Philippine Bishops oppose reproductive health bill

2012-12-13 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) In the Philippines, the House of Representatives passed a controversial, so-called “Reproductive Health” Bill, despite strong opposition by the Church.

The Bill was passed by a narrow margin, with congressman voting in favour of the legislation by a margin of 113 to 104, with 3 abstentions. More than 70 congressman were marked absent in the voting.

The Bishops of the Philippines have been adamant in their opposition to the Bill, organising prayers and vigils against its passage.

Before yesterday’s vote, at a Mass in honour of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Unborn, the Archbishop of Lipa, Ramon Argüelles spoke about what was at stake in the conflict. Addressing the blessed Virgin, he said, “Mama Mary, never before at any other time in our history as a predominantly Catholic nation, are we faced with so serious a conflict. We truly need your protection. We need your maternal and loving care. Great are the forces loosed to destroy our Filipino culture, eliminate our race from the face of the earth, and destroy our religion.”

After the disappointing vote, Archbishop Arguelles said the proceedings showed “our legislators are not with the people . . . We will continue to pray, to promote life.”

The Bill must still pass the Senate, and both chambers of the Legislature must agree on a final version before the measure becomes law.

Listen to Christopher Wells' report: