My stand on the RH Bill
By Fr Joaquin G. Bernas, SJ
[read the full article here]
Wherein Fr. Bernas says:
"Seventh, I hold that there already is abortion any time a fertilized ovum is expelled. The Constitution commands that the life of the unborn be protected “from conception.” For me this means that sacred life begins at fertilization and not at implantation.
Tenth, I hold that public money may be spent for the promotion of reproductive health in ways that do not violate the Constitution. Public money is neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Muslim or what have you and may be appropriated by Congress for the public good without violating the Constitution."
Fr Bernas' seventh and tenth point, taken together, points to an unmistakable conclusion:
Public money may not be spent by the government for the promotion of contraceptives that harm sacred life at any point after fertilization.
This conclusion can be taken from a strictly legal and secular standpoint as it stands on a purely scientific and constitutional grounds. It is therefore a mystery why a lot of equivocation is brought out by the eminent Constitutionalist Fr Bernas in this particular column. All his other points are unnecessary and tangential to this main issue. The RH bill's essence as far as its main sponsor Congressman Lagman admits to, is all about "access to contraceptives".
Thus, if we follow Fr Bernas' arguments in his 7th and 10th points correctly, the only logical conclusion we can make is that the RH bill cannot be licitly passed without violating the Constitution. I wonder why he did not spell out that conclusion himself.
As to the theology aspect of Fr Bernas’ article, here are some comments from an Opus Dei priest, Fr. Julio Penacoba:
[related post here]