The country’s bishops have issued a document recalling that abortion has not been legitimized and that a person’s right to life is still inviolable
Vatican Insider | Lastampa
Conscientious objection is the best way to defy the Reproductive health bill in December 2012 which the Supreme Court officially approved last April. After Parliament approved the controversial provision in December 2012, despite strong opposition from the Philippine Church, some Catholic politicians presented a series of appeals in a final desperate attempt to contest the constitutional legitimacy of the law. The verdict issued by the court means all provisions relating to contraception and sex education are now enforceable. The idea is to spread a culture of family planning and encourage birth control. The Philippine bishops who have been holding a plenary session in recent days, have tried to save the situation by issuing a “pastoral guide“. . . [Full text]
Conference of Catholic Bishops of the Philippines
While we would have wanted the Supreme Court to nullify the RH Law (Republic Act No. 10354), we must now contend with the fact that it has ruled rather to strike down important provisions of the law in deciding Imbong v. Ochoa, G.R. 204819 (April 8, 2014) and companion cases. It is our pastoral duty to pass the necessary information and instruction to our Catholics who, as health care workers (physicians, nurses, midwives, medical aides, medical technologists, etc.), are employed in health facilities, whether public or private, so that they may know what their rights are under the law as passed upon by the High Court. . .
The Supreme Court of the Philippines has resumed a hearing into the constitutionality of the controversial Reproductive Health law (the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012) . The operation of the law was suspended by the Court pending the outcome of litigation against it. Luisito Liban, a lawyer representing some of those opposed to the bill, told the court that his clients were “speaking on behalf of true Catholics” who do not use contraceptives. He also criticized the section of the law that requires objecting physicians to refer patients for morally contested services. [GMA (Philippines); ABS-CBN News (Philippines)]
Following oral arguments about the controversial Reproductive
Health (RH) Law, the Philippines Supreme Court has indefinitely extended its order to suspend the implementation of the law. [Manila Times]
In order to simplify and expedite the hearing scheduled for 9 July to review the controversial Reproductive Health law, the Supreme Court of the Philippines has proposed that the petitioners for and against the bill concentrate on three constitutional themes during their oral submissions:
- proscription of involuntary servitude *
- equal protection clause (right to life, freedom of religion, natural law) **
- freedom of speech (academic freedom) ***
Sections of the Bill of Rights (Constitution of the Philippines) relevant to these proposals are:
- * Bill of Rights, Section 18(2): No involuntary servitude in any form shall exist except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
- **Constitution, Section 1: No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.
- ***Bill of Rights, Section 4: No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.
- ***Section 5. No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed. No religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights.
[GMA News online]