after ANC’s harapan RH debate last night, i’m really hoping that GMA news and public affairs will rethink its promised “definitive debate” on may 22. is a debate really the way to go? we’ve heard them all before, especially the antis like golez and lina, and those priests and their blind believers. in fact any debate is lopsided in favor of the anti-RH, considering that every sunday for many months now priests and bishops have been ranting against the RH bill from the pulpits. i wonder what ANC thought they accomplished by even holding an online poll a la american idol that had more than 60 percent voting to “ibasura” the RH bill. so is that supposed to have reversed SWS survey findings that have 7 out of 10 filipinos in favor of the RH bill?
priests and bishops and their faithful as well as the media should read the latest column of john j. caroll, sj (via flor lacanilao) who dares disagree with the church on the RH bill:
With all due respect for the position of the Philippine bishops, I do not see that total opposition to the bill necessary. First of all, the bill does not legalize contraceptives; they are already legal and may be purchased in any drugstore.
Neither does the bill legalize abortion; on the contrary it reaffirms the constitutional prohibition. It is highly probable in fact that if contraceptives become more available to the poor, the scandalous number of illegal abortions performed annually will be dramatically reduced.
On whether the IUD and some contraceptive pills may prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum and so destroy a human life, the current draft of the bill passes the responsibility to the Food and Drug Administration, which should ban any such “contraceptives” from drugstores throughout the country.
The charge is made that the RH bill will destroy the Filipino family. On the basis of more than 25 years of pastoral and social work in Payatas, and some seven years sponsoring natural family planning programs, I can say that the family is already at great risk—and not because of contraceptives.
These are often one-parent families abandoned by the fathers who have gone on to father second and even third families. Or no-parent families abandoned by both father and mother and being raised by grandparents.
If only the effort and resources being now invested in opposition to the RH bill were being used for serious family-life education and family support services, there might be little reason to oppose the bill.
this is a prime opportunity for GMA news tv do ANC better by scrapping the debate format to level the talking field that is dominated by the anti-RH. let mel tiangco be the devil’s advocate, raise the arguments of the anti-RH for the pro-RH to respond to without imposed time limits that do not help the discourse any. this is one of those issues (like the u.s. bases issue in the late 1980s) when the media networks should not stand by as neutral observers but should take a stand, if not expressly pro-RH, at least expressly for a fairer hearing of the pro-RH side. allow the majority sentiment full expression, for a change.