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 Proposed House Bills 164, 797 and 2111: the Magna Carta

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KAKAMMPI



Female Number of posts : 880
Registration date : 2008-01-06

PostSubject: Proposed House Bills 164, 797 and 2111: the Magna Carta   Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:48 pm

WE STRONGLY OPPOSE CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE Magna Carta for Women IN THE
SEVERAL VERSIONS PROPOSED, BECAUSE THEY WILL HARM FILIPINO SOCIETY,
INCLUDING FILIPINO WOMEN.

We view with deep anxiety certain major provisions of House Bill Nos.
164, 797 and 2111, the Magna Carta for Women:

1. We categorically reject the inclusion in Sec 20 of House Bills
164 and 2111 of ?reproductive health services? among the health
services to be provided by the government. The term, ?reproductive
health services,? has been used by supporters of abortion, over
many years, in many countries, and by many means. We similarly
reject the use elsewhere in HB164 and HB2111 of the terms
?reproductive health,? and ?reproductive rights,? which have the
same history. The term "reproductive health" as per international
definition includes the right to abortion, which is illegal.
"Reproductive health" as a concept and practice is controversial
and divisive among our people. "Reproductive rights" is a political
term referring mainly to the right not to reproduce, contrary to
what the term suggests. In its universally accepted definitions,
"reproductive rights" means that contraception and abortion are
framed as rights of women, resulting from the woman's exclusive
decision to choose whether to have children or not. While we are
also committed to safeguard the dignity of women, we oppose any
suggestion that child-bearing is a form of discrimination or
oppression that is grouped together with such problems as violence
against women, lack of representation in political decision-making,
or unemployment. Our constitution and the beliefs and sentiments of
our people, completely reject the inhuman practice of abortion,
which in no way benefits women, whether mothers or their unborn
daughters. May we therefore suggest that these be omitted from the
sections, since the statements will remain valid and relevant for
the well-being of women.

2. We are also concerned by the reference to ?family planning? in
the same sections. We know the consequences of a society adopting
artificial means of contraception: we can see it in many countries
of the West, and some here in the East. In some of the countries of
Europe, a typical girl being born today has no brothers or sisters,
no cousins, and no aunts or uncles ? but she does have four
grandparents, whom she will have to support some day through her
social security contributions. This sounds unthinkable to us, but
fifty or sixty years ago the same countries had stable families,
with more children than we do now. The only thing separating us
from such a future is a willingness to say no to artificial
contraception, and rely on natural family planning which preserves
the value of life and family. We trust, with some trepidation, that
you, our legislators, and the public, will recognize the abyss that
lies before us as a nation, and wisely choose the narrow road to
safety for our Filipino society and people.

3. We strongly oppose Sec. 72, Penal Sanctions, of H.B. 797. The
Magna Carta is intended to shape the future of Philippine society
regarding the equal dignity and status of women and men, by
changing patterns of thinking. It is not a suitable vehicle for
penal sanction, because its implementation is necessarily subject
to a great deal of interpretation, which can easily be abused to
silence those who simply disagree. If adopted, the proposed penal
sanctions will put an end to free discussion of women?s issues.
This is not how a just society is built. Penal sanctions are best
left to existing laws which already sanction offenses against
women, such as Republic Act No. 9208 (?Anti-Trafficking in Persons
Act of 2003?), Republic Act No. 9262 (Anti-violence Against Women
and Their Children Act?), and Republic Act No. 8353 (?Anti-Rape Law
of 1987)

4. We support the inclusion of the statements found in Sec 9 of
HB797, that ?in all cases the rights of the children shall be
paramount,? as necessary for the welfare of our children and of our
society as a whole.


If adopted, the Magna Carta for women will be used to change our
Filipino society in one of two ways. Either it will be used to advance
the economic, social and political rights of marginalized Filipinas;
or it will be used to advance an ideological agenda, that women can do
anything a man can do, just as well as they can do it ? something
which does not need to be proved in the first place ? creating a
titanic struggle for power in our society and especially our families.
If it is the latter, Filipinas and Filipinos alike will pay an
unbearable price, as our families crumble to dust. Both sober
reflection, and a study of history and the scientific literature,
leave no doubt that not only is there no social progress, but there is
no hope for the future of a society where families are not the center
of life, and every effort made to keep them strong. If the Filipino
family, the crown jewel of our society, is permitted to be weakened by
the way in which a Magna Carta for Women is implemented, it will in
the long run have exactly the opposite effect from that which is
intended and desired: in the jungle that will be Philippine society,
it will be the ruthless and the physically strong who will dominate
everything.


For the ALLIANCE FOR THE FAMILY:
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