We in the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network applaud the filing of this petition.
We believe that the ordinance in question is contrary to key international obligations of the Philippines to ensure universal access to the full complement of reproductive health choices. The officials of the city government of Manila cannot be allowed to plead discretion in matters that have already been agreed upon and committed to by nationally and internationally constituted forums.
Further, the ordinance only exacerbates the already frightening situation of women in urban communities -- especially those living near or below the poverty threshold -- by creating a pocket of prohibition that deprives the residents of Manila of the basic right to information about issues that concern their bodies, their families, and their futures.
Thus we urge the public to participate with us, as we will all be ultimately affected should policies that are so blatantly derisive of the individual freedom to choose be allowed to go unchecked. And we urge the Court to look past arguments that seek to replace the wisdom of years of empirical and statistically sound research with incredible partisan beliefs.
For us and for the many other multi-sectoral groups that partner with us, reproductive health rights are human rights. Rights that cross gender, social status, economic power, and most importantly, time. If we are to ensure a brighter tomorrow for the children that will have to live in it, then we must make our choices count today.
In behalf of the RHAN Members,