By Frosty Wooldridge | 10 January 2013
Church and State
In January, 2013, Philippine’s President Benigno Aquino signed into law a bill that provides free access for contraception and family planning for the poor of that country. While the bill made its way through the congress, the Catholic Church, still stuck in the 1st century, brought enormous leverage to defeat it.
Never mind that most Catholic Church-dominated countries around the world suffer horrific poverty brought about by illiteracy and endless baby production. Examples abound in Haiti, Mexico and many South American countries.
While the ecological systems of the Earth fray at the seams because of endless human population growth, the Catholic Church refuses to come to terms with overwhelming human fecundity in the 21st century. Because Catholics dominate the Philippines, it took the bill 14 years to pass. Ironically, poverty and maternal mortality continue with the highest birth rates in the region.
The Roman Catholic Church repeatedly tried to block the bill.
“The law is due to take effect in mid-January,” said presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte.
“The passage into law of the Responsible Parenthood Act closes a highly divisive chapter of our history — a chapter borne of the convictions of those who argued for, or against this act. At the same time, it opens the possibility of co-operation and reconciliation… engagement and dialogue characterized not by animosity, but by our collective desire to better the welfare of the Filipino people.”
But the incompetence and intrigue of the Vatican’s old men will attempt to derail the law. With the Church’s enormous financial power and “emotional” cowardice, it will harness bishops and other priests at the local levels to dissuade parishes to ignore the law. Even in the 21st century, the old men of the Vatican enjoy support from politicians, media and businessmen. Notice that women do not enjoy a say in the debate.
It brings to mind a brilliant book Underdevelopment is a State of Mind by Lawrence E. Harrison. In it, he exposes how the Catholic Church undermines any kind of birth control and family planning wherever it maintains an emotional and religious grip around the minds and necks of the average people of any country. Thus, such countries as Haiti, suffer untold and eternal illiteracy and poverty because they cannot get out from under the burden of too many children and no way to educate, feed or provide jobs for them.
“The fight is far from over,” said Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, a vice chairman of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, in a radio interview Saturday. “The church will continue to protect and defend life. The church will not stop.”
The Church protects and defends insanity, stupidity, illiteracy, maternal deaths, child poverty and an on-going war against women’s rights.
One writer said, “Access to birth control is a particularly acrimonious issue in the Philippines, which has the highest birthrates in Southeast Asia and millions of impoverished parents struggling to feed their large families. Half of all pregnancies are unintended and access to modern contraception is mostly limited to those who can afford it.”
For future reference, the Philippines cannot sustain its current 96 million, but it will most certainly not be able to sustain the projected 155 million by mid century. It begs the question: why would the men of the Vatican prefer poverty, illiteracy and death for millions when simple birth control and family planning have improved the lives of billions of people in the Western world? Answer: religious power corrupts absolutely and ancient religions cannot cope with the overpopulation realities of the 21st century.
“The new law, if carried out, should help reduce the country’s high rates of abortions and maternal deaths as well as alleviate poverty,” said Melissa Upreti, Asia regional director of the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights. “The Philippines has a track record of introducing good laws and not implementing them. A lengthy court fight could delay the implementation of the new law leading to further denial of women’s rights with dangerous consequences for their health: more unplanned pregnancies, maternal deaths and unsafe abortions.”
Let’s hope sanity, logical minds and rational actions overcome the “emotional and religious” grip of the backward and anachronistic Catholic Church dominated by backward and obsolete old men.
Forsaken Lives: The Harmful Impact of the Philippine Criminal Abortion Ban
Since 1930, there’s been a blanket ban on abortion in the Philippines, and there isn’t a single clear exception. But the law has not actually prevented abortion — it’s only made it unsafe and potentially deadly. According to new research by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the law creates a dire human rights crisis in the Philippines.
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