Ignorance. That is what’s keeping the Reproductive Health Law from being fully implemented. And because of that ignorance, lives of thousands of women and children are put at risk daily.
It is ignorance that drove naysayers to the Supreme Court to file a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the RH law’s implementation.
The ALLiance for the Family Foundation Philippines (ALFI) argued to the High Tribunal that “implanon and implanon NXT,” implants and drugs that are covered by the law, have abortifacient attributes. In their ignorance they believe that these contraceptives will abort the already fertilized egg inside the mother’s womb.
In their low level of understanding, they did not comprehend how these contraceptives work. If they have just done their research more thoroughly, they would know that what these do is merely prevent the production of ‘eggs’ in the female reproductive system.
How can there be an abortion when there is no ‘egg’ produced? What is there to fertilize and abort?
Unfortunately, it is not just the negativists that are hit by the ignorance bug, but also heath workers and Rural Health Units.
In a report published by The Manila Standard, Benjamin Lucas Jr., a local nongovernment organization partner of the Philippine Society for Responsible Parenthood and the Philippine Council for Population Development, reported that “that some local health officials, who were not properly informed on the scope of the TRO, were driving away private sector volunteers doing campaigns to meet women’s reproductive needs in the villages.”
The TRO only prohibits the Department of Health from including Department of Health from including implanon and implanon NXT, from their reproductive health program.
The ignorance of health workers and RHUs on the scope of the TRO are preventing women from getting help and private organizations.
Translated to numbers, this ignorance would mean that the Philippines population will balloon to 106 million by the end of 2017 and 142 million by the end of 2045. This will also mean that 200,000 teenage Filipinas will give birth this year and that mortality rate from giving birth will increase by 30 percent.
Population boom will bring economic doom. Unwanted children born to unready parents will cause societal problems.
Given the drab results ignorance bring, will we still sit idly by and let do nothing while the High Tribunal continues to ignore the resolutions filed by civic oriented groups to lift the TRO? Will we allow the lives of thousands, possibly millions, of women and children to be put at risk because of ignorance?
It time we rattle the cage. It is time for us to demand that the full law be implemented.