In the race against the fast-developing worlds, our country, the Philippines, seems to be coming behind. It is a genuine fact that in our current situation, we cannot compete globally with bold-faced countries such as China, USA, Japan, and Korea. But why is it that we cannot, so much an inch, be at par with them? Is it not true that our country is one of the few cascaded with bountiful natural resources accessible for use at any time? Heck, some of these are not even available to the other renowned lands. So…why? I tell you the answer to this: it is all in the grounds of our “problems” my dear friends. Our problems are encumbrances that become an impediment in our struggle for economic growth and development. What are these “problems” that I speak of, you ask? Well, reproductive health, mortality rate and population and development; these are only a few to reckon. These three are so simple to utter in words yet are so great of an inconvenience for the entire state if not upheld properly.
The Philippine government has sought ways wherein they could give a solution to these “problems”. Upon doing so, they have formulated a bill that seeks to promote access to information on a national level and the availability of natural and artificial contraception. It has had an uphill battle due to extreme opposition mainly from the Roman Catholic Church, Pro-Life Philippines, the National Coalition for Family and Life, Abay Pamilya, and Philippine Nurses Association. Accepted and introduced as a law at present, the bill seeks to empower couples in responsible family planning through education and access to legal and medically safe birth control. Cited as the Republic Act Number 10354, this envisaged solution is what we know as the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 informally renowned as the Reproductive Health Law or the RH Law.
With the purpose of educating men and women to know better than to engage in something that might ruin the rest of their future, the RH Law provides opportunities for the prevention of the untimely death of infants. As an anticipated product, there will be less teen pregnancies which correspond to the decline of infant mortality. You see, pregnancy among young women often renders teen moms to be incapable of proper delivery. Their reproductive system may not be very stretchable yet for the baby to be able to go out without a sweat. In unfortunate circumstances, the baby, having lost the amniotic fluid essential for its breathing, may suffocate inside the mother and die. In some cases also, the mother dies because of the pressure and stress to which her young body is incapable of coping with.
If ever the child labor was successful, quandaries would arise in caring for and upbringing of the child. Young women tend to be less knowledgeable about childcare and are very rash in their actions. Their impulsiveness may get the baby hurt or injured. Severe infliction of pain to the child is very serious. Since children are fragile, the event may affect their psychological development and might scar them for life. For children under a year, this case is seriously dreadful because the parents’ recklessness can lead to the child’s death.
There is a problem that can occur in the state of the family’s financial stability as well. The father being the head of the family who in eminent cases, is too young for his responsibility, may be unable to earn an income fit for the needs of his brood and consort. Since most of teen fathers are inept to attend school and finish, they are usually unqualified for work in big or average establishments. This makes finding a decent job with an ample amount of compensation very hard. What is harder than this is when a mother, having the child be disowned by the partner, comes to rear him up as a single parent. Sometimes, due to the ignominy she brought up and for contravening her family, they discard any relationship they have had with her and forsake her. They leave her to strive for her and her offspring’s life without giving even a single penny to start off. Such an ill-fated life this is. This supports a fact that as much as possible, gestation of women on the right age is proper and should be followed. Another fact is that the rate of successful labor for women in the apt adult scale is higher when compared to that of the teens and menopausal moms. Like in most families, the children can be taken care of properly. Of course, a regular monthly income that suffices the family’s needs should come together with it.
Now enough about the cons about teen moms and let us proceed to the pros that the law gives to the persons who assist in child labor. The law provides midwives and nurses knowledge for skilled attendance to childbirth and emergency obstetric care, even in geographically isolated and depressed areas. With this, we can expect that unattended births will be evaded and maternity mortality will be addressed.
But what if I tell you that teen pregnancy is still unavoidable even if all the men and women in the world have come to understand its after-effects? That would be another problem, right? Especially because we have no power to control these “urges” to defy that traditional concept which is evident in teens nowadays. The conventional line that Filipinos carry goes this way: ‘one should preserve one’s virginity for the partner that God will lay out in the right time’. It does not apply to everyone though. Those who dared to flout out the conception have been thought to be influenced by the modern times where Korean Novellas or epic love stories appear to become the guide of a girl’s life. Here, the dominant thing is love and everything else is put aside. Knowing this, another “problem” has occurred. Nevertheless, the government has seen this through and has incorporated a key to its remedy. With a thorough understanding of the human anatomy and physiology abet with the advancement in technology, certain expedients and contrivances have arisen for the problem’s solution.
Contraceptives are devices or drugs used to prevent pregnancy among women. These are but some of the following: condoms, IUD, birth control pills, depot birth control medications, morning-after pill methods, contraceptive sponge, cervical cap, sterilization and the rhythm method of contraception. They are mainly used as an armament against the infection of lethal diseases that emanate from the recurring change of partners for sexual intercourse. These diseases are also transmitted in the same way by “carriers” of the disease. They can also be called a silent-killer because a person can discern that he/she has been infected only after complications brought about by the said disease occurs and is maybe too late at the time. Most of the effects can be delayed or even cured; but a number of them are fatal. Cervical cancer is one of the common effects of STD in women. In men, diseases such as HIV and the complications that it brings about to damage the body are the collective predicaments. Contraceptives help protect people against the infection and transmission of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) between partners.
The current population problem should be considered as the principal element for long-term economic development. Knowing with this, we should take the advantages of the said law to its maximum. Family planning commodities (contraceptives) that help to lower gestation rate among women is an immense plus that aids to find for the solution of this problem. Couples who use these devices or drugs have the chance of hoping for an aversion of having children. They have the opportunity to arrange for the period wherein they think they have the ample amount of support for the child that they are to rear up and may prepare for this point of time to have a child of their own without having to suppress sexual urgency. On the other face of the coin, rape victims, unfortunate women who suffer a sudden traumatizing sexual abuse, may take in pills in order to eradicate the unwanted outcome of fate’s depravity that is within them. They may be able to save themselves from the shame of raising an unwanted child. However, women who attempt to do so must also consider that as appalled as they may feel, the slaughter of an innocent life can never compensate for the cruelties inflicted upon people by humanity and would only make them filthy in God’s eyes. It is without doubt that what I will say is merely based on what I have read and may not have experienced the incident first-hand, but I still believe that women should not try to commit this grave sin. In the Bible we can see that God himself carved the Ten Commandments for us to obey and in one of those lines God said, “Thou shall not kill”. An act such as this is no different than directly stabbing a person in the heart I tell you. Be wary of your ways. And you should know that the child is of your own flesh and blood. She/he is within you and is sleeping serenely as she/he develops in your own womb. Would you not feel the guilt and mental agony of losing a child that is your own?
Although the RH Law goes against the laws and principles of the church, the government can still overturn the deviance because the law’s primary purpose is to decrease the birth mortality rate, protect the people against STD, and minimize the rapid increase of population in the country.
Morally undesirable it may be, we cannot deny that this law is one that can counteract the decline that our economy, as well as our society, is facing. Some who oppose this law say that this would not make us human for we are toying with the creation of a life. But everyone must know that to be human is to care for those who are here at present and if we are able to protect these people by means of foiling the anticipated existence of others, then so be it. Those here at present are more important than the ones just planned to be produced at a later time.
I may just be a mere individual babbling on and on about this issue without even having read the entire provisions of the law, like most of us. But I would only like to emphasize that we are citizens of the Filipino nation and our duty as individuals is to help pave a way for the betterment of our Third-World-Country status.
Would you say now that it is unfit for our economy to rise by this means of solving the problems in reproductive health, mortality rate and population and development? I ask you now to look at that point of view.