A PRINCIPAL author of the pending reproductive health (RH) measure in Congress said the Catholic church is committing serious cases of violence against women.
“Unremitting and yearly pregnancies are serious cases of violence against women who are denied access to family planning, including legal, medically-safe and effective contraception,” Minority Leader Edcel Lagman said in a press statement.
Last week, around 40,000 people attended a Church-led rally in Quirino
Grandstand against the passage of the RH bill.
Lagman called the Catholic Church and the government as the principal culprits in the violation of women’s rights as it continues to oppose the long-delayed measure.
“The principal culprits are: the Catholic Church hierarchy which continues to oppose the enactment of the reproductive health bill and propagates misinformation on modern family planning methods; the government for procrastinating on the passage of the long-delayed RH measure; and husbands and men who impose themselves on their wives and partners in the absence of any viable family planning method,” added the House leader.
Lagman also said that such form of violence against women constitutes physical, psychological, and financial violence which are punishable under Republic Act No. 9262 or the “Anti Violence Against Women and Their Children Act.”
The RH author noted that the failure to pass the RH bill is a form of physical violence because unremitting pregnancies pose high risks to women and constitute a major cause of maternal death and illness.
“It is psychological violence because women who are driven to abortion because they cannot afford another child suffer grave psychological trauma,” Lagman added.
According to the University of the Philippines Population Institute, an average of 500,000 abortions is performed annually in the country.
Lagman said it can also be considered as financial violence because unremitting pregnancies prevent women from finishing their education and securing remunerative work.
Proponents of the RH bill had scrapped several provisions in the controversial measure including its two-child policy. They also agreed to make sex education for age-appropriate students optional.