About Me

When not at work with students, I spend my time in my room either reading, calculating something using pen and paper, or using a computer. I read almost anything: from the pornographic to the profound, although my main interests are mathematics and physics. "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." -Erasmus

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rizal, the church, and the RH Bill

ABS-CBN is airing "Harapan", a televised debate featuring the pro- and anti- Reproductive Health Bill. I've read the bill, and I'm surprised that people can say that it promotes abortion. And professors of the state university at that.

To be fair to the professors, there is no consensus on the RH Bill. Two of my friends, for example, are professors who happen to be anti-RH Bill;  the back-story, of course, is that they're Roman Catholic and take the church's (or at least prominent bishops's) opinions seriously. I know of others in the pro-RH Bill camp, so one cannot claim that there is unanimity in opinion.

Even if the RH Bill gets turned into law, I foresee a damned difficult time in getting it implemented. If our history is any guide, well-meaning efforts to educate, enshrined in law, can be subject to subversion if the people who implement the law would will to do so.

Such subversion has happened-- witness the Rizal law, and how the Catholic Church has handled it. In order to comply with the letter of the law, expurgated editions of Rizal's novels, Noli and Fili, were prepared for the use of Catholic schools. I've ranted about it in other posts, so I will not go into details.

I suspect that if the RH Bill were passed, then the  next step of the church is to comply with the letter of the law by teaching the methods of contraception, along with a heavy dose of why using these methods (aside from rhythm and abstinence) would lead one on the road to perdition. The students will be made to forget that not all Filipinos are Catholics, and that ultimately, the choice of method ought to be decided by well-informed individuals. Also, there is no easy way to check that what should be taught is learned--- there will be no post-exams to verify this.

In spite of my pessimism, I still hope that the RH Bill becomes the law. We need it.

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