“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
Last December 12, I was up until 2 AM listening to the nominal voting of the RH Bill in the House of Representatives. Listening to our representatives both pro and anti-RH Bill, I was appalled by the line of reasoning of some of them. Some of the arguments used by those who voted NO are shallow and self-serving, like our economy is dependent upon OFW remittances and populating the earth with Filipinos. While those proponents of the bill (YES) have convinced themselves that too many Filipinos will be the destruction of our society, that the only way to solve poverty, prevent maternal and child death and espouse women's rights is to promote a contraceptive mentality amongst our people. They have convinced themselves that they are doing this for the Filipino nation, exercising sovereignty and the separation of church and state by not being influenced by religion, yet are willing to be influenced by foreign funding agencies. They seem to have conveniently forgotten the fact that the RH Bill was introduced because the Philippines does not have an enabling law on population control, which is part of the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the UN and the US (aka USAID). So what sovereignty are they talking about? And isn't it that obedience to God comes before obedience to man? The final count on the second reading was 113 for Yes and 104 for No. I felt sad and suddenly fearful for the future.
Human life is beautiful. From the moment of conception, every human life is precious and every human life is sacred. Amidst all the rich variety of life on earth, human life is cause for special wonder. We alone can contemplate the beauty around us. We alone can create art and music and literature to express this beauty. We alone can love one another. And so, it is deplorable that there are people who are against life and seek to redefine, limit and destroy it. If we were not human upon conception, what were we then?
I cannot understand how government and policy makers can look upon human life as a threat to development. Is it not humanity who makes development possible? Family planning (FP) programs introduced in the country since the early 70's failed not because of the absence of an enabling law, not because of the influence of the Catholic Church, not because people are poor. It failed mainly because of lack of education, poor implementation and lack of access to health services and FP programs. A new law will not ensure implementation, more so when it is an unjust law. The government should instead focus on eliminating graft and corruption; provide jobs, low-cost housing, free health care and good education to all Filipinos. When you have all these in place, you limit if not totally eliminate poverty. Overpopulation is not the cause of poverty! And who can predict if the RH Bill's provisions will indeed control the population? If it fails...then can an abortion amendment be far behind? Proponents say this will never happen, but once there is an enabling law, it is fact that amendments can be easily made. Experience worldwide shows that once abortion is legalized, even in limited and extraordinary conditions, it becomes more widespread than was first intended because then, interpretation can become relative. I am truly horrified with the thought. Someone asked me why I am scaring myself with "future ghosts" when these are not realities yet. My answer was simple. With the deterioration of moral values in the world and it seems that now-a-days nothing is objectively right or wrong, who is to say that an amendment to allow abortion will not happen 20, 30, 40 or more years from now? Do we want to go the way of "developed" countries where human life has been devalued and disrespected?
I feel really sad when babies die due to illness, but what is worst is when babies die due to violence and neglect. The massacre of little children and teachers in Newtown, Connecticut last December 14 is a senseless tragedy. It once again brings to mind the question "Why does God allow bad things to happen to the innocent". While this is hard to explain, my trust in Him and His Divine Wisdom gives me comfort. My heart goes to the families these little angels left behind (I say so, because children who die before their first communion go directly to heaven), may our merciful God give them strength and console them as they grieve for the loss of their loved ones.
Human life is beautiful...human beings should value each other, help one another, treat each other with respect from the moment of conception to the end of life. May God have mercy on us all.
|approximate age: 12 weeks fetus|