I’ve been thinking that it’s almost a disadvantage that the Catholic Church is against the reproductive health (RH) bill. There are surely plenty of Catholics who use somewhat substantive arguments against the ‘responsible parenthood’ legislation, but by and large, those representing the Catholic position such as the CBCP are asking their flock to obey mindlessly.
DON’T DIVERT THE ISSUE INTO ONE OF ALLEGIANCE
I don’t see how the ‘argument’ of “So you’re not against contraception; don’t call yourself Catholic then!” helps matters. It simply diverts the issue into a question of allegiance or membership. It has nothing to do with the viability of the proposed RH program, which I would think is what concerns most RH bill proponents like Lea Salonga (whom I still love in spite of the chasm wrought by our conflicting views).
[Update: And then there is this Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma calling RH bill advocates “terrorists.” Clearly a very refined debater.]
FAMILY PLANNING IS DISTINCT FROM HOMOSEXUALITY, DIVORCE, ETC.
Advocating an information campaign on family planning should not be equated with supporting abortion, same-sex marriages, divorce, etc. As it is, there is an ongoing contraceptive industry; to make a government program out of it will not make people any more ‘immoral,’ in the Catholic sense that is.
For all the inefficiencies and property rights violations inherent in government intervention, we are not about to see an explosion of behaviors deemed “unnatural” by many. The enacting of same-sex marriage, for example, will require altogether separate legislation, of which RH will not set a legal precedent. After all, Church decree has no legal weight even at present, although Catholics’ opinions may be holding enactment at bay.
CONCLUSION: GET REAL, BISHOPS
So the CBCP, and anti-RH bill Catholics in general, should load their guns with more pragmatic bullets, lest they be accused of being out of touch with the real world.
A friend of mine whom I consider to be a political ally wrote to our Facebook group, of assisting a certain ‘pro-life’ organization in its campaign versus the RH legislation. Many of us in the Facebook group think this would be a great opportunity to lay the issue out in utilitarian terms, where it could be explained that an RH law will have adverse effects, good intentions notwithstanding.
I for one hope that most ‘pro-lifers’ are capable of grasping the economic principles involved and don’t succumb to the ‘right to life’ rhetoric that RH bill advocates have heard a billion times before. Being on the side of God (and I use that phrase with irony) can only do so much.