Support Reproductive Health Bill to become a Law in the Philippines
To: Philippine Congress
We are seriously disturbed that more than 10 Filipino women die every day due to pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. The big majority of those who die are poor women at the prime of their lives.
We are alarmed that 29 out of 1,000 infants die due to various sickness and illnesses that are preventable and curable.
We are troubled that 4.9 million Filipino youth, aged 15-27 are sexually active but programs that would ensure their safety and help them become more responsible in dealing with their sexuality and relationships are severely lacking. Especially worrisome is the fact that 1 out of 5 female teenagers get pregnant before they reach their 20th birthday.
These are just a few of the problems in the midst of the ongoing economic crisis, escalating poverty, and the ever-increasing prices of basic commodities and services. Moreover, the Philippine population grows unabated with almost 2 million individuals added every year. Researches consistently show that poverty is more prevalent among big families compared to smaller ones.
The acute lack of services and information regarding reproductive health:
* results in the untimely death of women and children;
* is the reason why our youth are largely unprepared to deal with matters pertaining to their sexuality and relationships; and
* exacerbates the effects of economic crisis and poverty on millions of ordinary Filipinos, especially those with big families.
We believe that Filipinos, particularly the poor, urgently need access to information and services that will address their reproductive health needs.
We believe that a rights-based, comprehensive, and responsive reproductive health law will help empower Filipinos to achieve a better quality of life.
We firmly believe that the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill into law will help actualize people’s, especially women’s rights to make informed decisions.
Therefore, we call on our legislators to pass the Reproductive Health Bill into law now.