An important sequel to the reproductive health law is the recent enactment of R.A. No. 11596 criminalizing the practice of child marriage and the cohabitation of an adult with a child outside of wedlock.
Rep. Edcel C. Lagman, the principal author of the RH law and one of the major co-authors of the law banning child marriage, underscored that the RH law includes the protection of the reproductive rights of children as the “State guarantees the promotion of gender equality, gender equity, women empowerment and dignity as a health and human rights concern and as a social responsibility”.
Accordingly, Lagman personally crafted the provision on outlawing the cohabitation between an adult and a child outside of wedlock because the adverse results of such prohibited union is the same as those of early child marriage, including the abuse of a child.
Pending in the Congress are two (2) more bills under the coverage of the RH law which are (1) the prevention of adolescent pregnancy; and (2) the reinstitution of absolute divorce as a woman’s rights legislation, according to Lagman.
EDCEL C. LAGMAN