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Do Not Bear False Witness to Women’s Health, GWP Rep. Emmi De Jesus reminds CBCP
Press Release Posted on February 20th, 2012.
Rep. Emmi De Jesus, 0917-3221203 Rowena Festin, 0915-6349308
“GWP believes that House Bill 4244, popularly known as the RH Bill, has made positive strides for women. Gabriela Women’s Party has successfully included in the consolidated bill substantive provisions from its own bill, HB 3387. Among these are reproductive health care programs and services throughout one’s life cycle, services to address breast and reproductive tract cancers, and protection against chemicals injurious to working women. GWP also successfully included prenatal leaves for women workers and pro-bono services especially to low-income and indigent pregnant women. On top of this, population or demographic targets were thrown out of the bill, and desired family size was made neither mandatory nor compulsory,” Rep. Emmi De Jesus said today in reaction to a CBCP statement referring to GWP’s views that the current version of the RH bill is not yet genuinely pro-poor and pro-women.
“We need to remind CBCP not to distort the truth in its campaign against the RH bill. While it is true that Gabriela Women's Party has consistently opposed the population control agenda, it does not mean that the GWP stands beside the Catholic Church hierarchy in blocking the passage of a legislation that calls for the promotion of women’s right to health,” clarified Rep. Emmi De Jesus.
“However, it is our duty, as representatives of our women constituency, to continue to oppose the three (3) remaining provisions in HB 4244 that promote population control – sections 3(l), 12, and 25.These provisions must be deleted in the RH bill. Otherwise, the long saga of blaming women’s wombs for the rising poverty in the country continues. This wrong notion is made to persist while government and big business interests escape responsibility for the poverty they have caused this country for decades, and the ailing Philippine health system that the government has turned its back on,” Rep. Emmi De Jesus added.
“In the halls of Congress, we are committed to take population control out of the RH bill. We will work to contribute to the further refinement of the current version of the RH bill into a genuinely pro-poor, pro-women piece of legislation. We continue to say, ‘Yes to a comprehensive and pro-poor reproductive health bill! No to population control!!,” the Gabriela solon ended. ###