Overpopulation, hunger, and the Reproductive Health Bill
1. Primary duty of the Church is to proclaim the Gospel and not feed the hungry.
I am glad that INC and Protestants became pro-RH bill. And only the Catholic Church is against the bill. Jesus asks: “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Using artificial contraception is a question of faith, and the Catholic Church shall fight the RH bill because it goes against the Faith handed on by Christ to his apostles and the bishops who succeeded them. The salvation of souls is at stake. Amado thinks that the primary duty of the Church is to help the government feed the starving Filipinos. The Church has this duty to feed the hungry as a corporal work of mercy, but Her primary duty is what was commissioned by Christ to his apostles: “Go, therefore, 12 and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19). It is not the Church’s primary duty to turn stones into bread, for Christ said: “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4)
2. Contraception and Marriage
Where in the Bible is does God command to use artificial contraception like condoms and pills? In marriage, God has united the husband and wife into one flesh. And what God has put together, let no man put asunder (c.f. Mk 10:9). God has united the begetting of children with the sexual act. Thus, man must not separate this union by force through condoms, pills, artificial insemination, and in vitro fertilization. As the Catechism says:
2369 “By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its orientation toward man’s exalted vocation to parenthood.”157
2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.158 These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil:159
2376 Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.”167
2377 Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that “entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children.”168 “Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses’ union . . . . Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person.”169
2372 The state has a responsibility for its citizens’ well-being. In this capacity it is legitimate for it to intervene to orient the demography of the population. This can be done by means of objective and respectful information, but certainly not by authoritarian, coercive measures. The state may not legitimately usurp the initiative of spouses, who have the primary responsibility for the procreation and education of their children.162 In this area, it is not authorized to employ means contrary to the moral law.
3. Is having many children bad?
Where in the Bible does it say that having many children is bad? This is what the Bible says:
“God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them, saying: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.” (Gn 1:27-28)
“When you hearken to the voice of the LORD, your God, all these blessings will come upon you and overwhelm you: 3″May you be blessed in the city, and blessed in the country! 4″Blessed be the fruit of your womb, the produce of your soil and the offspring of your livestock, the issue of your herds and the young of your flocks!5 “Blessed be your grain bin and your kneading bowl!… The LORD will increase in more than goodly measure the fruit of your womb, the offspring of your livestock, and the produce of your soil, in the land which he swore to your fathers he would give you.12 The LORD will open up for you his rich treasure house of the heavens, to give your land rain in due season, blessing all your undertakings, so that you will lend to many nations and borrow from none. (Dt 28:11-12)
The solution to the problem of hunger is not to curb population through RH Bill but to obey God’s Word. As Christ said:
“So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’32 All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.33 But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, 19 and all these things will be given you besides.