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MANILA, Philippines - The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will take the fight against the Reproductive Health Bill at EDSA Shrine on Saturday, August 4, 2012.
CBCP will hold a “Prayer Power Rally against the RH Bill,” three days before the fate of the RH bill is decided at the House of Representatives.
Earlier on Sunday, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile had said in radio interviews, however, that notwithstanding the August 7 deadline set by House leaders for the lower chamber to decide on whether to terminate deliberations and vote on the bill, the Senate itself will not be stampeded into action. He said serious questions persist on key provisions, notably the argument that the bill, instead of upholding the freedom of choice enshrined in the Constitution when it comes to responsible parenthood, actually imposes one point of view on the people, using billions in taxpayers’ money.
Pro-RH bill advocates have been saying the bill is necessary to stem the maternal deaths linked to pregnancy, although the “anti” camp says the solution is not to legislate a law, but simply increase resources and manpower for health care.
The church group is encouraging pro-life advocates to join the rally and express their opposition to the bill.
“This is a moral issue and therefore, this event will not be a political rally but a prayer rally focused on praying for the non-passage of the [RH bill]," said CBCP's Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL) Chairman Antipolo Bishop Gabriel V. Reyes in a separate interview.
Believing that the RH bill is not the solution to poverty, CBCP head and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said in a separate interview that the rally "will be a demonstration of their sentiments and advocacy for life.”
Palma also opposed the claims of RH bill proponents that the measure's primary concern is to address maternal health issues and not population control.
“The issue in maternal death as it has been mentioned is a serious concern, yes. But the solution does not lie in suppressing birth as provided in the RH Bill,” said Palma.
“Providing proper and adequate maternal care could be done without passing the RH bill, but by strengthening and improving access to existing medical services,” he added.
Meanwhile, CBCP said they are encouraging participants to wear red as a 'symbol of martyrdom of the church' and to bring religious images, rosaries and candles to the event. With Romsanne Ortiguera