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renewed church interest in RH good news amid alarming increase in maternal deaths
Press Release Posted on February 17th, 2012.
Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan 0920-9213221 Jang Monte 0917-4049119
Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan today welcomed news of the Catholic church leaders’ renewed openness to participate in the RH debates. “More and more sectors, including the Catholic church now realize the urgency of making healthcare accessible to women especially amid the reported increase in maternal deaths.”
he DOH reports 50 maternal deaths were recorded in Metro Manila in January alone. “This prompts us to resume deliberations and pass the RH bill without delay.”
According to Ilagan, “We are hopeful that their input in the debates will help legislators craft a reproductive health policy that will genuinely be pro-poor. Marginalized women would certainly welcome efforts to ensure that the government’s RH policy will primarily focus on giving women and children full access to healthcare services instead of giving emphasis on the distribution of contraceptives, imposition of fertility targets and population control.”
The women’s partylist group is pushing for the removal of population control provisions in the RH bill. According to Ilagan, the population control provisions defeat the objective of creating a health-based, rights-based RH policy.
“The RH bill cannot be genuinely pro-poor and pro-women for as long as it espouses population control, which blames poverty on women’s bodies, fertility and population. Women, especially those in poor, far-flung communities need access to reproductive health care services ranging from maternal care, pre-natal and post-natal care as well as menopausal care that go beyond the distribution of contraceptives and population control mechanisms.”