Draft for an anti-RH Bill: Maternal Health Bill of 2011
May 22, 2011 11 Comments
The Catholic Church and anti-RH bill lawmakers have always been on the defensive after years of siege by the proponents of the RH Bill. The RH bill forces will never tire: they have the funding of multinational pharmaceuticals who make contraceptives, abortion companies like Planned Parenthood, and UN commissions who push for reproductive health.
What the anti-RH Bill forces need is a counter-attack on the RH-Bill forces’ flanks. We must fight the RH Bill by proposing a contrary bill (read the parable of the unclean spirit (Lk 11:24-26)). The Reproductive Health Bill is a misnomer and a lie: the bill does not concern reproduction but contraception and contraceptives endanger the woman’s health. The Maternal Health Bill that I propose is really for maternal health, which concerns both the mother and the child: the word “maternal” does not only refer to the woman but also to her child, for how can a woman be a mother, a “mater”, if she has no child? A woman’s right over her body should never trample on the rights of the child in her womb over his body.
This anti-RH bill shall divert the time and resources of the pro-RH forces, for one cannot fight at the same time both the impregnable wall that is the Catholic Church and the new menace that may spell the doom of RH in the Philippines. (News Flash: Cong. Manny Pacquiao’s anti-RH bill knocks out Sen. Miriam Santiago’s RH bill). And if this anti-RH bill becomes a law, it will be one layer of defense wall against the renewed assault of the pro-RH bill forces in the future. As Gandalf would said to the Balrog in the battle of the Bridge of Khazadum: “You cannot pass!”
Below is a draft of the bill that I propose, following the outline of the Consolidated RH Bill, House Bill 4244, “The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health andPopulation and Development Act of 2011” and Senator Miriam Santiago’s Senate Bill 2378, The Reproductive Health Act. I hope a congressman or senator can improve my draft bill and sponsor it as a congressional or senate bill. Please spread the word.
—Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr., Monk’s Hobbit
St. Albert the Great, pray for us.
St. Bobo, pray for us.
Section 1. Title
This act shall be known as the “Maternal Health Bill of 2011”.
Section 2. Declaration of Policy
“The state recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic, autonomous, social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of the parents in rearing of the youth into civic efficiency and the development of the moral character shall receive support from the government.” (1987 Philippine Constitution Art. II, Sec. 12)
Section 3. Guiding Principles
This act declares the following as guiding principles:
- A human being is formed when a sperm fertilizes an egg. Many contraceptive pills are actually abortifacients because they prevent the fertilized egg to cling to the uterine walls and the fertilized egg dies.
- Every child has a right to be conceived in his mother’s womb through the union of his father’s sperm and his mother’s egg through sexual intercourse.
- Every child conceived has the right to be born alive.
- The use of condoms and contraceptive pills makes fornication and adultery easier because the woman involved will not get pregnant and the scandalous affair is not brought to light. Fornication leads to low marriage rates and adultery increases the breakdown of marriages.
- The use of condoms and and contraceptive pills contributes to environmental pollution. In particular, when the contraceptive chemicals are excreted from the woman’s body through urine, these chemicals enter the sewage system, down to our rivers and streams, and back to our drinking water. The female sex hormones in the water contributes to the impotence of males.
- Contraceptive pills interrupt women’s natural fertility cycle. Furthermore, the use of contraceptive pills has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.
- The use of condoms and contraceptive pills lessen the respect of the husband to the wife, making her an object to be used anytime, anywhere, without regard to her natural fertility cycle.
- The use of condoms increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases: those who use condoms think that having sex is safer, so they increase the frequency of their sexual intercourse and the number of their sexual partners.
- The use of condoms and contraceptive pills leads to a notion that a child is not a gift but a burden, so that if the contraception fails and a child is conceived, the next recourse is abortion. Countries who made contraception into a law ended up making abortion into a human right.
- Willful abortion is a criminal offense because a human being is killed.
- Growing population is not a problem, but graft and corruption. Decline in population leads to a graying population which would decrease the number of taxpayers and increase the numbers of old pensioners, leading to economic collapse.
- The children are the hope of our country, said Dr. Jose Rizal. It is not the duty of the state to mandate the number of children per household, but to provide opportunities for each child conceived to grow to become responsible citizens of the country.
- Those who contribute to the pollution of our environment or to the destruction of our families must be must be the one who shall be taxed in order for the government to clean up the mess.
- Maternal health refers to the biological capacity of a woman to do the all of the four functions: (a) conceive a child through sexual intercourse with a man, (b) carry the child in her womb for nine months, (c) give birth to the child through normal delivery, (d) and breastfeed the child immediately after birth until the child does not anymore need breastmilk.
- Maternal death is defined as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes (World Health Organization)
- Marriage is the union of a man and a woman as witnessed by the State for the the purpose of raising a family.
- Fornication or pre-marital sex is the sexual intercourse between the unmarried man and an unmarried woman
- Adultery is the sexual intercourse with a partner who is married to another.
- Contraceptives are devices or chemicals that hinders the meeting between the sperm and egg during sexual intercourse
- Abortifacients are substances or chemicals that induce abortion.
- Sex hormones are sex-specific chemicals that are naturally produced by the human body. Males have male hormones, females have female hormones.
- Abortion is the killing of an unborn child in the womb.
- Fertility cycle is the reproductive cycle of which define the days when she is fertile and when she is not.
- Natural family planning refers to the study of the woman’s fertility cycle to determine the proper times for sexual intercourse for the proper spacing of births.
- Sexually transmitted diseases refers to diseases that are transmitted through sexual intercourse, such as AIDS and HIV.
- Contraceptives imported from other countries are subject to 100% tariff. Contraceptives donated from other countries will also be subject to 100% tariff based on their estimated value. Thirty-five percent (35%) of the tariff shall go to the National Treasury, 30% shall go to the Department of Health (DOH) for its Maternal Health Programs, 15 % shall go to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and 15% shall go to a special research fund of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). This special research fund shall be awarded to research proposals for development of ways to monitor and remove women sex hormones in rivers, lakes, and drinking water. These funds shall be included in the yearly appropriations of the Philippine government budget.
- Contraceptives produced in the country are subject to 50% production tax. Contraceptives sold in the country are subject to 50% sales tax.
- Contraceptives that do not require surgery or taking in of chemicals can be purchased over-the-counter in pharmacies, e.g. condoms. Contraceptives that require the absorption of chemicals in a man’s or woman’s body can only be bought through doctor’s prescription. Contraceptives that require surgery shall be considered contraband goods.
- Ligation in men and women as a form of contraception shall not be allowed. Doctors and nurses who took part in these surgeries shall have their medical licenses revoked for three (3) years.
- The Department of Health shall provide a list of chemical contraceptives that are abortifacients. The importation, manufacture, and sale of these contraceptives shall be prohibited and these contraceptives shall be considered contraband goods.
- Willful termination of a normal pregnancy (abortion) is a criminal offense. The doctor or nurse who took part in these surgeries shall be tried in a criminal court.
- Fertility treatments which require fertilization outside the woman’s womb shall not be allowed in the country. Doctors and nurses who took part in these treatments shall have their medical licenses revoked for three years.
- Contraceptives shall not be classified as essential medicines and their purchase shall not be covered by PhilHealth. No government fund must be used for the purchase of contraceptives or for the promotion of their use. Government funds shall only be used by DOH for Natural Family Planning and other Maternal Health Programs.
- Hospitals shall be required to have pregnancy crisis centers for counselling women who are thinking of aborting their child due to rape, incest, abandonment, etc. These centers will be staffed by DOH and DSWD personnel or DOH and DSWD-accredited personnel. They shall also be funded by donors from the private sector and NGO’s. The purpose of these centers is to convince the women to let their baby live, and give it up for adoption at least. The women shall be shown the ultrasound–in 4G if possible–what their baby looks like in the womb–pointing out the head, the arms, the feet, fingers, and toes. Once the baby is delivered, the mother of the baby may decide to keep the baby or give him up for adoption.
- The DOH and DSWD shall publish a joint list of accredited pregnancy crisis centers and child adoption centers. This list shall be made available to all hospitals.
- All couples who wish to get married must attend lectures on possible sources of conflicts in marriage and how to resolve them to make marriage and family life wonderful. The Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) shall conduct these lectures at least once a year. The DSWS can also accredit centers who shall do these lectures.
- The couples who wish to get married must also take lectures on natural family planning, fetal development, breastfeeding, and child development. The Department of Health (DOH) shall conduct these lectures once a year. The DOH can also accredit centers who shall do these lectures.
- Sex education in elementary and high schools is only limited to that body’s fertility cycle, sexual reproduction, and child development as taught in Biology. The harmful effects of chemical contraceptives may also be taught. The use of condoms should not be taught in elementary and high school.
- Values formation classes should stress the dignity of marriage, the gift of a child, and social responsibility. These classes should discuss the problems resulting from the contraceptive mentality such as pre-marital sex, adultery, and divorce, and abortion. These classes should discuss how these things destroy family and society. The Department of Education shall review the existing curriculum on values education and incorporate these topics if these were not included before.
- Couples may use PhilHealth for the ultrasound imaging of a developing fetus in his mother’s womb, provided that such a procedure is prescribed by a doctor.
- The benefits of paternity and maternity shall be availed by the couples as stipulated in the existing laws.
- The delivery efficiency of midwives shall be labeled in their DOH certified identification card. The delivery efficiency is the ratio of two numbers: total live births delivered divided by total births delivered, computed since the start of her career. Both the fraction and percent efficiency should be displayed. Midwives with the highest yearly number of live births assisted with 100% delivery efficiency shall be given an award by the provincial DOH at least Php 10,000 in cash and a plaque of appreciation.
- All midwives, nurses, and doctors who have assisted delivery cases wherein the infant or the mother died or both shall inform the DOH. A DOH personnel shall interview the medical practitioners involved on the sequence of events and the possible causes of death. These interviews shall be recorded in text, audio, or video. The transcribed interviews shall be sent to provincial DOH centers for making a yearly report. From this data, midwifery practices that are shown to correspond higher incidence of infant and maternal deaths shall be eliminated or modified. DOH shall then issue revised protocols on child delivery and maternal health.
- All hospitals in a province are required to submit to provincial DOH centers the statistics on infant and maternal mortality, starting from the child is in the womb until the child is released from the hospital.
- At the end of each year, the provincial DOH centers shall make a summary report of the child mortality per hospital and and health center.
- Doctors, nurses, and midwives must see to it that the newborn child is breastfed by the mother.
- Hospitals should only display the benefits of breastmilk in posters. Dairy products should not be prominently advertised in hospitals as breast-milk substitutes. Purchase of breastmilk substitutes require a doctor’s prescription.
- Malls must have designated breastfeeding stations where a mother can breastfeed her child in private. These stations should be clearly marked and its location should be available in the information booth and the mall map. Mall owners shall be given a year to comply to this requirement. Malls that fail to comply shall have their business permit revoked .
- Separability Clause. If any part of this act is considered invalid or unconstitutional, other provisions not affected thereby shall remain in force and effect.
- Repealing Clause. All other laws, decrees, ordinances, rules and regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended, or modified accordingly.
- Effectivity. This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.