Aquino defies Church, backs controversial bill
Posted September 28, 2009on:
By Anna Valmero
First Posted 17:07:00 09/28/2009
Filed Under: Politics, Health
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III said on Monday he remains firm in supporting the passage of House Bill 5043 or proposed Reproductive Health and Population Development Act even if it means the Catholic church and pro-life groups will not support his presidential bid for 2010.
Aquino said the bill can pave the way for parents’ education in taking responsibility for the growth of their children. The country’s population can balloon to more than 92 million, according to a forecast by the National Statistics Office.
“Whatever they say about my position on the RH bill, I am sticking to it despite the pressure from certain quarters. If I get the support or not of the Church and pro-life groups [for my presidential bid in 2010], it is secondary for my advocacy to get everybody educated on reproductive health,” he said.
“Parents must be reminded they have a responsibility with their children,” Aquino stressed. “I need not go far to see a mother with children having only 10 months gap in between and with the next generation suffering the same poor conditions.”
But even with a law on reproductive health, Aquino said parents should be given independence to decide on how many children they want and whether or not to use natural or artificial methods of contraception.
Aquino said he is not “comfortable” that the government will provide a specific budget in support of artificial family planning. “And it is not right to tell patients that only artificial methods can be used for family planning,” he added.