Catholic Youth network declares united stance vs. RH bill

MANILA, March 30, 2012— A network of Church-mandated youth groups and movement has come out with a solidified stance of the Filipino Catholic Youth for Life denouncing the anti-life component of the Reproductive Health bill.

The Federation of National Youth Organizations (FNYO), a network of mandated Catholic youth groups and movements recognized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Youth (CBCP-ECY) has recently released an official statement of the Filipino Catholic youth for Life against the controversial measure.

Emphasizing four major points, the FNYO statement argued that the root of poverty in the country is corruption in government; strong family values are a great cultural trait of Filipinos; everything that prevents life is a violation of the human right to life and dignity; and promoting the RH bill with its anti-life component in a Christian nation such as the Philippines goes against the citizens’ Christian values and beliefs.

Under FNYO are 22 Catholic youth organizations that include Chiro Pilipinas, Salesian Youth Movement FMA and SDB, Student Catholic Action of the Philippines, Institucion Teresiana-Youth, Franciscan Youth Philippines, Canossian Youth Movement, Catholic Youth Organization, Junior Catholic Womens’ League, CFC-Youth for Christ, CFC-Youth for Family and Life, CFC-Singles for Christ, CFC-Singles for Family and Life, Christ’s Youth in Action, Christian Life Community of the Philippines, Columbian Squires, Filipino-Chinese Catholic Youth, Filipino Youth with a Mission, Mary Help of Christians Crusade, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Tarcisian Adorers, Youth for Mary and Christ, and Youth for a United World-Focolare.

The groups denounced the claim of the bill’s proponents that poverty is caused by overpopulation, hence the need to pass the RH bill.

“How can the passing of RH Bill be a solution to this problem? Instead of funding efforts to pass such a bill, the government should direct the funds to the poor,” the groups declared in their statement.

“We cannot understand why even the funds for them should be pocketed by corrupt legislators. The government should continue exploring possibilities of partnership with the private sector in providing equal opportunities for our people like work and livelihood programs, helping them to stand on their own and uplift them from their miserable condition,” they said.

The need to empower families, parents

Their statement also noted that despite changing times, Filipino families remain true to their faith and beliefs, stating that “the high regard and respect to parents as first teachers to their children is a fact that influences the strong family ties.”

“Efforts then on how to educate children about sex and sexuality should start at home and should be done by parents,” the statement said.

The groups pointed out that parents should also be educated so that they would be better equipped teachers of life to their children.

“Let us fund programs to educate parents because Sex Education to pupils in Grade V up to students in High School is a threat to the Filipino families at large that will create more problems than solutions,” they added.

Exposing contraceptives’ ill effects, false sense of security

Noting that the bill promotes the use of contraceptives, the groups stressed that women should be empowered by educating them on the side effects of contraceptives which, according to scientific studies, have even resulted in deaths among women.

“Besides failure to prevent pregnancy, contraceptives have caused more serious threat to women’s reproductive health. Contraceptives are abortifacients that prevent life. Let us not turn the women’s life-bearing womb into a useless tomb,” the groups said.

Surveys and studies show that more and more young people engage in pre-marital sex, and statistics of sex-related crimes among teenagers that include sexual abuse and gang rape and also increases, where the rate of men getting into extra-marital sex also goes up.

“This also means that [incidence] of infidelity increases which results [in] separation and break-up, broken families, unwanted pregnancies, etc. These must be the results of “safe sex” culture that the use of condoms promotes,” they reiterated.

“Making contraceptives accessible allows people especially the youth to use them to their own pleasurable advantage. These and a lot more are expressions saying that with condoms and pills, it is okay to have sex with anyone, anytime, anywhere. With condoms [offering false] safety and protection, cases of HIV-AIDS also has increased in the Philippines,” they added.

The group further said that “free choice” is not a Christian value; [instead] being free to choose life is Christian.

“Hence today we announce our united stance for Life and in solidarity denounce the Anti-Life component of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill,” the groups stated.

The statement was released March 26, as the Church celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation. (Jandel Posion)

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