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Monday, November 19, 2012

To Delay And Decay

That, in a nutshell, is what some legislators wish for the Reproductive Health Bill.

Not so incidentally, the title of my post is what some netizens are calling Senators Enrile and Sotto, two of the most powerful men in the Senate (Senate President and Majority Floor Leader), who see eye to eye as far as the bill is concerned.

Round and round and round...
(Courtesy of

It may be time to impress upon these two men, as well as all our legislators, that we have had enough. And by we, I mean both sides of the RH debate, colloquially called the Pros and the Antis. One look at any online forum with the RH Bill as the topic will betray a singular fact, one perpetuated by the inaction of Congress, which is in a similar position: We have been going around in circles.

The Pros have repeated the same defense: it is a reproductive health issue, a free choice with no coercion, it respects the individual's right to choose according to their religion, it is a universal human right, you can choose to plan your family the modern or natural way, we do not have unlimited resources, the various rates concerning maternal and infant mortality would give anyone pause, female empowerment in a culture like ours, it will not prevent women with no financial resources to make the same choices as those who "can afford", and so on.

The Antis have repeated the same defense: it is an affront to life, artificial contraception is tantamount to abortion, it is coercive, it will force families to have fewer children, it is against religious rights, it is disrespectful to (the Catholic) faith, it negates the importance of what the (Catholic) religious leaders say and demand of its followers, there is no such thing as overpopulation, it is a conspiracy from well funded foreign lobby groups to make us their slaves, and so on.

Paulit ulit nalang.

Yun at yun nalang.

Lumampas na tayo sa isang dekada sa kakahimay ng isyu na to.

Many of us, when the debate started, were still in elementary, or high school. Today, at the twilight of the year 2012, my contemporaries are juggling the demands of making ends meet, whether to have both parents working, while trying to send their child or children to the best schools they possibly can.

We have already moved on to the next generation, a generation that is already approaching their 20's (I was so thrown when one of my best friends told me that her son is off to take a scholarship grant for his master's degree, and I froze on the spot thinking, Gaaaaad, I'm OLD).

We have wasted so much time debating endlessly, that while we were all bickering, the next generation is already here, and some of them have unplanned pregnancies to deal with already.

It is time to put this matter to some form of conclusion, at the very least.

Whether you are for or against the measure, vote on it already. The time that we have consumed with so much non-productivity with this issue is such that Enrile is now fielding his son for the next senatorial elections. Do we even need clearer proof of how much time has passed by, with there being no end in sight?

Akala ko ba paglilingkod sa bayan ang ginagawa niyo sa Kongreso?

Only you, members of Congress, will have the force of law to place a finite point on it.

Yes, it will have repercussions to your political mortality, that is definitely true. So even if expediency and longevity are the only words you subscribe to when you hear the term "public service", it is in your best interest - the selfish variety - to vote on the measure. Recognize that I am not appealing to any lofty concept like the common good, public interest, welfare of women and children, doing the right thing.

Having lived this long, I know these are not the terms that you will respond to as legislators.

But I am certain that once your future in your current position will be compromised, we will have your undivided attention.

This is not a threat, but a wake up call to reality. We will vote based on your action or inaction on this much debated measure.

Vote on the RH Bill. It does not matter which side of the matter you have aligned yourself with, but for goodness' sake, MAKE A STAND. For or Against. No more games, delays, legalistic maneuvers or subterfuge.


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