Senate RH Bill Harmful

Posted by on Feb 21, 2011 in On the Issues

S.B. No. 2378 should not be enacted, for the following reasons:

First and foremost, the most widely-used contraceptives kill developing babies. Enactment of S.B. No. 2378 would therefore vitiate the Constitution.

The bill under consideration states that “Hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other safe and effective family planning products and supplies shall be part of the National Drug Formulary and the same shall be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national and local hospitals and other government health units.”

Hormonal contraceptives have three methods of action. In addition to preventing ovulation during most of a user’s menstrual cycles, and tending to inhibit sperm from reaching an egg by thickening the cervical mucous, they routinely cause the deaths of recently-created babies in the wombs of their users, because of the phenomenon of breakthrough ovulation and fertilization. This occurs perhaps once every ten or twenty monthly cycles for a woman who has frequent sexual relations.  Because these contraceptives cause changes in the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, in a way that makes it difficult to impossible for the recently formed baby to implant, hormonal contraceptives cause the baby’s expulsion from the uterus, and death. Even pro-contraception, pro-abortion literature confirms this, for example in a research report of the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of the Planned Parenthood foundation of the U.S. – perhaps the world’s foremost advocate of contraception – stating that all hormonal contraceptive drugs and devices, including emergency contraceptives, “also may prevent pregnancy either by preventing fertilization by blocking the sperm and egg from uniting or by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterine lining.”1 [underscoring ours] Many, many other such examples could be cited. Thus, even abortion/contraception advocates accept that hormonal contraceptives prevent implantation. This results in the death of a living human being.

Regarding intrauterine devices, there is extensive scientific data indicating that one of the mechanisms of action is to prevent implantation, and thus cause the death of a recently-formed baby. For example, in the December 2002 issue of American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford and Mikolaczyk stated that “…Our model illustrates clearly that, although the majority of pregnancy prevention occurs before fertilization, postfertilization effects make substantial and essential contributions to the effectiveness of all types of IUDs. …the major postfertilization effect is destruction of the early embryo in the Fallopian tube…” 2 [underscoring ours]

Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution states, “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.” [underscoring ours] In addition to being positive law, this section of our Constitution is clearly a statement of moral – and even religious – principle, taking up as it does the concept of sanctity, which does not exist in law or science.

Because the use of hormonal contraceptives and intrauterine devices will kill innocent Filipinos, numbering in the millions over the years, establishing a State program to dispense them would absolutely violate the clearly stated protection of unborn human life contained in Article II, Section 12. It would be not only illegal under the Constitution, but, as noted, immoral according to the stated will of our people embodied in the Constitution. If S.B. No. 2378 is enacted into law, one of two things will occur. Either it will correctly be overturned by the Supreme Court because it violates the Constitutional protection of life, or it will be established that the guarantees contained in the Constitution do not actually mean what they say – and therefore protect NO ONE, not just babies in the womb. There is no third option.

Our nation is made up predominantly of persons holding to the Christian and Moslem faiths. Both of these faiths regard human life in the womb as sacred. For the State to deliberately fund its destruction on a mass scale is absolutely repugnant to this belief.

This bill has been proposed by its authors in good faith. They look around them and see the difficulties and even suffering of many Filipino families, and particularly of women, on whom heavy burdens fall. They are desperate for a way to help – as we all should be, and must be. The atheistic, nihilistic First World, which demographers tell us is dying, is only too glad to offer one: the contraceptive, sexualized society which is a major contributor to the ongoing disintegration of its own families and societies. This is the First World that no longer finds any intrinsic value in a human being, but only in what he or she can do. There are numerous cases of disabled persons being starved to death there – even by judicial decree – and this is acceptable by their standards, since the victims are unable to protest. We Filipinos are heirs to a better culture. Yes, we have endemic corruption, and many other vices. But we still know the value of a human life – when Mama is too old to get out of bed by herself, or perhaps even to speak, we don’t starve her to death – we continue to care for her and love her.

Filipinas in poverty do not need contraceptives to make their way out of it. No woman or family has ever contracepted a way out of poverty. What the poor need are good medical care, work skills and life skills, and a good education for their children. They also need Natural Family Planning, or NFP, which is scientifically proven 3 to effectively allow them to plan their families in a way that does not kill any of their children, and does not transform sex from a pledge and commitment of love between husband and wife into a recreational activity to be engaged in whenever and with whomever desired. They need jobs, which are provided only by investment, domestic and foreign. Investment occurs when investors are convinced by experience that contracts will be honored and they will be dealt with fairly, without corruption or unnecessary regulatory or bureaucratic burdens, that these conditions will not change during their investment horizon, and above all that there is a well-trained and capable work force available to staff their enterprise. Attempting to address poverty without addressing these factors in the investment decision process is a hopeless pursuit.

This bill addresses only one of the various critical factors that must be addressed to end poverty: perinatal/post-natal medical care. However, it would divert colossal resources to the purchase of contraceptive drugs and devices. Research has shown these are not cost-effective in promoting development. The money this bill would spend on contraceptives would be more effective in helping the poor if devoted to the other components mentioned above. In a study published in the March 1994 issue of the Population and Development Review, published by the Population Council, another organization at the forefront of promoting contraception, economist Lant Pritchett, who is currently professor of the practice of economic development at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, established that family planning programs account for less than five per cent of the reduction in fertility in nations adopting them. The overwhelming determinative factor is instead desired family size on the part of mothers, which in turn is determined by factors such as education, urbanization and labor force participation. This study has been cited over two hundred times in academic literature, according to Google Scholar. 4 Other researchers have reached similar conclusions. 5 This means that money spent on family planning programs is largely wasted – even in terms of preventing births, without considering their negative effects on poverty and otherwise – and should therefore be devoted to programs that will actually benefit the poor.

All this is definitely not intended to slight perinatal/postnatal medical care, which is indeed a critical need, and one which the State has neglected for far too long. Consequently, it is a most appropriate subject for legislation in another bill, one that does not deal death and does not promote the transformation of sex from love to recreation.

Far from helping the poor, the greatest effect that contraceptives have on society is to discourage marriage, and dramatically increase out-of-wedlock births. This has occurred all over the world in countries where contraception has been adopted as the normal way of life. Marriage rates are at record lows in many countries. 6 Out-of-wedlock births now approach or even exceed fifty per cent of all births in countries where contraception is the norm. 7 George Akerloff, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for Economics, writing with two colleagues, attributes the decline of marriage and increase in out-of-wedlock births directly to “reproductive technology shock.” 8 Economics professors Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, Jeremy Greenwood and Nezih Guner have used economic modeling to reach the same conclusion, that the vast rise in out-of-wedlock births is due to the reproductive-technology environment in which people live. 9 This is critical information, because out-wedlock-births and the single-parent families that result are the second greatest determinant of poverty, surpassed only by lack of educational attainment. 10 Consequently, to enact S.B. 2378 into law will be to enact a massive poverty-creation program for the Philippines. The social science is clear on this.

There are many other serious problems with this bill in addition to the death sentences it will impose on countless recently-created babies in their mothers’ wombs, and the fact that it will worsen poverty by diminishing marriage. These are the problems that arise from the contraceptive, sexualized society it would impose on our Philippines – a type of society which is creating personal and familial misery all over the world. In this regard, it is instructive to consider what Contraceptive Societies are like, that is, what ours will be like if we adopt the contraceptive way of life which is proposed under this bill.

As previously mentioned, the rate of marriage declines dramatically, but there is also a very marked increase in the breakup of marriages. In the U.S., within twenty years of the introduction of the oral contraceptive in 1960, the divorce rate reached nearly two hundred fifty per cent of the rate that had prevailed for decades prior. 11 In addition, the rate of cohabitation of unmarried men and women increased by eight hundred sixty-five per cent in less than forty years, 12 and it is now up by one thousand three hundred sixty-eight per cent. 13 By thirty years following the introduction of the contraceptive society in the U.S., the rate of violent crime reached nearly 500% of its level at the start 14 – because crime rates correlate more closely with the family status of children than with any other variable, by far. Despite widespread condom usage in the U.S., which has a population less than four times as large as ours, there are nearly 19 million new STD cases there each year, more than half of them among 15- to 24-year-olds. 15 The HIV infection rate of Thailand, where the first cases appeared in 1984, about the same time as here in the Philippines – but which adopted one of the most successful condom promotion campaigns the world has seen, while we did not – was 8,000% higher than ours by 2003 – while the U.S. rate was 3,000% higher. 16 Declining birth rates are going to impoverish our elderly, especially women, since they live significantly longer, according to documents issued by both the Asian Development Bank and the United Nations. 17 The Contraceptive Society and sex education have produced a culture of promiscuity and sexual libertinism in the contracepting world. In the U.S., during a typical week, according to Barna Group, an authoritative polling firm, 38 per cent of adults younger than 25 engage in sex outside of marriage, and 33 per cent view pornography. 18 Over half of all babies born to girls younger than 18 in the U.S. are fathered by adult men, not other teens. 19 The situation is similar in Britain, and in other countries. The commercial sex industry has reached unprecedented levels all over the world – and is still growing rapidly. 20 One hundred million women are missing from the world’s population, killed by preferential abortion or infanticide. 21 A recent study in the UK revealed three leading potential “triggers” for serious mental health problems in girls, the first being premature sexualization. 22 Religion has virtually disappeared from the developed world 23 because of its embrace of materialism apotheosized in contraception. Yet we must remember that all morality ultimately stems from religion, as the philosopher Nietzsche convincingly demonstrated after he proclaimed that God is dead. Both George Washington and James Madison, among the leading founders of modern democracy, believed that religion is essential to the success of democratic government. Without religion, we will have nowhere to go but to return to the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes’ “war of all against all.” This is the Contraceptive Society, present and future.

In a contraceptive society, no girl of whatever age can ever say no to a boy she really wants to see again. This is what has observably happened in the West, and it is noted in the Akerloff social economics paper cited above. This is the position we would put our own daughters in, if this bill is enacted into law. This is the Philippines of the future if we go down this road. But just because nearly everyone else in the world is taking it doesn’t mean we have to do so, too.

Some remarks about the claim made that preventing implantation of the embryo is not an abortion are necessary to this discussion. Shortly after the birth-control pill was introduced, some in the medical community redefined the traditional and still commonly-understood meaning of conception. Conception, and therefore pregnancy, they said, occurs not when the sperm fertilizes the egg and produces a new human individual, but only when the baby later implants in the lining of the uterus. Consequently, they said, killing it before implantation is not abortion. Playing with the meaning of words to justify the deaths of multitudes has traditionally been the work of tyrants and sociopaths. It is a tragedy of our age that it was done by some among the medical community. But surely, this revised definition was not the meaning the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they crafted Article II, Section 12. What they did have in mind was life from its beginning, and the commonly-used word for this was, and is, conception. And surely, protecting life from its beginning was the meaning the people had in mind when they voted to ratify that Constitution: not some other newly-minted meaning found only in obscure medical texts – which was and still is the subject of dispute by medical and scientific experts. But in the end, this doesn’t really matter. Preventing implantation takes a human life, whether or not it is defined as an abortion. If by some twist of fate it is decided that the Constitution permits this, it nevertheless is not something that the State should do. Human life has sanctity – on this point, the Constitution cannot be twisted. Taking innocent human life is immoral – it always has been, it is now, and it always will be. Constitutional separation of church and state prevents us from recognizing the judgment of God in this forum, but it does not stop us from recognizing that the judgment of history will lie upon us if we legislate State programs that take the lives of the most innocent and defenseless human beings.

But, some say, these are not human beings we are speaking of, just fertilized eggs. Yes, a human egg, fertilized by a human sperm, creating a complete human being at the first stage of its development – a development that passes through many stages, until one day it ends in death. To cause the end of this progression at any time before natural death, whether it be at the beginning, at the middle, or at the end, is to take a human life. Reason itself does not allow any other understanding of the facts. Unfortunately, contraceptive societies soon lose sight of this. The Philippines is blessed by God to have this debate about contraception now, while our people still value human life in all its stages, from its beginning to its natural end. The nations of the West adopted the contraceptive society without realizing that it would lead to the loss of respect for life, of belief in God, and even their national identity as their populations wither away – not to mention their economies, which are now in permanent recession because they do not produce enough babies to sustain themselves. Some commentators predicted this at the time, but after all, there were no examples to point to. We are much better off. We now know what Contraceptive Societies become, because there are many examples. In fact, we are the last man standing. We are the only nation in the world with a population of more than a few million – and there are only three with less than that 24 – which still stands firm for the life of the unborn child. That will not last long if we adopt the contraceptive society – it hasn’t for any others among the 200 or so nations of the world. We have a chance to make history. We Filipinos are the last stand for the Culture of Life. We are the world’s only hope. Demographically and economically, the rest of the world is headed for a dead end: indefinitely shrinking populations, and permanent recession in their economies because the number of high-income consumers in the world is shrinking, while its productive capacity is not. Virtually the whole world has surrendered to the Culture of Death. Let us not join that party. We have a once-in-a-millennium chance to change the course of history for the whole world, something that will far surpass the achievements of 1898 and 1986. Let us not throw it away. Let us not legislate the Contraceptive Society here in our Philippines. Let us preserve the Culture of Life for the sake of our children, and our children’s children.