Monday, April 27, 2009

Same, same old RH tale, redux

Let me do a fisk ala Fr. Z on this fresh feature article from the Philippine Star

Breaking News (FEATURE)
Contraceptives remain hard-to-come-by for impoverished Filipino women
Updated April 27, 2009 06:35 PM
MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua)

Ask 46-year-old Erlinda Cristobal (real name concealed by request) how many children she has.

"Ten," she said.

"But I was supposed to have only six," she snapped in a breath.

After the sixth pregnancy, Cristobal decided that she and her husband, a casual laborer who earns an average of four dollars a day, should not have any more children. [Four dollars a day? The minimum wage is twice that much, and minimum wage earners are not subject to income tax. Something stinks here.]

"My husband doesn't have a stable job. There are days when we don't eat so that our children can," she told Xinhua in an interview near her residence in Manila. [In other words, the government cannot stimulate enough jobs]

Cristobal said she asked for birth control pills from a local health clinic but was denied, because the clinic was "pro-life" and advocated only natural family planning methods, toeing the line of the Catholic Church, which counts 80 percent of Filipinos as followers. [No free, unlimited, take-all-you-need, anytime, on-demand, no-questions-asked, birth-control pills from this particular clinic. So did she try NFP? If not, why not?]

"Sometimes I would ask my husband to sleep in another room just so nothing would happen," Cristobal shared her own prescription of birth control approach, which obviously failed and resulted in four more babies. [So I see, let me check my notes on the methodology of problem identification]

But Cristobal's case of unintended pregnancy is not uncommon in today's Philippines. [ok, lets hear it]

The Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit organization that conducts global research for the advancement of reproductive health, said their survey last year showed that about 10.2 million Filipino women are at risk from unintended pregnancy. Most of them are married. [A brilliant research finding from Guttmacher. I suppose their survey questionnaire asked: "Are you married? If you answered yes to the above, can you predict your future?"]

A similar local study showed [what study, aber?] that more than half of the 3.4 million pregnancies per year in the Philippines were unintended and 92 percent occurred to women who either used no contraceptive method or an inappropriate one. [Ahem, the study was not substantiated, but let's just accept it hook line and sinker, shall we? What was it that Mark Twain said about statistics?]

Despite the health benefits of contraception, the use of it is far below the apparent demand, especially for women from impoverished families who could not afford it. [Hmm, they make it sound like contraceptives are vitamins. And by the way, what about the health benefits of the unborn?]

The Guttmacher study said the low ratio of contraceptive usage among Filipinos has a major impact on maternal health and mortality. [Ah, let us see that contraceptives are the one and ONLY, mandatory, major solution to maternal health]

National health surveys conducted by the Philippine government in 2006 showed that maternal mortality measured 162 deaths per 100,000 live births. The study said that 12 percent of maternal deaths were caused by unsafe abortions. [Let's have "safe" abortions then?]

In the Philippines, where 90 million people are predominantly Catholic, the Church has a significant influence on government policy. And with no national government-backed reproductive health policy in place, except the natural family planning advocacy, local government units are left to implement their own individual polices to meet contraceptive needs.
[You mean local governments are left to sneak policies through the back door].

The city of Manila, where Cristobal is a resident, is a staunch advocate of natural family planning methods. In 2000, the city mayor even issued an executive order banning government clinics from handing out modern contraceptives. [Just to be clear, Atienza did not approve of city subsidies for contraceptives, he didn't ban them in the city]

Sharon Camp, president and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute, said the current global economic slowdown might further delay the appropriate government approach towards family planning. [Ah, the CEO of Guttmacher is 100% sure of the "appropriate government approach " eh? The Philippines must be crazy not to follow her recommendations. But in Thailand...oh, never mind]

"Governments, when faced with budget constraints, may cut budgets for family planning, but investing in contraceptive services not only enables women and their families to plan their births and avoid serious health complication often accompanied by unintended pregnancy, it also saves money," she said during the study's launch in Manila. [Bv#l Sh*t!]

Camp said the costs associated with unintended pregnancies, including treating the consequences of unsafe abortion, are much higher. [Again]

A Reproductive Health Bill providing universal access to contraceptive methods and devices has been sitting in the Congress for the last 20 years. Pressure from the Church has been a major factor in hindering the passage of this bill. [Sure, but at the end of the day, it is the legislators who vote for or against bills]

Part of the controversy that surrounds the passage of the bill is that it will condone and even allow abortion, as Church critics count the obstruction of forming an embryo as guilty of abortion. [A barefaced lie, the Church never said that. The Church is against abortion, abortifacient means, and d*mn lies]

In the Philippines, abortion is an illegal and punishable act, with no exceptions even on the grounds of endangering a woman's life, rape, or fetal impairment.[False again, the Constitution as it is, EQUALLY protects the mother and the unborn from conception. Figure that out]

Edcel Lagman, the main author of the bill, however said the reproductive bill won't legalize abortion. [Really? He is on record as saying that the bill intends to protect the unborn from IMPLANTATION, not from CONCEPTION, as the constitution clearly mandates]

One of its pillars simply mandates that women suffering from complications of abortion be attended to and treated in a compassionate and non-judgmental manner, he explained. [Sure. But whoever disagrees with this? Certainly not the Church. Red herring eh?]

"The bill can, in fact, be said to be anti-abortion because it offers access to reproductive health care information and devices," Lagman said. [And pigs flew out of his ears]

1 comment:

petrufied said...

And they're still at it! Same arguments which have been proven wrong ages ago, I don't see why they still persist.

So on our part, vigilance! :D Enjoyed your commentaries, WillyJ! how concise!