Monday, May 12, 2008

Reproductive health is not only being moral?

In a statement, the Davao Teen Center (DTC) strongly expressed their support on the programs of the local government to address the reproductive health issues of the city. They challenged civil society to support the programs, as this is the "long hope of young people when it comes to accessibility of the reproductive health services of the city."

Jamail Lunar Macla, youth coordinator of DTC, expressed that the local initiative of passing and approving LDPC manifests the firmness of local leaders that reproductive health is more than moral and societal issue.

Macla said the issue is not just all about morality.

"Reproductive health is not only being moral. It is being human and humane to all citizenry where you let them choose to informed options based on the availability and accessibility of correct information and education that was given by all stakeholders in the society, which includes media, family, peers, academe and church," Macla said.

I wonder what Macla means when she says "Reproductive health is not only being moral.”
Let us try to get the secular definition of “moral” in merriam-webster’s dictionary.


a: of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ethical (moral judgments) b: expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior (a moral poem) c: conforming to a standard of right behavior d: sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment (a moral obligation)

Ah, now I see. Let me now attempt to rephrase Ms Macla’s statement:

"Reproductive health is not only being moral. It is not only being right or wrong. It is not only the concept of right behavior. It is not only about conforming to a standard of right behavior. It is not only one’s conscience or ethical judgment. It is being human and humane…”.

What is happening to our youth? Look at their concept of what is moral, as if it is the opposite of what is ‘humane’. These youth are going to bring these principles into this nation’s future leadership positions unless they are corrected.

There’s a lot to be done. But I think I’m about to cry first.


Anonymous said...

i just read this blog article and found that your topic is quite fascinating.

i have this observation, i guess what Ms Macla is saying is that the word "moral" is not the antonym of the word "humane".

just want to quote his sentence. He said that

"Reproductive health is not only being moral. It is being human and humane to all citizenry...linguist will say that what he is implying that reproductive health is NOT ONLY being moral is an idea that she also believes that Reproductive health is also moral. The subsequent sentence is only an inclusion and emphasis of what reproductive health means, that reproductive health is moral, being human and being humane.

When you rephrased her sentence, i see that you tried to expand the meaning of moral. My english teacher always reminds me to become brief and concise with paragraph construction. What you added, for me, is superfluous and may not be included.

WillyJ said...

Well, I'm no English major and you do have a point there. I guess Macla should have clarified further. To me, being "moral and human and humane" involves protecting life in all its stages, and I hope this is not lost when she talks about "informed options" in the context of Reproductive Health.

Manny said...

Let's not play with words. That young lady simply has got it wrong. She thinks morals can be discarded so that she can affirm some touchy-feely concept of women's rights. She seems to forget that around half the innocent unborn children killed by abortifacient contraceptives are also female.

We have a brainwashed generation coming to the reins of power. We have to find a way to disabuse them of this end-justifies-the-means madness.

anon AKA eM-Ar said...

i can simply illustrate the contention/s of Ms Macla and the Author using a formula..

AUTHORReproductive Health = Moral (ONLY)

MS MACLAReproductive Health = Moral + Human + Humane (incorporation of efforts from church, media, family and state)

I think Manny doesn't see my point here. i will take your arguments one by one.

"Let's not play with words."When the author rephrased Ms Macla's statement, how would you call such act?

Extracting, or playing as he called it, the exact meaning of words is very much necessary to communicate it to the audience clearly and effectively, especially, if we don't want to brainwash our audience.

"She seems to forget that around half the innocent unborn children killed by abortifacient contraceptives are also female."Will you agree with me that Reproductive Health IS NOT EQUALS TO abortifacient? if yes, then we are in the same boat. if no, then will you also believe that Natural Family Planning recommended by the Church IS NOT EQUALS TO Reproductive Health.

"We have a brainwashed generation coming to the reins of power."we must be guided on the idea that People shapes Culture and Culture shapes People. Our new generation today is brainwashed because of the role played by their older generation. Partly, we can blame our young people but the older generation who shaped culture must be greatly blamed. Older generation thought our younger generation. Eventually, they will perform this task to the next generation.

Above all, HOWEVER, we are still in the same advocacy, to uphold our HEALTH RIGHTS in general. Everything was made by God for purpose. He even allowed evil to exist because he wanted us to be more faithful to HIM. Hence, in general, EVERYTHING IS GOOD.

You, Me, Us, We, Them, They, Young, Old, Rich, Poor, Media, Chair, Table, Government, Law, Rules, Body, Physical being, Society, Emotional Being and even REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH.

It is the methodology used that made it bad, that made it evil.

To simply put by analogy, the existence of the Knife in essence is good. If no one touches it, it would not create neither good effect nor bad effect.

WillyJ said...

anon AKA eM-Ar,

You mean "IS NOT EQUAL TO". Drop the second "S" please. Remember your English teacher... :-)

Seriously, I guess there is more to this than the semantics...

Allow me to further belabor the point of "not only being moral". By your comments, it appears that Macla considers moral and human and/or humane as exclusive concepts, which is actually the main point of my post. I for one, do not agree that they are exclusive. Does Macla consider so? Perhaps only he can respond to this with clarity. But then again, it would depend on his definition of what is "moral". What I have in mind is OBJECTIVE morality, as against moral relativism. If we agree on the definition, then we can conclude that it is Macla who is being SUPERFLUOUS.

When you say "Reproductive Health = Moral + Human + Humane (incorporation of efforts from church, media, family and state)", I suppose there is that assumption that the incorporation is realizable under the absence of irreconcilable differences. Is this assumption realistic? It is quite difficult if not impossible to incorporate efforts that are at odds with each other. The church for one, espouses objective morality. How about media, family, state, academe, etc..?.

"It is the methodology used that made it bad, that made it evil.".
Agreed, towards the assertion that we can judge certain acts to be morally evil in such a way that these acts are essentially opposed to the will of God or proper human fulfillment. It is the action that is judged for its moral goodness, not the inanimate object. Reproductive Health is such a broad term, and when we talk of it in terms of how LDPC espouses it, then we can perhaps assess whether LDPC promotes certain actions that can be considered morally evil from an objective standpoint. It is hard to argue your "NOT EQUALS" equations without going into specifics. Are you familiar with the core objections re: LDPC? If so, can you please expound a bit?

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You guys remind me of one of my english teachers who used a mathematical way to explain english - as in Sentence=subject+verb+predicate or some such. It may sound trivial but I think semantics has a funny way of causing more trouble than may be intended. It only has to be unclear to cause confusion. So I think all your comments are worthy of airing - they all help to come to a clear understanding of positions.

I don't really want to stir the brew up too much, so let me just say two things.

1. When Mssr. Macla said what he said, his words were just that, specific symbolic asbtract shapes of ink on paper. By reacting to his words we give them meaning and that, in turn, created our own position vis-a-vis Macla's. Until we measured, analysed and gave meaning to his words, they were just abstract shapes and did not have any power over us. It was our reaction that created that power. That power can enslave us or free us. Note that before we reacted, all the meaning and power in Mssr Macla's words didn't exist yet, they were all "potential futures".

We had several choices - to ignore, to accept and champion it, to question it, to disprove it, to debate its merits, etc. All of these "potential futures" were, just that, potential, strictly not yet reality. But the minute we made our choice, the minute we started to analyse and measure, the potential collapses and only one future, the chosen one, became reality. Our act of active observation created that reality. At that point, all the other "potential futures" disappear.

We can, of course, go back to the point of decision and do it all over again. To a certain extent, we can "re-open the potential future" possibilities by simply changing our minds. Change the decision and you change your world.

Now that reminds me of the observer effect in quantum physics. Life, as they say, is a field of infinite possibilities.

Each person chooses one of the possible futures. Each choice creating the reality for that person. Eventually, one reality will have enough choosers that it becomes what we call public opinion, or in another sense, collective consciousness.

Is the issue here how Mssr Macla thinks or is it how his words are likely to shape public opinion? The first may be a useless exercise but the second may have the potential to impact the passage of the bill.

2. One of the "potential futures" is to debate Mssr Macla's statement from the point of view of the english language, usage and grammar included. Where are all the english teachers when you need them? Indulge me for a moment:

"Reproductive health is not only being moral...."

The word being usually refers to an attribute or an act. As in "Helping someone is being compassionate" or "to fight is being warlike" or "Fairness is part of being just". Agreed? If so, what is "being" refering to in the sentence above? Reproductive health is not an action. A person's state of health? If I am reproductively healthy, am I being moral? If he meant the bill, it is still not an attribute (more likely to be an adjective) or an action (more likely to be a verb). Something is missing. What is it about reproductive health that can be construed as being moral?

Perhaps Mssr Macla meant that it is a moral thing to do if we accept, pass into law and then obey all the provisions of the bill, in its entirety, comprehensively referred to by him as "Reproductive Health". But then again, he may have meant "Forcing reproductive health to the public, through law, is not only being moral..." But he could have also meant "Defeating the bill on reproductive health is not only being moral..." Or maybe "Having no such a reproductive health bill is not only being moral...", or "Convincing the Church on the merits of reproductive health is not only being moral..." or maybe "Changing the provisions of the bill on reproductive health to conform to church teachings is not only being moral..." And so on, through a multitude of possibilities.

All because the word "being" needs an action or an attribute to refer to.

But I guess you see what I mean - Mssr. Macla should be a politician. He has the capability to say something without really saying anything. He hasn't really said much, has he? Unles you can read his mind, you don't really know what he wanted to say.

- TE

WillyJ said...

Oh post's link to the full article citing Macla's statements now reports a "404 Not Found". Here is another googled link with the full quote and then some..

Let's see...I've just re-read the entire article, but it still leaves me in the dark nonetheless.