Give every mother a Chance to nurture and care for their children...
What you should know about
Give every family a Chance to live a quality life...
“THE RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD, REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH, AND POPULATION & DEVELOPMENT (POPDEV) BILL”
Give every Youth and Adolescent a Chance to live their dreams and aspirations...
This CHANCE is in our hand...
Promote the TRUTH about the RP-RH-POPDEV Bill... Support and Join initiatives for the immediate passage of the “Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and POPDEV Bill”!
House Bill No. 4244
• Adolescents and Youth - through access to appropriate information and services, adolescents and youth are provided with knowledge and skills that could enable them to achieve reproductive health and a better chance to achieve their dreams and aspirations.
Why do we need the “Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and PopDev Bill” (HB 4244)? The “Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and PopDev Bill” aims to address the prevailing population and reproductive health issues such as:
• Men - by providing them information and services on their reproductive health and involving them in ensuring the reproductive health of women, they can improve their own health and their marital and family relationships.
• Managers and Employers - by ensuring the reproductive health and rights of their employees, productivity is ensured.
• National and local government - A healthy, responsible, happy, and prosperous family is the foundation of a well developed nation.
• High maternal deaths (11 mothers dying everyday due to pregnancy and child birth - NSO, 2006); • High infant deaths (24 infants for every 1,000 live births are dying every year - 2008 NDHS); • High unintended pregnancies (women have an average of 3.3 children but they wanted only about 2.4 children, 2008 NDHS); • Increasing incidence of abortion (an estimated 473,000 abortions occur every year - A.Guttmacher Institute) • Increasing teenage pregnancy (1 for every adolescent aged 15-24 years have already given birth before their 21st birthday - NSO, 2008) • Rapidly increasing incidence of STI and HIV/AIDS infection (4 new cases of HIV infection every day DOH, 2010); and • Inadequacy of access to family planning information and services • Only 50.7% of married women are using any kind of family planning methods; • 22% of women who wants to limit and space their children are not using family planning methods. 1
What is Reproductive Health? Reproductive Health is the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity in all matters related to reproductive system and to its functions and processes. It implies: • that couples and individuals are capable to reproduce and have the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so; • that men and women are informed on and have access to safe, legal, effective, affordable and acceptable family planning methods; and • that women have access to appropriate health-care services that enables them to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth.
What is Responsible Parenthood? Responsible Parenthood refers to the will, capacity, and commitment of parents to adequately respond to the needs (e.g. financial, emotional, psychosocial, educational, etc.) and aspirations of the family and children. It includes the capacity of parents to responsibly have the number and spacing of children that they can fully support.
The RP/RH/POPDEV Bill does not aim to control the population The Bill explicitly prohibits “demographic targeting.” The Bill promotes the right of couples and individuals to freely decide on the number of their children based on the demands of responsible parenthood. It does not set a target number of population to be attained in the future. The Bill rather promotes the formation of a quality population that can be more likely achieved if families and governments have capacities to provide for the development of its members and constituents.
Who will benefit from the RP/RH/POPDEV Bill if this becomes a law? • The Family - by enabling couples to realize their fertility intentions (e.g. number of children), families will be given better chances to provide for the needs and welfare of their family and children.
• Women - with appropriate information and services, women are empowered to achieve their reproductive rights, provide them with the opportunity to develop themselves, participate in community decisions, and nurture their family and marital relationships. 11
What acts are being prohibited under the RP/RH/POPDEV Bill?
What are the guiding principles of the RH/ RP/POPDEV Bill?
The following acts are prohibited:
• Guaranteeing freedom of choice; • Respect, protection, and fulfillment of reproductive health and rights; • Ensuring reproductive health care to promote the full development of the human resource; • The provision of medically safe, legal, affordable, accessible, and effective reproductive health care services as essential part of right to health; • The government has the responsibility to ensure a) that couples are able to decide and achieve the number and spacing of their children; b) effective partnership among national and local governments and private sector; and c) equitable allocation and utilization of resources; • Prevention of abortion being an illegal act; • Provision of humane, non-judgmental, and compassionate treatment of post-abortion complications.
• Any health care service provider, whether public or private, who shall: • Knowingly withhold or restrict dissemination of information or intentionally provide incorrect information on RH programs; • Refuse to perform legal and medically safe RH procedures on any person on the ground of third party consent; or on account of the client’s marital, sexual orientation, age, religion, personal circumstances, or nature of work; and does not refer it to other service providers who are willing to perform the procedure. • Any public official or through his/her subordinate, prohibits or restricts the delivery of legal and medically safe RH services; • Any employer who shall require an employee or applicant to undergo sterilization or use or not to use any family planning method as a requirement for employment or continued employment; and • Any person who falsifies a Pre-Marriage Counseling Certificate of Compliance.
The RP/RH/POPDEV Bill does not promote abortion! The Bill does not change the existing law on abortion as an illegal and punishable act. The Bill actually aims to prevent or reduce incidence of abortion by enabling women and men to achieve their fertility intentions to avoid unintended pregnancy which is one of the major causes of abortion. If
pregnancy is wanted, abortion can be prevented! It also aims to provide maternal health services to ensure healthy pregnancy and child birth.
What are the programs and measures being promoted by the RP-RH-POPDEV Bill? • Implementation of Comprehensive Reproductive Health Care Program that includes the provision of: • information and services on family planning; • maternal, infant, and child health and nutrition; • prevention of abortion and management of abortion complications; • adolescent and youth reproductive health; • prevention and management of STI and HIV/AIDS; • elimination of violence against women;
• Appropriate interventions will also be undertaken to capacitate parents to guide their adolescent children in exercising responsible sexuality.
The RP/RH/POPDEV Bill does not promote sexual promiscuity among adolescents through “sex education.” The Bill DOES NOT promote “sex education” or information pertaining to sexual acts. The Bill seeks to provide information such as values formation, responsible sexuality (e.g. avoiding too early sexual engagement), and life skills, among others, to enable adolescents to be more responsible in their decisions, relationships, and actions towards nurturing their potentials, thus, enabling them to avoid early sexual relationships, teenage pregnancy and other risky sexual behaviors. Age-appropriate education means providing information that are relevant to the reproductive health issues normally encountered in a specific age. For example, information to be provided to Grade 5 students will only focus on values formation and how to protect themselves against sexual abuse and violence, among others. Teenagers, on the other hand, will be taught life skills such as life planning and saying “NO” to risky sexual behaviors, among others. 9
“Over population” is not the sole direct cause of poverty in the country. The issue of poverty is complex. The Bill only recognizes the significant impact of the number of population or family size on the capacity of the family and the goverment to provide full development to its people. Many studies have shown that, for example, the more children a family has, the lesser is its chance and capacity to provide for the health and education needs of its members.
• Provision of Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education for Grade 5 to 4th Year high school students. • Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education shall be integrated in all relevant subjects and shall include information and skills that could enable them to be more responsible in their sexuality; protect themselves from abuse and teenage pregnancy; and prevent them from contracting STI and HIV/AIDS, among others.
• education and counseling on sexuality and reproductive health; • treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers and other gynecological conditions and disorders; • male responsibility and participation in RH; • prevention and treatment of infertility and sexual disfunction.
• Employment of adequate number of midwives (1 fulltime skilled birth attendant for every 150 deliveries per year) to ensure safe and healthy delivery or child birth. • Establishment and upgrading of hospitals with adequate and qualified personnel, equipment, and supplies to be able to provide emergency obstetric and neonatal care (EmONC); • For every 500,000 population, there should be 1 hospital with Comprehesive EmONC and 4 hospital or clinic with Basic EmONC services; • Provision of full range of modern family planning methods; • Provision of Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for reproductive health including maternal and neonatal health care kits in crisis situations; • Conduct of annual Maternal Death Review; 5
• Integration of Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning component in anti-poverty and sustainable development programs, with corresponding fund support; • Strengthening of the role of Local Population Offices in family planning effort and capacitating Barangay Health Workers and volunteers; • Provision of maximum PhilHealth benefits for serious and life-threatening reproductive health condition such as HIV and AIDS infection, breast and reproductive tract cancers, obstetric complications, and menopausal and postmenopausal-related conditions; • Provision of Mobile Health Care Service (MHCS) in the form of a van or other means of transportation to deliver health care information and services especially among the poor and the needy;
The RP/RH/POPDEV Bill does not impose how many children a couple should have. The RP/RH/POPDEV Bill respects the reproductive right of couples to decide and achieve the number and spacing of children they desire based on their capacity to provide for the welfare of their family and children. The role of the government is to provide the necessary means and methods such as the widest range of family planning methods to enable couples to exercise and fulfill this reproductive rights. • Provision of sexual and reproductive health care services to persons with disabilities; • Provision of information on responsible parenthood and family planning among applicants of marriage license; • Heightened multi-media campaign to promote and protect reproductive health and rights including family planning. 7
PDF file of the primer on the RP-RH bill