If you thought for even one second that the debates on the saga that is known as the Reproductive Health (RH) bill may have cooled down during these past few months, a speech made by Health Secretary Enrique Ona on Thursday’s ASEAN-sponsored Human Rights Conference on Promoting Maternal Health: Responding to the United Nations Millennium Development Goal 5 may have the potential to, once again, stoke the flames on this divisive issue.
In the aforementioned speech, Secretary Ona had stated that “Health is a right that’s why it is important that each and every one of us has access to adequate health services and these include information and services on reproductive health.” And, knowing how to further drive a point home, he also added, “The death of mothers during childbirth–the act which breathes new life into this world–is totally unacceptable.”
The UN’s Goal 5 in question is the improvement of maternal health, so it’s not surprising why Dr. Ona seems to be pushing for the passage of the RH Bill. That may be a hard battle to win though, as just about almost every influential sector of Philippine society–from the Catholic Church and, uncharacteristically, even from the majority of the local healthcare division–are all in strong opposition to this bill. Well, here’s to some noisier months ahead of us.
Please click here to read the press release from the Department of Health.