05 October 2008
The growing multi-sectoral support for the reproductive health bill isolates the Catholic hierarchy and ultraconservative lay organizations as the principal oppositors of the measure.
“There is emerging victory of progressive advocacy over orthodox dogma,” according to Rep. Edcel Lagman, principal author of House Bill No, 5043 or the “Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development Act of 2008”.
In addition to the 108 Members of the House of Representatives who have coauthored the bill, endorsements and statements of support have come from inter-faith organizations, the academe, scientists and medical societies, employers and workers groups, government agencies, human rights organizations and the vast NGO community.
Both the Iglesia ni Cristo and Jesus is Lord are supporting the reproductive health bill together with most Protestant denominations and Muslim leaders.
A partial list of supporters includes the following:1. Professors of the UP School of Economics ;
2. Government agencies led by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA);
3. Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP);
4. Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP);
5. National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST);
6. Inter-faith Partnership;
7. Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS);
8. Philippine Society of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (PSREI);
9. UP Manila Center for Gender and Development Studies;
10. UP Diliman College of Social Work and Community Development;
11. UP Diliman Center for Women’s Studies;
12. Cordillera Human Rights Alliance ;
13. Catholics for RH;
14. European Union Country Representative Alistair MacDonald;
15. Welga ng Kababaihan, a coalition of 55 multi-sectoral organizations; and
16. Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN), a confederation of predominantly women’s NGOs representing hundreds of community and sectoral organizations.
Lagman predicted that there will be more coauthors and multi-sectoral supporters when the deliberations on the RH bill resume in the second week of November after the one-month congressional break.