Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A personal reaction/opinion on the RH Bill: It's still a band-aid solution


New posts on the topic of the RH Bill or HB4244 have been added.

Tackles sections of the bill that are wide open to abuse and corruption.

Tackles alternatives to government procurement stated in various sections of the bill.

"...if you want to really put an abrupt halt to population growth, give people higher quality education and make them productive (i'm not averse to conscripting labor). Good education and a job with some upward mobility is a better contraceptive than whatever you can get over the counter or from health clinics."
Mike Portes reposted this quote on her wall and when stuff that I write gets reposted, I feel something in my lighting up -- causing me to write even more about the kernel that I whittled from somebody else's vast intellect.

Before the start of the official campaign season, I had a chance to attend a bloggers' session with Risa Hontiveros and in that session, one of the topics was the proposed Reproductive Health Bill.

365 Sex Positions: A New Way Every Day for a Steamy, Erotic YearThe Reproductive Health Bill or any proposed legislation that irritates the Catholic Church is a surefire way to create controversy and a lot of media noise.  So, back then, I thought that Pia was just riding on the RH Bill issue to gain media mileage for herself. 

To test her (or just to be testy), I asked her a number of questions and there are just two that I remember from the volley that I threw at her.

One, which drew some laughter, was when I asked: "Why is the gay community backing the reproductive health bill? Do they reproduce?"

Another which was completely ignored was "Rather than give people a choice, people should be forced to stop making babies.  Is there a way to insert a provision in the RH Bill that would force people to use contraception?"

The first question was more of a comment on the fact that the gay community was hotly backing the RH Bill.  Yes, the RH Bill will allow Robin Hood and his Merry Men to get a butt load of free condoms, thereby (we assume) avoid the further spread of HIV/AIDS.  

I have nothing against stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS -- even though, in certain cases, it is a self-inflicted condition that comes with a set of other risky behaviors.

Trojan Her Pleasure Latex Condoms, Lubricated, 12-Count Boxes (Pack of 3)My concern with this is basically economic in nature.  How much of these condoms will go to heterosexual men who want to prevent their women from getting pregnant and how many will go to homosexual men who want to prevent getting or spreading HIV/AIDS?  What are the costs of overpopulation vis-a-vis taking care of people with HIV/AIDS?  How many Freddy Mercury's and Charlton Heston's will free condoms save?  How many Ampatuans and estapador female lawyyers can we keep from being born?

But seriously, I wanted to know if the RH Bill contemplated this and Hontiveros basically said that the free condoms would be distributed to anyone who wanted them.  Then again, I considered how difficult it would be to track how many gay or straight men would use them.  Difficult, I suppose, but certainly not impossible.

Anyway, my issue is whether the amount of government money we are spending is going to preventing pregnancies or preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS.  If over population is the more serious issue, I guess more money (more condoms) should go to men who want to prevent their female partners from getting pregnant.

The other question that I asked Hontiveros, "Is there a way to force people to use contraception?" fell on deaf ears and this is probably the time when Carlo Ople started treating me like a special child. (HAHAHA!)

The spirit of the law, I have been told, is to give people FREEDOM OF CHOICE.  How can people choose if you force them?!!

In some studies (I can't remember which one) it is said that providing people with free contraceptives or making contraceptives freely available hardly slowed down population growth.

Here & NowWith the average Filipino being the way they are, do you think they'll they stop in the heat of the moment to contemplate the consequences of the action they are going to take?  A great number of them not being able to see a future beyond the next meal, asking them to contemplate on consequences is probably an exercise in futility.  For men and women who have no pride in their past and faith in a future, the only thing that matters is NOW.  So, with this kind of people, what do you think will happen to those free condoms and contraceptives?

I don't know.  Perhaps some will use them, perhaps some won't.

And it is the numbers of those who will not use contraceptives that will say whether the RH Bill will be effective in curbing our population growth or not.

So, in my view, I think that in order for the RH Bill to be effective, the people have to be somewhat obligated to use the contraceptives that the government buys.  Otherwise, the government will just end up stock piling all these contraceptives and the multi-national companies that produce them will be laughing all the way to the bank.

The measures I am contemplating to curb population growth are more drastic and basically throw out certain rights.

  • Institute a system whereby the state will fully subsidize the education and health needs of only the first two children born to a couple who are at least 21 years old.

  • For couples who have more than 2 children or cannot provide for the children they already have, their children will be taken from them and taken care of by the state.  Such couples will be forced to undergo tubal ligation (for the women) and vasectomy (for men).

  • All men and women 15 years and above who are not in school or are working should be conscripted to labor in government factories (they'll be given wages, housing, food, etcetera).  I don't care if they manually produce paper clips or hand craft staple wire or dig holes which others will fill, anything to keep them so busy and bone tired that the last think they'll probably want to do is to have sex.

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