A Statement of the University of Asia and the Pacific
Prompted by the Current Debate on the Reproductive Health Bills and an Appeal to the Members of our Legislature
In light of our University Credo, we in the University of Asia and the Pacific reaffirm our mission to contribute to the integral development of human persons that alone can lead to strong families and strong societies. We therefore uphold the following principles:
1. That every man is entitled to the dignity of a person, equal in every human being and inherent in all human life; that human rights are grounded on the dignity of the human person, and are to be defended, not selectively, but universally and integrally; and that the right to life is the first of all human rights, without which no other right can be exercised.
We maintain that the right to life must be respected and protected from conception to natural death. We adhere to the scientific conclusion that the human person’s life begins at the union of male and female reproductive cells.
We maintain that every person born into this world is not a mere census datum, another mouth to feed, a threat to others’ life of ease, but someone whose worth goes beyond any human calculation and who, therefore, from the first instant of his or her existence, deserves our respect and protection.
We therefore strongly reject any attempt at legislation that promotes the use of abortifacients, including those disguised as contraceptive procedures or pharmacological agents that in fact kill the newly conceived human person by preventing its being implanted in the womb, and can moreover lead to the physical and psychological harm of the mother.
2. That the dignity of the human person manifests itself in the cultivation of moral freedom; that male and female, of equal dignity, have differences that are enriching for human life in society and are the indispensable foundation of the human family; and that upholding the moral dignity of human sexuality is essential for strong families as the bedrock of a strong society.
We maintain that the genuine love of husband and wife is expressed through the honorable use of their sexual faculties in an exclusive and lasting relationship that is open to life, andthat the gift of a new life is the crowning point of their mutual self-giving. We maintain that responsible parenthood, to be true to its name, cannot mean negating parenthood by fostering contraceptive practices, or negating responsibility by fostering sexual activity without self-mastery and discipline.
We uphold the right of parents to decide their family size, guided by their morally upright consciences. We further uphold the primary and inalienable right of parents to educate their children on the values of human sexuality and the practice of chastity in all states of life.
We are therefore not in favor of legislation that removes the teaching of sexuality from the intimacy of family relationships and reverence for human life.
We also reject any attempt at legislation that, while proposing to improve the condition of children, women and families, actually fosters short-term enjoyment of free choice without corresponding long-term commitments, thereby eroding the family institution where persons have to grow and mature and, in consequence, generating social conditions that are more oppressive for women and children.
3. That a just social order can become a reality only when moral freedom is directed towards the authentic common good, which puts a premium on the human person and the human family; and that the State pursues the common good by addressing the integral development of all persons in the community and not just of the majority, observing at the same time the principle of subsidiarity.
We believe that it is by sound economic policy, especially investments in rural infrastructure and quality education for all, coupled with good governance, including morality and honesty in the private lives of government officials, that Government contributes to poverty alleviation, not by encroaching on the choices and duties married couples can and should take up on their own.
We are therefore not in favor of any legislation that proposes to spend public funds to regulate births, or allows Government to take upon itself education in human sexuality, without regard for morality and the constitutional protection of the unborn.
We are also not in favor of any legislation that obscures the truth that the best investment we can make is on human capital. We are not in favor of legislation that ignores the prospect of economies stagnating under the burden of fewer young people caring for and supporting a larger pool of the elderly.
4. That the State should protect the freedom of consciences and may not make legal pressure bear on practices contrary to the explicit religious or moral convictions of any of its citizens.
We loyally adhere to the social teachings of the Catholic Church. We recognize its moral positions on the human person, family and State not as religious impositions but as enlightened clarifications about the natural law and the universal values by which all men of goodwill can attain to happiness and the good life.
We maintain that, like other legitimate enterprises and especially because we are an educational institution, we in UA&P have the freedom to adhere to our corporate credo, and our moral and religious values, as long as they do not prejudice the authentic common good.
We are therefore not in favor of any discriminatory legislation that tramples on the right of conscientious objection to practices or programs that in essence promote an anti-life lifestyle, and redefines freedom, the concept of human rights and morality, and the role of Government, in ways and by means that are contrary to our stated principles.
We add our statement to the appeal of many leaders in Government, the private sector, citizens’ groups and the general public, that wisdom, discernment, faith and sobriety prevail and guide our legislators, when they decide for our society, to aim for the good of the human person and the Filipino people.
Members of the UA&P Management Committee
- Dr. Jose Maria G. Mariano, University President
- Mr. Ruben T. Umali, Vice President for Development
- Dr. Amado Salvador P. Saquido, Vice President for Academic Affairs
- Ms. Imelda P. Estillore, Vice President for Student and Alumni Affairs
- Mr. Rolando Dr. Sison, Vice President for Administrative Affairs
- Dr. Arwin M. Vibar, University Secretary
*Note: Article from http://uap.asia/news/index.php/2011/07/statement-on-rh-bill/