods of their choice are equally sensible:

Arguments 20-23

Once again a fair point. Birth control should be a decision left up to each family. It is a decision that cannot be forced upon them, either by the state, or anybody else. However, shortly after making several valid points on the rights of the Filipino family, the petition starts treading water…

Arguments 27-30

*Sigh*, where do we begin?

First off, there is nothing in the RH law that forces families to choose a specific birth control method. Quoting section 2, sub-section h of the RH law:

(h) The State shall respect individuals’ preferences and choice of family planning methods that are in accordance with their religious convictions and cultural beliefs, taking into consideration the State’s obligations under various human rights instruments;

What the RH law will provide is family planning medicine and education, and leave the decision on which method is ideal for each family’s circumstances up to the family itself. Accusing the RH Law of forcing a family to choose is no more valid than a creationist accusing public education of “forcing” kids to go against their religious beliefs by teaching evolution in science class.

If your religious beliefs say contraceptives are wrong, then don’t take contraceptives. Nothing in the law says you must pop the pill just because you sat through several sex education classes. How hard is that to understand?

Secondly, so what if the Catholic Church considers contraceptives “evil”? Just as they state that government cannot impose specific beliefs, Tatad and company cannot impose Catholicism on other people who do not agree with their hypocritical moral stance on reproductive health.

Which brings us to the next point…

Argument 32

What is ironic here is that in demanding that the SC junk the RH Law because it goes against their religious beliefs, Tatad’s petition is basically denying the RH law to everybody else in the Philippines.

Okay, fine. So Tatad wants the law junked because it goes against his religious beliefs. But what about the Protestant churches who support the RH Law? What about the Muslim community? What about his fellow Catholics, the majority of whom are also calling for better access to reproductive health education and medicine?

It’s become clear at this point that the message Tatad sends is that he only cares about shoving HIS religious dogma down the throats of everybody else who does not agree with him.  This is not the first time people like him pulled a stunt like this, sadly, as the cases of Manila and Ayala Alabang show.

This intent becomes especially obvious when you consider that the sex education program being proposed is targeted at public schools – where religious groups are not allowed to impose their dogma.

Moving along, the petition gets even more brazen in its religious intent:

 

Arguments 36-38

Does Tatad have any empirical evidence proving that introducing contraceptives “destroys” morality? A study that directly correlates crimes rates with increased access to birth control education and contraceptives would be a good start.

On the other hand, the studies we do have available show conclusively that lack of access to RH medicine and education has resulted in a rising trend in teen pregnancies and STDs. But since it’s women suffering – and the RCC’s known for disregarding their welfare on more than one occasion – I guess that doesn’t count.

And as if Tatad should be one to talk about “deep divisions” and “moral torment”, given that it was his side of the RH discussions that has been demonizing supporters of RH, by spreading outright lies and slander, to resorting to outright threats of violence.

This is no different from a bigot claiming that making gender equality a social norm is provoking “moral torment” because now everybody’s calling him out for being an ass.

Then again, as the former press secretary of the Martial Law years, I guess Tatad knows a thing or two about inflicting moral torment on society.

These are just some of the more glaring flaws I managed to dig up from Tatad’s petition against the RH Law. Any and all feedback or additional insight are always welcome here in the comments thread, or over at our FB fanpage.

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“Your Mother Should Have Used RH,” Says BUHAY Spokesperson


I recorded this video interview with Frank when I got home from COMELEC before writing this post. Some details might be inaccurate, which I hope this post corrects. Toward the end of the video is footage of the BUHAY spokesperson saying the titular statement.

“Your mothers should have aborted you” is so 2010. I’m of course referring to members of Prolife Philippines wishing out loud that we hadn’t been born as we were leaving Manila Cathedral. We were there to listen to a discernment mass on the RH Bill, but weren’t allowed to attend because of the DAMASO shirts we were wearing. Aside from wishing we weren’t alive, a public exorcism on us was also attempted by Eric Manalang, president of Prolife Philippines.

Now it’s 2012, and the Prolife greeting has been updated. It now goes, “Your mother should have used RH.” We learned this yesterday when we expressed our opposition to BUHAY’s party-list accreditation at their COMELEC review hearing. After witnessing the most absurd justification for applying to be a party-list, we had an exchange of words with BUHAY that reflects a lot of what happened in the Manila Cathedral incident of 2010.

It began with a question. The BUHAY spokesperson who had represented them during the hearing approached us and asked, “Are you pro-RH?” “Yes,” answers Kenneth Keng, who had earlier expressed at the hearing our intention to oppose BUHAY’s accreditation. “Then your mother should have used RH. So you wouldn’t be here today.”

At this point, I was approached by another BUHAY member. “Did you go to school?” he asked. “Yes,” I replied. “Then why aren’t you using your education,” he said. He probably meant that my pro-RH position betrayed a lack of education.

I was about to explain how education actually leads to being pro-RH when I saw Ken being approached by several BUHAY members. They were trying to grab his camera away from him. I walked over and learned what was happening. The BUHAY spokesperson complained that Ken had started recording without his permission.

They had also asked whether Ken was with the media. Ken had initially said yes out of fear and confusion; their demeanor had given him the impression that they might harm him. He later clarified that he wasn’t with the media and was just a regular blogger, something that I’d clarified earlier with the BUHAY member I’d been speaking to.

At this point we were all huddled between the elevators and the COMELEC reception, where several security personnel were watching. The BUHAY member I’d been speaking to, the one who asked whether I was educated, started talking. He said that if we weren’t with the media, he doesn’t have to treat us that way, and can just treat us like kanto boys. He repeated this, removing his coat as if preparing for a fight. He told us that he would meet us at our levels as kanto boys and invited us outside.

I clarified: “Just to be clear, are you inviting us to a fist fight outside?” He replied, “Anywhere.” I was actually surprised that he was behaving like this in front of COMELEC security. When they finally got on the elevator, we decided it was probably wise that we stayed. Some members of the COMELEC security thought so, too. They advised us to stay for a bit because the BUHAY members might be waiting for us downstairs with less than good intentions.

Surely enough, they were waiting. As I was exiting the building, the BUHAY spokesperson blocked my path, holding a cameraphone to my face. “Excuse me, I need to get out,” I said. He stands aside after a few moments, keeping the cameraphone on me. He asked me for my name and organization, and I give it to him. At this point, Ken also has his cameraphone out, and we were recording each other (another member had a proper camcorder, too).

With all the cameras turned on I wished that Ken’s was on when the BUHAY spokesperson wished Ken’s mother had used RH. Luckily, he repeated his wish, and we got it on video. At first he said that he didn’t mean anything bad when he said this. After all, he says, isn’t RH a good thing? To this we agree, and I further explain that my parents used RH: after all, it includes family planning, birth spacing, etc.

Then he says that my parents used failed RH, because after all, I am here. By doing so he betrays the malice in his wish. To him failed RH means we are born, and successful RH means we aren’t, and it’s pretty clear which of the two outcomes he’d been wishing for us.

We explain that RH isn’t abortion, which is what he keeps on implying, but he disagrees. He advises us to read the Cairo conference. I explain that the RH Bill and the Cairo Conference are two different things. At this point Atty. Macalintal, who had been mostly quiet this time, left in a car with the BUHAY member who had challenged us to a fist fight.

We also headed for our car, leaving the BUHAY spokesperson alone, waiting for his. As we were leaving, I saw the Manila Cathedral and thought about how similar the event from 2010 was: the wishing we hadn’t been born, the prolifer’s fear of being caught on video, the trying to forcefully take our cameras. I sort of expected the BUHAY spokesperson to shout “Your mothers should have aborted you!” as we were leaving. But then I corrected myself: “Your mothers should have used RH.” Because “Your mothers should have aborted you” is so 2010.

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To All RH Advocates: Onwards and Upwards!


Fellow RH advocates, today, August 7th, is the day we have been waiting for. We invite every pro-RH citizen to join us as we demand that our congressional representatives vote to end the debate on the RH Bill and move it to the period of amendments. Together, we will… ah, wait.

Together, we already have.

Congratulations to everyone who contributed to the effort; this victory belongs to all of us. The president and the congresspeople he invited to Malacanang yesterday, and who then trooped to the Batasan Hall and called for a surprise vote to end the debates a day early, said as much. They heard the noise of the people on the streets and online, and the message we were sending them was coming through loud and clear: we are your bosses and after 14 years of delay, you are way past the deadline.

Perhaps I am not being clear enough; they pushed the vote yesterday because they were scared of you. Of you, the majority of the people of this nation that surveys have proved again and again are in favor of the bill, and not of the supposedly mighty Catholic bishops. It was you who made clear how any politician who voted anti-RH could be sure that they would not have your vote come 2013. It was you who were either with us on the streets or helped spread the images and articles that showed the desperate need for reproductive health in this country, and the hypocrisy, intellectual dishonesty and moral bankruptcy of the CBCP and its allies.

Our political leaders have been put in their proper place — as our public servants and our employees by dint of the votes we cast and the taxes we pay. We their constituents have shown them a glimpse of what accountability looks like; now is the time to give them the full show. Let’s keep demanding answers to the simple, important questions: when are you going to have the final vote on this bill, and after 14 years and countless deaths, what is taking you so long? The RH Bill is further along than it has ever been, but it is not yet law. If, however, we all together keep up the pressure as we have these last few weeks and don’t lose sight of the fight, then I am confident that it soon will be.

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Pro-RH Catholics: Please Create a Pro-RH Church


Dear Pro-RH Catholics,

You’ve been asking the Vatican for pro-RH reforms for over four decades. During that time, your leader, the Pope, has made it absolutely clear that to be Catholic means to be anti-RH. You have been called “fake Catholics,” “cafeteria Catholics,” and even “oxymorons.” You have been told that if you cannot obey, you should just leave. Your Pope has answered requests for reforms by saying he prefers searching agnostics over fake believers.

You have no control over what your church officially does and decides. Yet you have fought long and hard to cling to your Catholic identity. I respect that, but I respect even more the fact that you recognize the moral value of RH despite the denigration of your detractors. So I’m suggesting that you consider indulging them.

What if you left the Roman Catholic Church completely and formed your own one? It would be identical to your old church, except for one critical difference: it would be pro-RH officially. Of course, your new church will no longer be recognized by the Vatican.

But what would losing Vatican recognition do anyway? If you cared about the Vatican’s official position, you wouldn’t be pro-RH Catholics. This implies that you don’t think the Vatican is the highest authority.

You probably think that Jesus Christ is, and that He is pro-RH. So don’t you owe it to Jesus to create a church that truly represents Him? If you create a church with pro-RH bishops and priests — and you’ve claimed that there are many of them — don’t you think that Jesus would let them represent Him even without the Pope’s permission?

Surely you don’t think Jesus gave the Vatican unconditional power. If the Catholic Church suddenly taught that child abuse was a sacrament, do you think Jesus would still be OK with them representing Him? Similarly, do you think Jesus would have a problem with good bishops just because they removed the “Roman” in “Roman Catholic”?

So you should have no doubt that Jesus will bless this Pro-RH Church that you are forming. Being a pro-RH God, it’s even reasonable to think He’d bless it even more. Your new church may not be as extravagant as your old church, lacking the expensive decorations and extravagant costumes (and you won’t have billions in reserve for that occasional child abuse settlement). But I don’t think a carpenter’s son who was born in a manger would care much for appearances.

I don’t think Jesus would mind plain silverware.

You may find the different surroundings striking at first, but I’m sure you’ll get used to it soon. Because you can keep almost everything in your new church the same as your old one. A blind person attending a Pro-RH mass wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. At least not until the priest sermons about the importance of informed choice, freedom of conscience, and of course, contraception.

Imagine not having the urge to walk out because you vehemently disagree with your priest. Imagine not feeling tricked whenever you’re asked to kneel, bow your head, and then pray against the RH Bill. Imagine not thinking twice about donating money that could be used to fund anti-RH campaigns. Imagine not feeling cognitive dissonance about supporting an anti-RH institution that claims to represent the pro-RH God you have faith in.

Forming a new church would surely take some courage, not to mention resources. But it wouldn’t take a lot individually if you did it together. If most of you joined this new church, yours would still be the largest church in the Philippines. Since most Catholics are pro-RH, you’ll be bigger than the Roman Catholic church.

The Philippines would now be predominantly Pro-RH Catholic (which it already is anyway). Your new bishops — who will actually represent your RH stance — will have more clout than your old bishops, who can no longer claim to represent 80% of the population.

Knowing the danger of bullying bishops, your new leaders probably won’t use their religious authority to meddle in politics. And they wouldn’t even have to. Because from now on, your representatives will no longer fear pressure from the bishops.

Anti-RH legislators who were just bullied by bishops could change their position. Closeted pro-RH legislators could now openly support the RH Bill. The passage of the RH Bill will finally be a reality, enshrining RH as a fundamental human right. This alone should make you consider forming a pro-RH church. Pro-RH Jesus would be pleased.

Sincerely,

Red

PS

It wouldn’t hurt to disassociate from an organization that censures progressive theologians and nuns, discriminates against women, LGBTs, and non-Catholics, protects pedophile priests more than potential child abuse victims, and thinks that you deserve to burn in Hell.

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