fudging the facts: sotto’s anti-RH sob story
nakakaiyak naman talaga ang mawalan ng anak. lalo na kung sanggol, lalo na kung ni hindi mo nahipo o nahawakan o nayakap. masuwerte pa nga these days ang mga magulang na maysakit ang sanggol mula sa kapanganakan. hospital nurseries are kinder, allow the parents (in sterile gowns) to touch and even hold their baby, the mother to breastfeed even, and the baby does not have to die without feeling some love, kahit kaunti, kahit paano.
but but but, the senator fudges the facts when he attributes the infant’s birth defect and short lifespan on the contraceptive pills helen was taking at the time she conceived.
makati medical center could prove to the fact na wala silang makita na dahilan na nagkaganoon ang bata kundi dahil nagkocontraceptives yung asawa ko. nabuntis pa rin kahit gumagamit ng contraceptives, that’s why i know. hindi trabaho ito sa akin, personalan ito. …. sabi ng makati medical center namatay dahil sa paggamit ng misis ko ng contraceptives. even her doctor admits to that fact. dra. enverga santos. he was born and died with a weak heart.
methinks the senator is being cavalier with the truth, or what’s fact and what’s not (i wonder what else he might be lying about). i doubt very strongly that dr. carmen enverga-santos ever admitted to such a thing. she was my mother’s obstetrician who delivered me in 1949 (she and my parents were friends in medical school), and later she was my ob-gynecologist, too, and my aunts’ and sisters’ and cousins’ and a niece’s, from the 1950s through the ’90s until she retired. we were all spacing our kids using birth control pills she started prescribing in the ’60s, and none of us had any problems whatsoever. if she knew there was any danger from the pill, would she have continued to prescribe it for us after helen’s case?
enverga-santos was a highly respected ob-gyn in her time. i cannot imagine her, or any credible ob-gyn, or the makati medical center, “admitting to the fact” that the cause of the birth defect and death was, unequivocally and categorically, the birth control pills. the Pill, since its approval by the FDA in may 1960, is “among one of the most carefully studied medications in U.S. history.” any such danger, any clinically proven connection between the pill and birth defects, would have immediately brought about its absolute withdrawal from the market by the FDA. read Common Pill Myths.
shared sotto’s sob story with my doctor brother butch and this is what he had to say:
It’s a bit of a stretch, blaming the pills for that. Any details on how long she continued on the pills after conception? Were there problems with other pregnancies? Any medical conditions the mother was being treated for? Too many other causes of birth problems: infections, drugs, smoking, alcohol, etc. When did Enverga give that opinion?
And we always want to point at something recognizable, always looking for answers, but often, it’s unanswerable, buried deep down in the weird complexities of life, the fears, paranoias, dys-emotions that rule some lives, that eventually manifest themselves as physical maladies and defects.
shared sotto’s sob story, too, with my nurse sister nancy, convent bred but pro-RH, who was also under the care of enverga-santos through 3 pregnancies and deliveries:
it was also the good doctor who prescribed the birth control pills i took after giving birth to our first child in 1965. the same birth control pills allowed me to properly space my next 2 pregnancies.
combined (estrogen/progestin) oral contraceptive pills are highly effective when taken religiously at the same hour each day. if one or more tablets are forgotten for more than 12 hours, contraceptive protection is reduced. the rate of effectiveness of birth control pills is dependent on how consistently and correctly it is taken. not to belabor the issue, pero malamang di tama ang inom ni helen.
in a tv interview soon after his tearjerker of a speech, the senator admitted that the real bottom line for him is that he is against the so many billions that will be spent on pills and condoms to be given away for free, money that, all anti-RH people say, the government doesn’t have or, if it can be had, could be used for more urgent needs. here’s the response to that of Mulat Pinoy, a population awareness initiative supported by the Probe Media Foundation, Inc. and the Philippine Center for Population and Development:
Investing in family planning services will save several billion pesos, which can be used for critical social services.
The latest US and Philippine research show that governments annually spend a minimum of Php 5.5 billion in healthcare costs to address unintended pregnancies and their complications.
By contrast, only Php 2.0-3.5 billion annually is needed to fund a comprehensive range of voluntary family planning services for the entire country, which also results in a more sustainable population to provide for.
so there. pass the RH bill, now na! and let’s not vote ever again for, let’s campaign vigorously against, any and all legislators (or their wives husbands brothers sisters sons daughters nieces nephews) who say no to reproductive health. they can found their own churches instead and still get rich, like brother mike, praise the lord.