World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific Opposes the Philippines’ Reproductive Health Bill
The World Youth Alliance affirms, as stated in our charter, that the dignity of the human person must be at the heart of policy formation, and that good policies are those that protect and affirm the inherent dignity of each individual.
Development and women’s health are two areas where the debate regarding the dignity of the person takes place on both global and national levels. WYA has been participating in these debates for the past 11 years. In 2007, we released our Declaration on Development, and in 2010, our Declaration on Maternal Health.
The debate on the RH Bill in the Philippines provides an opportunity for our Asia Pacific members to engage in national policy debate for the defense of the human person. The RH Bill would pose significant risks to the violation of international human rights to the citizens of the Philippines.
The Philippines has significant need for development and improved women’s health conditions. Unfortunately, the RH Bill does not address these concerns. Further, HB 4244 proposes measures that would violate the rights of women and the most vulnerable. For this reason, WYA unequivocally rejects the RH bill, HB 4244.
The Philippine RH Bill is based on a flawed economic premise, and includes coercive human rights violations within its terms. To read our statement, please refer to “WYA Asia Pacific’s Statement on HB 4244” below.
Informed citizens are necessary to participate and influence the direction of public life. As such, WYA encourages our members and friends to read the original text of the bill instead of just relying on hearsay or sensationalized media coverage.
We have also prepared an analysis of the bill, and translated it into easier-to-comprehend pieces of information to help educate the public. If you would like to know more, you can refer to our “Essential Points on the RH Bill” series, and the “8 Points Why We Should Not Pass the RH Bill” series below.
The bill is currently due for plenary debates on the Philippine Congress. The Session’s Daily Oder of Business is often released at the last minute, so please check-in with us for the latest schedule. You can also know the the schedule through the local newspapers and media networks. Daily sessions commence at four o’clock (4:00) in the afternoon on Mondays through Thursdays and at ten o’clock (10:00) in the morning on Fridays unless the House decides otherwise.
We call on all the people who share our views to act now! Here is how:
Get in touch with your district representative in congress
Call or write your district representative, identify yourself as a constituent, and explain to them why you think the RH Bill should not be passed. To find your district representative, visit this website: http://www.congress.gov.ph/members/
Spread the word
Help spread the world by passing this and other essential information to concerned citizens. We have uploaded onto this blogpost our flyers and posters for you to download, repost, retweet or print and distribute to your friends and family.
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WYA Asia Pacific’s Statement on HB 4244:
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A COMPREHENSIVE POLICY ON RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD, REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH, AND POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES (also known as the RH Bill)
The ACT PROVIDING FOR A COMPREHENSIVE POLICY ON RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD, REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH, AND POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES (HB 4244) violates international human rights to freedom of conscience, thought and belief that are enshrined in Philippine law. These rights are protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and CEDAW, all of which have been ratified into Philippine law.
The following passages in the current bill violate freedom of conscience, thought and belief, and include punitive measures for those who oppose these rights:
RH bill. SEC. 7, Ln. 9-10
RH bill. SEC. 8, Para. 2, Ln. 26-29
RH bill. SEC. 12, Ln. 25
RH bill. SEC 16, Ln. 4-5
RH bill. SEC. 16, Ln. 10-11, (a)
RH bill. SEC. 16, Ln. 27
RH bill. SEC. 17
RH bill. SEC. 18
RH bill. SEC. 20, Ln. 24-25
RH bill. SEC 22
RH bill. SEC. 28(a)(1)
RH bill. SEC. 28(a)(2)
RH bill. SEC. 28(a)(3) Ln. 5-9
It is critical for individuals to act now by contacting their Congressional Representative to ask them to protect basic human rights by voting against this bill. Only a vote against this bill will protect these basic human rights in Philippine law.