Wednesday, March 30, 2011

'When life begins' and the RH Bill

“...That is not to say that the scientific facts lend equal support to any and all views of when human life begins. While people are free to formulate their opinion on when human life begins in any manner they choose (including belief and politics), not all opinions are equally consistent with factual reality. Those who choose to ignore the facts cannot expect their opinions to garner as much respect or to be given as much credibility as those who base their opinions in sound scientific observation and analysis.

The opinions of members of the flat-Earth society should not carry as much weight as those of astrophysicists in formulating national aerospace policy. The opinions of those who reject the scientific evidence concerning when life begins should not be the basis of public policy on embryo-related topics, either.”

-Maureen Condic
I have a very strong hunch that the fate of the RH Bill will rest on this single, potent issue. It does not only concern our faith, it also concerns a state principle which is enshrined in the Constitution. We note that Lagman et. al have already staked their bets: conception is equal to implantation. Without a doubt, it is an obvious though publicly unstated admission of an incontrovertible fact: Chemical contraceptives undoubtedly inhibits implantation, and there is no wiggle room to deny it. The only recourse therefore is to redefine what conception means, however they have a formidable roadblock in that the records of the Constitutional proceedings clearly equate conception with fertilization. Bernie Villegas, the author of that specific provision has come out with the the rock-hard evidence. Fr Bernas likewise, is on record supporting those proceedings. The pro-RH bloc have painted themselves into a corner. This is a testament to the fact that you cannot suppress the truth forever- it will emerge sooner or later. We must pound on this single issue until it explodes all over their faces. The only way the pro-RH legislators can overcome this formidable obstacle is through treachery, yet we must never underestimate that too.
“it is when the ovum is fertilized by the sperm that there is human life. Just to repeat: first, there is obviously life because it starts to nourish itself, it starts to grow as any living being, and it is human because at the moment of fertilization, the chromosomes that combined in the fertilized ovum are the chromosomes that are uniquely found in human beings and are not found in any other living being”

(Record of the Constitutional Commission, Volume 4, p. 668).

"The intention is to protect life from its beginning, and the assumption is that human life begins at conception, that conception takes place at fertilization"

(Record of the Constitutional Commission 799, cited in Bernas, J., The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Manila: 1996 ed., p. 78)

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