Pushing population management to slow down a monstrous population growth does not automatically promote abortion, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Monday.
Lacson said a bill he filed in the 14th Congress encourages reproductive health and population management, yet rejects abortion and considers it a grave criminal offense.
“Advocating population management is not being anti-life. In fact, it is pro-country and pro-people. My bill still treats abortion as a serious crime but provides for other Christian methods to manage our country’s monstrous population growth rate that has become one of the world’s highest at 2.36 percent,” he said.
He chided some sectors for claiming such a legislation – which include a systematic information campaign, support systems and incentives – is anti-life. To claim it is anti-life without carefully studying its provisions would be “parochial and downright stupid,” he said.
On the other hand, Lacson maintained population management is urgent now as most poor Filipinos do not have enough food or access to basic services.
“There is not enough food on the table, many are homeless, the poor have almost zero opportunity to have access to education, health care and the most basic social services, which they can otherwise enjoy with an efficient but moral population management program,” he said.
In the 14th Congress, Lacson filed Senate Bill 43, which creates a reproductive health and population management council to implement an integrated policy on reproductive health.
The bill contains provisions for timely, complete and accurate information and education on reproductive health, and access to safe, adequate and affordable reproductive health care services – all as a preventive measure against abortion.
“It is imperative that reproductive health and sexuality education should start early among the young people. It has to be initiated by parents and adult members of the family who are considered role models by their children,” Lacson said in his bill.
Senate Bill 43 promotes a population management program that aims to encourage the limitation of the number of children to an affordable level of two children per family; discourage migration to urban centers and decongesting thickly populated areas; promote effective partnership among the national government, local government units and the private sector on population management; and conduct studies on and provide incentives for the deceleration of population growth.
“This bill continues to proscribe (ban) abortion, which is a crime under the Revised Penal Code,” Lacson stressed.