Aug. 7th, 2012

levity: (bring it)
(Or, I am writing this even though my head is pounding because there's idiots)

Dear RH opponents,

The RH Bill is not about you. The RH Bill is not about you. The RH Bill is not about you. The RH Bill is not about you so much that the amount of noise you put into waving around your little morality flags is- kind of unwarranted, to say the least. Nobody is preventing you from standing by your morals and choices as you see fit. Nobody is preventing anybody from standing by their morals and choices as they see fit, unless said morals and choices involve, say, murder, in which case the right of the murdered person not to have been murdered kind of takes priority. This can be a metaphor, if you like, but for simplicity's sake let's say it isn't. You can choose not to use artifical contraception, if that's you want! You can have twenty kids, if that's what you want! So can we end the no freedom of religion argument here? You know what you want, you know what you believe in, you know how to go about acting on them, you can afford to act on them, and nobody is stopping you, unless murder etc., which is great! Some people? Aren't as lucky. So, again: the RH Bill is not about you. It's about them.

It's about the sixteen-year-old girl who had to quit halfway through her last year of high school to work as a maid because she had twelve younger siblings and a jobless father. It's about the woman on her third pregnancy who didn't want another child but couldn't do anything about it because her live-in partner refused to pay for her contraceptive pills. It's about the 30% of high school students in that old DepEd study (will link when I find it; damn the sore lack of electronic records in this country) who didn't know that having sex led to pregnancy. It's about the women who wait the night out sleeping on benches outside the PGH's OB ward, and who have to share beds once they've gotten admitted. It's about the women who suffer from complications from abortions they need but can't obtain legally and get turned down for treatment by doctors on no ground save their presumed higher moral ones. It's about all the families out there who have more kids than they can support, and who know it, and who don't know what to do about it, because no one will tell them.

And if you're going to say that all that is just calling for pity and not looking at the economy, never mind that it's, you know, the good of the people laws are supposed to be looking out for in the first place (key words being supposed to, of course), never mind the idiotic entitlement in thinking of people as an investment: it's not numbers that result in profit. It's productivity that results in profit. You know when people are productive? Hint: it's not when they've been malnourished gestation onwards because their parents can't afford the right kind or amount of food. It's not when they have had to sit in a classroom with a hundred other students throughout their schooling careers because their parents can't send them to private schools and because the government can't afford to educate that many kids. It's not when they don't get schooling careers to begin with because they have to put food on the table. Of course the goverment should channel funds into education and tertiary health care, nobody is contesting that. But do you know what would make that easier?

You guessed it.

Because the RH Bill is about contraception, but it isn't just about contraception, either. It's about education and maternal and newborn care and preventing transmission of and/or treating sexually-transmitted diseases and it's about giving people the opportunity to have the family lives they would like to have, which you may take for granted but others do not. It's about catching problems upstream before they get to be problems.

(It doesn't even go into the tricky question of abortion, which is a whole other battle (my thoughts on a postcard: would never have one, would never prevent someone else from having one, I am not self-righteous enough to think that my morals should be everyone else's morals). Repeat for emphasis: nothing in the bill condones abortion. But even if there were little loopholes I didn't notice that did? Abortion is contraindicated in the Constitution. The Constitution declares the fetus is a life and prohibits all medically unnecessary abortions. If the loopholes existed that allowed for abortion, the Constitution would still take precedence, because, well, it's the Constitution. That's what it's for.)

If your opposition is all because of your moral beliefs, well, no one's making you starve for theirs, you ought to do others the same courtesy. And if it's because you think everything should be left in the hands of a higher power- look at us now. As Lord Vetinari would say, if there exists any kind of supreme being, it is our duty to be its moral superior.


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