Friday, July 10, 2009

Rebuttal: Children are beautiful

The first half of Maria Lovella P. Naces' Children are beautiful in the June 27 issue of PDI is a good read. Then pass the halfway mark Naces turns the table and touches on the Reproductive Health Bill. Reading the rest of the essay I was incensed to say the least. This was a woman way out of touch of reality. My blood boiled. My pulse quickened. I saw red. Words of rebuttal formed in my brain. I struggled to keep up with my thoughts. They were coming in droves.

Allow me to refute. And rant.


First, Naces writes

"I feel offended. As someone who loves her, I feel hurt for my niece. She is what they consider an “unplanned one.” The people promoting the bill look at my niece or all those born or about to be born like her as a burden to the country and a liability. They say we need this bill because it prevents people like her from being born."

Personally, I don't think that the proponents of the bill promotes abortion. I don't think they want fetuses torn out of a woman's womb. They want the Filipino to bring babies into this world that they can take care of. That they can give the best care. That they can give the best education.

They don't want babies born to be left on garbage bins to die. Or to be born to a family of 6. Or 7. Or 8. Or 9. Or to live in unhealthy conditions.

They don't want babies to grow up on the streets. Sleeping on cardboard boxes. Scavenging for food from garbage bags. Begging for alms. Sniffing rugby. Learning to steal. And kill.


Second, Nacer writes

"The proponents of the bill say that contraception (which is actually contra conception) is the solution to our economic problems. Because the country is overpopulated, they say, therefore we should have fewer children. I don’t agree with their solution. Why should the people adjust to the economy? Let the economy adjust to the people."

Now tell me, how can you make the economy adjust to a country of 90 million people? We have an economy, last I heard, that will be going into an inevitable recession on the second or third quarter of this year. We are a third world country. We are heavily in debt. I even read a year or so ago that this government has been borrowing heavily. More than the presidency of Aquino, Ramos, and Estrada combined.

Our economy is afloat, not because our government is doing a great job, but because of remittances from OFWs. The economy does not have a brain. We do. If the government could not help us, then let us help ourselves. Let us be responsible. Let us not bring babies into this world that we could not take care of.


Third, Nacer writes

"The bill also wants to promote sex education to teach adolescents, mothers, fathers about “safe sex.” Safe from what? From conceiving a child? Why? But why give more importance to the pleasure of sex than the pleasure of becoming a parent? We are becoming more like the Westerners. We have forgotten that to Filipinos, a big family is a better family."

Safe from what? From a responsibility that is too heavy for them to carry that they have to rely on others to survive. I'm not talking of emotional help here. All of us need that. Even the richest among us need emotional support. That's a given. I'm talking about the monetary aspect of raising a child. You can't just give birth to a baby and expect him to grow with the snap of a finger. You need milk. Vitamins. Diapers. Immunization. Visits to the pedia. Visits to the dentist. Educational plans.

Same from what? STDs. HIV. Do you know that the DOH reports 85 new HIV cases for the month of May alone? That's roughly 3 infections a day. From January-May this year there have been 322 reported HIV cases. Compare that to 528 cases reported from last year. More troubling is that a number of infected cases are from the 15-24 age bracket.

Now tell me, should we not sex-educate teens? If these kids, adolescents if you insist, were taught on the dangers of unprotected sex and the benefits of using condoms would they have contracted HIV? Would girls in their teens get pregnant? Would they be worrying about when they will die or how long a can of milk will last?

Lastly, a big family is not necessarily a better family. Take a look at those families living in shanties, in cemeteries, in pushcarts, in sidewalks. Then tell me are they a better family? Are they happy? Are they comfortable? Are they blessed?

We should not, by any chance, procreate then procreate some more. Responsible procreation should be the norm.


For more on the Youngblood article, click here.
For more on the Reproductive Health Bill, click here.


Kevin said...

This is a nice stand you have. Economics-wise, the economy cannot simply adjust to the population. Both sides should adjust (the economy AND the population) to balance the equation. The government can't just do all the working while our population swell.

How I wish I could make thought-provoking posts like these.

gillboard said...

You points are valid and makes much more sense than what was quoted from the article. But I have yet to read the full article and the bill itself to give my opinions.


atticus said...

the thing with this RH debate is it is so full of cliche, coming from those who scream "abortion" every time you mention "family planning." nakakapagod na rin.

one of the stupidest argument i read was a questionnaire containing this line: "would you allow a doctor to give a 14 year old an IUD?" stupid. na parang iyon ang purpose ng RH bill.

at ang pinaka-violent na line sa akin when i wrote an article about this debate came from a very educated old man who sits at the board of the population commission: "hindi na baleng marami ang anak at hindi mapakain o mapag-aral. sila ang mga susunod nating ofws, laborers, etc."

punyeta. di ko alam kung paano nakaalis sa opisina niya na hindi ko siya nasisigawan.

Andy said...

This is the reason why I don't read the front page and the editorial section of newspapers. Kaka-highblood. I fast-forward to Entertainment and Lifestyle para updated ako sa mga showbiz chikas. Which reminds me, is Lloydie courting Ruffarigno? Ehehe.

The Scud said...

kevin > you're right. sabi nga di ba 'it takes two to tango'. thanks for dropping by.

gillboard > salamat! basahin mo artik nya para mabad-trip ka rin. idealistic masyado.

The Scud said...

atticus > hala. kung ako yun i would have turned into the incredible hulk inside of a minute. gggrrrr....

andy > buti ka pa. mahilig kasi ako magbasa. is always open on my browser sa opis. :D

Skron said...

Holy crap..."Let the economy adjust to people". If it's doable, we would've done it a long time ago.

This writer should learn basic math and get out more often. More people means more mouths to feed, and there's not enough resources. Simple as that.

The Scud said...

skron > gusto ko nga gisingin. mukhang ang sarap ng tulog nya. :D

Anonymous said...

The article focuses not on the determinism, that the Filipino is doomed because of our economy. It focuses on the freedom that man can do. The limitless possibilities that man can create in order to change the way he/she exist in this world. Man can indeed welcome all children and adjust to society. There is a need to change the ways in which we deterministically view our society as hopeless. I agree with everything the article says. As philosophy major, there is certain kind of creative freedom in which we always forget. Let people be happy, and we welcome children.