How Do You Solve A Problem Like The RH Bill?

Sounds like “The Sound of Music” classic, right? Seriously, the Reproductive Health or RH Bill issue seems to be igniting more fight than light. However, this issue must not divide us believers. Second Timothy 2:23-24 command us, “Stay away from stupid and senseless arguments. These only lead to trouble, and God’s servants must not be troublemakers. They must be kind to everyone, and they must be good teachers and very patient.” (CEV)

So, whether we are pro or anti, we must keep our F.A.C.T.S. straight.

FOCUS on the facts. Sadly, there are those who oppose the RH Bill without even reading it. For example, they accuse its proponents of pushing for abortion. In his “Sounding Board” column, Jesuit priest Fr. Joaquin Bernas, who is also Dean Emeritus of Ateneo Law School, acknowledged that the RH Bill is really against abortion. “I am pleased that the bill reiterates the prohibition of abortion as an assault against the right to life.” (Source: Inquirer.net)

ADDRESS the issues, not personalities. Both sides are prone to the temptation to attack personalities rather than deal with the issues. On one hand, the anti group tends to label the proponents as unchristian or, worse, “on the side of the devil.” The pro group on the other hand caricatures their opponents as religious bigots.

CONSIDER all sides. Not one side has a monopoly of the truth. Both sides have something valuable to contribute to the discussion. For example, I think the anti group raised a valid point that some birth control pills might actually cause abortion, not just prevent pregnancies. Some people are afraid that the mandatory sex education will teach young children how to make love. Yet the RH Bill qualified sex education with the phrase “age-appropriate.” However, the bill pushes for mandatory sex education without even asking for parental consent. That is a concern for me.

THINK of holistic solutions. Our government came up with the RH Bill to address our problem of overpopulation, which leads to poverty. But, there are those who claim that it is corruption that caused poverty. I believe poverty is such a complicated problem that there is no “magic bullet” or one solution to solve it. We might need to approach it from all fronts.

SHARE your stance with love. We must not burn bridges or build walls. Dialogues are still the way to go. Bernas wrote, “I have never held that the RH Bill is perfect. But if we have to have an RH law, I intend to contribute to its improvement as much as I can.” (Ibid)

Brethren, let us keep our F.A.C.T.S. straight.

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