MANILA, July 30, 2012— Saying that ’suppressing birth’ will not solve poverty, the Catholic Church will bring its campaign against a proposed birth control measure to the historical EDSA Shrine in Quezon City.
Thousands of Catholics are expected to participate in the “prayer rally” on August 4 to demonstrate their strong opposition against the reproductive health (RH) bill which seeks to control the country’s growing population.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) maintained that the RH bill is not the key to resolving poverty in the country.
CBCP head and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma called on the lay faithful to attend the rally and defend the sanctity of the family and life “because, more than anybody else, you are the target of the RH bill.”
“This will be a demonstration of our sentiments and our advocacy for life,” said Palma. “Let us show that what we believe in is for the common good.”
The prayer rally is set three days before the projected “judgment day” of the RH bill at the House of Representatives on August 7. It will also be held simultaneously in other dioceses across the country.
Palma stressed that the country’s “positive” birth rate and population composed mostly of young people are the main players that fuel the economy.
“The countries robust population is a big boost to our economy, according to former US President Bill Clinton, local and international financial institutions and the public sector,” he said.
“The population control policy of the RH bill would only stall our economic growth. The problem of countries with former robust economies is the lack of young workers for their industries and inadequate support for their aging population,” added Palma.
President Benigno Aquino III earlier said that population control is the answer to the backlogs in education, particularly in classrooms, chairs and textbooks of students.
But Palma said it is unacceptable if the Aquino administration would rely on the “wrong” measure to solve the problem instead of finding the real solution.
“It is therefore quite disturbing when the country is told that having too many children is a burden to the national budget,” the Cebu archbishop said.
“There is a grave reason to worry when the government would rather suppress the population through RH Bill instead of confronting the real causes of poverty,” he said.
He also scored claims by RH bill proponents that the measure is not to control the population but to address maternal health issues.
“The issue in maternal death as it has been mentioned is a serious concern, yes. But the solution does not lie in suppressing birth as provided in the RH Bill,” said Palma.
“Providing proper and adequate maternal care could be done without passing the RH bill, but by strengthening and improving access to existing medical services,” he said. [CBCPNews]
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