Filipino Bishops: 'Use Weapons of Prayer and Fasting Against Reproductive Health Bill'

President Aquino Attempts to Push For Passage Before End of Term

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MANILA, DEC. 4, 2012 ( The political struggle in the Philippines for the Reproductive Health Bill» gets to the heart of the matter, the document which is intended to introduce measures in the country such as abortion, artificial contraception, sex education, family planning methods. The bill, which is fully supported by President Benigno Aquino, for more than two years has found the firm opposition of the Catholic Church and pro-life groups that define the measure «anti-life», saying that it «contradicts the protection of life and existing family in the Constitution of the Philippines».

President Aquino today invited members of the House of Representatives belonging to his political coalition to pass the bill as soon as possible, even in a week. Juan Ponce Enrile, President of the Senate, the other branch of Parliament, said that Aquino’s pressures will not be followed because, according to the procedures in force, the bill must pass through the Assembly three times before being voted, the more so because it is a very sensitive issue.

According to Fides Agency, Aquino intends to push for the bill to pass before the end of his term in 2016, bequeathing the country the peace agreement in the southern Philippines and a very important law on ethical issues, such as «The Reproductive Health Bill.»

The Catholic Church has invited all the faithful to use «the weapons of prayer and fasting against the measure.» In a note sent to Fides Agency, Bishop Gabriel Reyes of Antipolo and President of the «Commission for the Family and for Life» of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) called on Christians to «pray and fast today and in the following days so that our lawmakers do not approve the bill.»

«We ask God to protect life, family, marriage and the youth in our country,» Bishop Reyes said. The Bishop of Antipolo also said the CBCP requests  that, should there be a vote in Parliament, the voting procedure has to be «open and nominal» and not a secret ballot, so that «people know how they voted their representatives.»

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