"BABIES: A LIFE and death decision for Manila’s poor" (The Straits Times, Feb 13, 2008) paints the Catholic Church as an unfeeling and uncaring institution that seems to be more interested in dogma than in life.
This misrepresents the truth of the church’s concern, which is really about promoting a culture of life. Artificial birth control really means, in practice, "No Birth" and "No Control". The so-called "reproductive rights" being advocated is really the right to contraception and abortion, which is to promote an anti-life (contra-conception) and death (abortion) mentality – in other words, a culture of death.
It has been said that any society that kills its own babies has no future. Singapore has, in common with some other "advanced" nations, some extremely successful birth control policies that promote contraception and the culture of death. Singapore’s fertility rate is low not because we are having less sex but rather because we are having too much contraceptive sex.
The solution, if we want society to grow and not die, is not to attack the church’s position, which is always pro-life, but to focus on how we can educate the masses on responsible parenthood and to build a society which is just and has an equitable distribution of resources through good government policies. All this calls for the promotion of the virtues of chastity, charity, justice, etc.
Promoting a culture of condoms (so called safe sex and reproductive rights) to solve the poverty problem, or the STDs and AIDS problems is like throwing fuel on fire in the hope of putting it out.