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Cebu A island known for its love of the Sto.

.Nio became the place where young people from all walks of life gathered together, for one night, to celebrate his mothers feast, the feast of the Holy Rosary.
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Thousands Jam for Mary

Making a Truly Informed Choice: Why I Am Against the RH Bill

By Abraham Daniel C. Cruz, M.D.

A Supplement From The Pro-Life Philippines Foundation

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Various Pro-life and Youth Groups Support 9YL

Several pro-life and youth groups gathered on Wednesday to show their support behind nine young congressmen who have expressed their opposition to the Reproductive Health (RH) bill. In a forum entitled YUP to Education, Jobs and Healt Care! Nope to RH Bill! sponsored by the Youth United for the Philippines (YUP) group, the pro-life and youth groups were one with the young congressmen in saying that the RH bill should be trashed. Members of the World Youth Alliance, Youth For Christ, ProLife Philippines, Filipinos for Life, and students from different schools joined YUP in supporting the nine congressmen, called 9YL, who want the proposed P3-billion fund for the RH bill used for livelihood, education, and healthcare services instead. YUP is a coalition of youth groups that advocates real long-term progress for the Philippines. The group 9YL includes Dakila Carlo Cua of the lone district of Quirino, Allan Velasco of the lone district of Marinduque, Rachel Marguerite del Mar of the first district of Cebu, Fatima Aliah Dimaporo of the second district of Lanao del Norte, Lucy Torres-Gomez of the fourth district of Leyte, Karlo Alexei Nograles of the first district of Davao City, Gabriel Quisumbing of the sixth district of Cebu, and Irwin Tieng and Mariano Michael Velarde, Jr. of Buhay Partylist. Our manifesto basically states three core beliefs that we stand by: First, we believe that the wealth of the nation is its people. Second, the P3-billion allocation for the RH bill is not something we can afford as a nation. There are so many things that our country needs before we can even dream or consider spending on these contraceptives. Third, the RH bill is very divisive. We should instead be looking at common areas where we can work together, Cua said.

Various Pro-Life and Youth groups joined the 9 Youth Leaders in rejecting the Reproductive Bill in the forum to Education, Jobs and Healt Care! Nope to RH Bill!

We believe that in order to provide a better future for our country, we have to spend now on education, on medicine, [and] on health care. We better invest in the Filipino youth than in pharmaceutical companies, Quisumbing said. For her part, Dimaporo noted how the proposed RH budget can instead be used to solve immediate problems. Will the proposed P3-billion budget be put into generating jobs, into improving education, into more scholarships, and into training birth attendants and health practitioners? Lets stop going around the problem and go straight to the solution, Dimaporo said.

Gomez told the participants to remember what we are fighting for. Human beings are assets and not liabilities. The true wealth of a nation is really in its people, she said. The YUP! coalition members include the UA&P Student Executive Board, World Youth Alliance-Asia Pacific, Ang Kapatiran, Couples for Christ - Foundation for Family and Life, Live Pure Movement, Pro-Life Youth Philippines, YouthPinoy, FLiQ Media, Y-Fam Woodrose, Universitas, and students from the De La Salle University and University of the PhilippinesDiliman. - cited from an article from CBCP for Life

Lapid Unveils Truth on RH Pricetag: P13.7 Billion

and defenseless. Now, his finest hour as a statesman and a senator of the Republic of the Philippines may have come. Lapid, whose was very vocal in saying that he wanted to have a say in the on-going interpellations in the Senate regarding the RH Bill but was afraid that his lack of proficiency in English may deter him from doing so, has dealt the pro-RH camp a serious blow by making Senator Pia Cayetano reveal the true budget asked by DOH to implement the RH bill. In a sudden turn of events that is very typical of Filipino movie heroes, the much-ridiculed and maligned Lapid had the last laugh when, during the interpellations for Senate Bill 2865, Senator Pia Cayetano admitted to him that the Department of Health (DOH) had asked for P13.7 billion for the implementation of the RH bill for the year 2012 alone. In perspective, this amount is bigger than the individual budgets of the departments of energy, finance, foreign affairs, justice, labor, science, tourism, and trade. The figure also dwarfs the budgets proposed for the Office of the President and Congress, as well as for the entire Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The revelation of the huge RH budget is the latest in the string of exposes to hound the pro-RH lobby, which had earlier been found to be using outdated data on maternal deaths and abortion. RH proponents had long been saying that the budget would only be P3 billion annually. Lapid pointed out that even at P3 billion per year, slum dwellers could already be sent back to the provinces and given their own land over a 10year period. [Iyan ay] sapat na halaga para bigyan ng lupa ang squatter sa probinsya, he told Cayetano.

The name Lito Lapid still evokes memories of Leon Guerrero, the gun-toting Filipino hero saving the day for the weak


By Felipe F. Salvosa II

FYI The Miraculous Lady of La Naval

the annual feast day procession of 27 images started coming out of the massive Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. Not even midway into the procession, at past 5 in the afternoon, the rains suddenly stopped! Lo and behold, a late, unexpected afternoon sunlight shone on the area, moments before the centuries-old image of the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila came out. The rains did not deter the faithful and in fact, the crowd this year was even bigger than last year. Students from Catholic schools braved the weather and prayed the Rosary in public, as they followed the images of saints like Lorenzo Ruiz, Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Catherine of Siena, and Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Order of Preachers. Before 7 pm, the image of La Naval was back in church for the public to pray the Act of Consecration. She was serenaded by a soprano who sang O Beata Mater as she went back to her throne. The grand choir sang Regina Sacratissimi Rosarii, to which he devotees responded Ora Pro Nobis. The surprise guest was Senator Vicente C. Sotto III, the lawmaker leading the opposition to the RH bill. Sotto, who was cheered by the public, led the Act of Consecration. Part of the prayer, in English, reads: Give birth to God in our hearts. Give birth to Peace in our world. Give birth to the Word who heals all strife, conquers sin with love, overcomes death, brings us life. As once you interceded for the victory of faith in these islands, pray for us, now in our struggle for truth and justice, for peace and love in Christ. After that, it was time to bid goodbye to the Blessed Mother, with the singing of the haunting hymn Despedida a la Virgen. The resolution is to continue the path towards Christ -- with Mary as guide and the Rosary as prayer -- and to commemorate again the feast next year. Fe Barino, the event featured a solemn procession of the image of Our Lady of Lipa, the recitation of the Holy Rosary, and the celebration of the Holy Mass which was officiated by His Excellency, Most. Rev. Jose S. Palma, DD and other concelebrants. Also held in the program were skits, song and dance numbers, and testimonies. All of the participants brought their rosaries and wore white to symbolize purity and total dedication to Our Lady.

Once more, Filipino Catholics turned to the Blessed Mother for protection and aid, as they did in 1646 when the Philippines was under threat of foreign invasion and had only two rickety ships (and Rosary beads) for defense. The miraculous victory over the Dutch in the historic Battles of La Naval has been commemorated during the month of the Rosary ever since. This year, the theme was Ina ni Kristo, Ina ng Buhay, taking up the prolife cause as the Philippines again comes under threat of a foreign imposition, which is the RH bill. Whats remarkable this year was some sort of a miracle. The metropolis had been battered by rains and cloudy skies the whole week, coinciding with the novena for the Feast of the Lady of the Rosary. It was still raining when

Position Paper on House Bill 515, also known as Anti-Discrimination Act An Act Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Providing Penalties Therefore
Pro-Life Philippines believes in the sanctity of human life, from its natural beginning to its natural end. We also believe in the inherent dignity of the human person, no matter the circumstances, as we believe that we are all made in the image and likeness of God. As such, we believe that there are noble and practical provisions in House Bill 515, as filed by Cong. Kaka Bag-ao and Cong. Walden Bello. However, we believe that this bill also creates some problems more than it creates solutions. The Catholic Church has always insisted that homosexual behavior is a sin; and as such it is well within its jurisdiction to deny employment to a person who is known to carry out homosexual relations, keeping in line with its moral teaching. However, with this bill, it is against the law for parishes, convents, religious orders, and the like, to do so (Section 4, letter b, Discriminatory Practices). The same scenario can be applied in Catholic schools, which, with the help of parents, are tasked to set the moral foundation of our children. If this bill becomes law, it will be against the law to refuse admission or expel a student on account of his of inappropriate sexual behavior (section 4 letter c, Discriminatory Practices). Sexual activity and other immoral practices are prohibited in Catholic schools and many list them as grounds for expulsion; nevertheless, if this were to become law, it will not be legal for Catholic schools to expel these students who have engaged in immoral behavior. We are also wary that this bill, once it becomes a law, will start a precedent that will ultimately set forth a chain of events that will legalize samesex marriage. We also denounce this bill for its lack of real options for the homosexual person to correct ones homosexual behavior. We do not believe that homosexuality is inherited nor something that is in our genes when we are born. We believe that same-sex attraction and sexual behavior between persons of the same sex are disorders that can be corrected with the proper treatment; the presence of many Christian and non-Christian support groups for people with Same-Sex Attraction can testify to this truth. In conclusion, Pro-Life Philippines finds this bill irrelvant since anti-discrimination behavior cannot be legislated. It is a value that has to be taught from childhood for people to accept one another no matter what race, color, creed, sex or social status. Besides, this is already enshrined in the constitutions of our country.

No to HB 515!

Thousands Jam for Mary

Coming from different groups, organizations, clubs, associations, parishes, and schools both private and public, they all converged at the Basilica Minore del Santo Nio to be one in celebrating Jam for Life, Jam for Mary last October 8, 2011. The said event, also called The Rosary Rally for Life was a way to honor our Blessed Mother in the feast of the Holy Rosary and a venue to make more young

continued from page 1.

people understand the purpose and power of prayer, especially of the rosary, in combating the anti-life mentality that is beginning to grip the nation, as evidenced by the pushing of the RH Bill in both upper and lower houses. Organized by Human Life International Pilipinas and the Archdiocesan Service committee chaired by

The event was a huge success and a fitting totus tuus to Life, to Mama Mary, and to our Lord Jesus Christ. Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer, HLI Pilipinas director, hopes that the event and its success will be duplicated in other dioceses and archdioceses nationwide.



Making a Truly Informed Choice: Why I Am Against the RH Bill

By Abraham Daniel C. Cruz, M.D.

the objectionable provisions since I am only beginning to read the new consolidated RH bill (which is 23 pages, by the way). Also, the current version in Congress seems to have been watered down (eg. removing satisfying and safe sex from the definition of Reproductive Health, stating that the bill recommends but does not impose a two-child policy, no specific population/ demographic target to attain, etc.) and has added new provisions on HIV/AIDs and STD prevention, and breast cancer management among others. Nevertheless, the In order to arrive at an intelligent decision regarding any issue, it is imperative that we educate ourselves, in order to understand its true complexities. Sadly, so many of us have been victims of making hasty generalizations and sweeping judgments. Such is the case with the very divisive Reproductive Health (RH) Bill. People have taken sides, whether, pro or against this bill, and yet when questioned further, the simple act of reading the bill itself has not even been accomplished, and intelligent discussions have degenerated to the hurling of insults, labeling and name-calling (religious fanatics, baby killers, pro-life vs pro-choice, etc.). I honestly fear that bigotry and religious-based violence is not an all too far reality if this matter is not resolved objectively. While my stand against the RH Bill stems from the initial fact that I am a Catholic first and a physician second, this faith must be enlightened with reason, lest we reduce our faith to natural religiosity, sentimentality, and pious intentions. As Pope John Paul II has beautifully articulated in Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason): Deprived of reason, faith has stressed feeling and experience, and so run the risk of no longer being a universal proposition. It is an illusion to think that faith, tied to weak reasoning, might be more penetrating; on the contrary, faith then runs the grave risk of withering into myth or superstition. As a lay Catholic, it is my responsibility to understand this faith, despite the limitations of my intellect, for I can never fully grasp the immensity of Christian teaching. Of course, I am not a theologian, and the objective of this article is not to impose Catholic teaching, but for the reader to gain a bigger and better perspective of the issue at hand. Current surveys say 69% of Filipinos are OK with the RH bill, yet only a very minute handful may actually have read the bill. Thus, these respondents may agree with the CONCEPT of RH, but in actuality have not even read the RH Bill, and are thus invalid respondents. As Filipinos, it is our duty to educate ourselves, so that we can ask our own questions and eventually make a truly informed decision. In this article, I will focus on certain issues on the RH bill which I find objectionable. However, since the RH bill has evolved so many times in Congress (HB 5043, 96, 101, 513, 1160, 1520, 3387), I am not able to provide the specific articles and sections of contents and ideology of the bill remain essentially the same as with previous versions. It is important to note that there is actually a broad agreement on both sides regarding many of the issues on RH (reduction of maternal and infant mortality, violence against women, breastfeeding, infant nutrition, care of post-abortion complications, improvement of infrastructure, training and deployment of skilled birth attendants, etc.). These areas are not up for a lengthy discussion. Most discord is actually on the issues of subsidizing (i.e. using taxpayers money) and mandating contraception, population control as a solution to poverty, mandatory sex education in grade school and high school, the seeming loss of parental authority in the acquisition of RH services by minors, provision of RH services by employers, and the punitive provisions which make health workers, employers, and any advocate vulnerable to prosecution. We must remember that when people say they are pro-RH bill, it means they support ALL its PROVISIONS and not merely the concept of RH. But when I say that I am anti-RH bill, it means that I do not agree with SOME of the provisions of the bill, thereby I cannot support the bill that is currently being discussed in Congress. These objectionable provisions are the ones I will tackle.

them, and its implications in their lives. However, sex and the issue of contraception and STD prevention are closely intertwined. The issue on contraceptives and other devices as part of the family planning program and prevention of STDs is very complex, and three things need to be settled. First is on when life begins, second is the mechanism of action and failure rate of these drugs and devices, and last is the issue of State subsidy. The freedom to choose is a non-issue here, since a person can choose any method in the freedom of his/her conscience without fear of coercion. Actually, the issue of when life begins should also be a non-issue. It begins at the moment of fertilization (the union of the egg and sperm). This has been settled, not by faith, but by science. Consult any embryology textbook, and all will say that the fertilization is time zero of human development. Before the 1960s, the terms fertilization and conception meant one and the same thing and were used interchangeably. Now, if the embryo, the zygote, is not alive and is not human, then I dont know how else to describe it. Yet doubt is cast even over this simple fact because the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology (FIGO) , in the 1960s, defined the onset of pregnancy not during fertilization but during the implantation of the blastocyst into the endometrium what they now term as conception. Surprisingly, this was not brought about by any scientific breakthrough during that time but coincidentally was made at around the same time that the first intrauterine device (IUD) was sold in the market and birth control pills were legalized in the US. The implications of this redefinition will be seen in the mechanism of action of oral contraceptive pills (OCPs), where our pharmacology textbook (Katzung) states that:

Do We Need A New Law?

First and foremost, presupposing that I agree with the ideology of the pro-RH camp, the question of the necessity to even put into law something as broad as health care and reproductive health may be raised. This is a valid issue, since amendments in already existing legislation and current programs of the Department of Health will achieve the same goals as what the RH bill supposedly wants as well. Why the need to make a new law?

Hormonal Contraception and Other Devices

This will be the meat of the article, since this is the most highly contended issue. I will not tackle the morality of sex, since that is another altogether different issue, and I urge the reader to try to understand what sex means to them, what it does to

The combinations of estrogens and progestins exert their contraceptive effect largely through selective inhibition of pituitary function that results in inhibition of ovulation. The combination agents also produce a change in the cervical mucus, in the uterine endometrium, and in motility and secretion in the uterine tubes, all of which decrease the likelihood of conception and implantation. The continuous use of progestins alone does not always inhibit ovulation. The other factors mentioned, therefore, play a major role in the prevention of pregnancy when these agents are used. to be continued


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