For Filipino bishops pro-life campaign “bearing fruit” By Santosh Digal
Father Castro said that the bill’s main sponsor, Representative Edcel Lagman, who claimed to have the support of a hundred colleagues, has been unable to come up with a quorum for the past four days. The bishops’ efforts thus appear to be bearing fruit.
The fight by bishops and pro-life congressmen and women has been backed by elements of the academic world.
Students at the Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan de Oro, in southern Philippines, have raised doubts about the bill because of its lack of transparency and input from young people.
As one of the main stakeholders of the bill, said Arbie Llesis, president of Xavier University Central Student Government, it was improper for the bill drafters to exclude young people’s voices “despite the fact that we are the ones affected by it.”
“There are a lot of things that government should do first; among them is improvement of education. Most of our schools lack books, chairs and even classrooms,” she said.
Echoing the Church’s stance she said that corruption in the government is the root cause of poverty—not overpopulation, albeit a problem some Filipinos would like to see controlled by the proposed bill.
In a related development, Card Gaudencio Rosales, archbishop of Manila, complained about the number of dead foetuses dumped into sewers, bins, public toilets and, in the saddest case of all, inside a jar placed in a basket of fruits offered during the 9 am Sunday Mass at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Manila’s Quiapo district.
Official figures indicated that some 400,000 abortions are performed each year in the Philippines. In 2000 alone the number reached 473,400, more than 90 percent of them by married women.
Almost 60 percent of contraceptive users depend on government for their supply of contraceptives.