MANILA – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines is campaigning against a proposed reproductive health law that is unacceptable to the church due to "fatal flaws" although it "makes a number of good points".
The bill does not define clearly when the protection of life begins and does not affirm the 1987 Philippine Constitution’s provision that "human life is to be protected upon conception", the bishops wrote in a Nov 14 statement. The bill mentions abortion is a crime, but allows contraceptives that prevent a fertilised egg from implanting itself in the uterus, which the church leaders say causes abortion.
The bishops also oppose a mandated reproductive health education curriculum for public and private schools, since it could violate the conscience of teachers who hold contrary religious values. The bill’s requirement that employers "ensure an adequate quantity of reproductive healthcare services and devices for their employees" would compel even bishops and priests to act against their faith and provide artificial contraceptives to their employees, the church leaders pointed out. UCAN