THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILL IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILL IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

By: Bro. Marwil Llasos, O.P

 

Mary said “Yes” to Life: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of Life, pray for the defeat of the RH Bill


The Reproductive Health Bill is Unconstitutional


            The Reproductive Health Bill (House Bill No. 4244) in its entirety is unconstitutional because its very premise is at war with the philosophy embodying the 1987 Constitution, dubbed as the Pro-Life Constitution.

The RH Bill proponents hail it as a solution to poverty in our country. They insist that the RH Bill will spare children, especially those who are unwanted, from a life of poverty. The RH Bill will save mothers from emotional trauma brought about by child bearing. These arguments are not new. They were already discussed and voted on the floor of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. The result is the present Article II, Section 12 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution:

“Section 12. 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. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.”

Constitutionalist Rev. Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J., in his annotation on the 1987 Philippine Constitution, expresses the sense of Article II, Section 12 that it “denies that the life of the unborn may be sacrificed merely to save the mother from emotional suffering or to spare the child from a life of poverty.”[1]The commonsensical and constitutional solution to the problem was stated by Fr. Bernas, thus: “The emotional trauma of a mother as well as the welfare of the child after birth can be attended through other means such as availing of the resources of welfare agencies.”[2]


Atty. Marwil N. Llasos reads “The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines: A Commentary” by constitutionalist and member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission Rev. Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, S.J.


What does Article II, Section 12 seek to achieve? Fr. Bernas answers that the provision was intended “primarily to prevent the state from adopting the doctrine in the United States Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade which liberalized abortion at the discretion of the mother any time during the first six months when it can be done without danger to the mother.”[3]


Clearly, the provision constitutionally outlaws abortion. There’s no chance that abortion can ever be legal in this country as long as the 1987 Philippine Constitution stands.

Abortifacients kill human life!

 

But what about the RH Bill? Does it promote or facilitate abortion? The answer is a categorical Yes. While the RH Bill purports to recognize abortion as illegal and punishable by law [Sec. 3 (9)], it however mandates “[a]ll accredited health facilities [to] provide a full range of modern family planning methods” [Sec. 7]. Thus, the RH Bill is inconsistent as best, duplicitous and hypocritical at worst.

Atty. Marwil N. Llasos defends life and the Constitution under the gaze of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn and patroness of the Philippines

While the RH Bill recognizes abortion as illegal, it nevertheless allows the use of the “full range of modern family planning methods. The RH Bill does not specify or list what these methods are; hence, they could include the IUD (intra-uterine device), the morning-after pills,[4] and even manual vacuum aspirators[5] – all of which are known abortifacients!

Copper IUDs prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the uterus.[6] Hormonal IUDs slow down the growth of the uterine lining thereby making it inhospitable for fertilized eggs.[7]

Prayer Power Rally Against the RH Bill on August 4, 2012 (1:00-7:00 P.M.)

Morning-after pills, otherwise known as Plan B pills, is described as “the backup plan for times when your birth control method has failed, has been forgotten, or you weren’t on any form of birth control, and you don’t want to get pregnant. Whether you’ve missed a few pills, the condom broke or slipped off, or you forgot to insert your diaphragm.”[8] The Plan B pill can be taken up to 72 hours after “unprotected sex.” But what happens within 72 hours? Is it possible that the sperm has already fertilized the egg? Yes. And what does Plan B do in that eventuality? “If the egg is already fertilized, it prevents the egg from attaching to the uterus” (implantation).[9]

Contraceptives promoted by the RH Bill

Manual vacuum aspirators cannot hide its pretense as a mere contraceptive. It is in fact an instrument of death – an earlyabortion machine.[10] Is this among the “full range of modern family planning methods” (Sec. 7) or the “full range of methods, facilities, services and supplies” (Sec. 4) sanctioned in the RH Bill? The Bill is deceptively and fearfully silent.

Plan B Pills prevents the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus thus killing it

The above examples of contraceptives within the RH Bill package prevent the implantation of the fertilized ovum in the uterus. Where does the Constitution come in in this regard? The 1987 Philippine Constitution categorically, unmistakably and unequivocably commands the State to protect the unborn “from conception.” Fr. Joaquin Bernas comments that “[t]he unborn’s entitlement to protection begins “from conception,” that is, from the moment of conception.”[11] What is the Constitutional intent? Fr. Bernas expresses it: “The intention is to protect life from its beginning, and the assumption is that human life begins at conception and that conception takes place at fertilization.”[12] It is crystal clear that the constitutional definition of conception is fertilization, not implantation. Human life begins at fertilization; thus the fertilized ovum has human life and the State has the constitutional obligation to protect that life.

Instruments of death: Ipas machine vacuum aspirator

Fr. Bernas concludes that Article II, Section 13 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution “reflects the view that, in dealing with the protection of life, it is necessary to take the safer approach.”[13]The RH Bill militates against this constitutional mandate.

On August 7, 2012, when the members of the House of Representatives make a crucial decision on the RH Bill, they must be reminded of their oath “to uphold and defend the Constitution.” To vote in favor of this unconstitutional bill is a betrayal of their sacred oath and of the trust of the sovereign Filipino people.

 
The 1987 Philippine Constitution is a legacy of EDSA and CORY. We will go back to EDSA to remind the President to honor that legacy. It is the legacy of his mother that we want to preserve.

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