Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Ligtas Buntis
In a meeting on an altogether different matter, I heard DOH Undersecretary Ethelyn Nieto bewail the many poison letters the DOH has been receiving for their February-March 2005 Ligtas Buntis family planning program. At first, I thought the poison letters were coming from the liberal pro-choice sectors (after all, the DOH is known for its half-hearted and anemic family planning program before); but it turned out the said malicious missives were coming from the conservative pro-life sectors that cannot stomach the "abortionist" Ligtas Buntis program. Nieto was at pains to point out that the Ligtas Buntis is a nationwide campaign for Ligtas sa Pagbubuntis and Ligtas na Pagbubuntis. The DOH is, therefore, not exactly abortionist and Satanist.

I am personally fascinated by the intense conservatism of some people when it comes to family planning. Where were these guys raised? In a galaxy far,far away? I am yet to hear of a friend or an acquaintance espousing these views. Everywhere I see, artificial contaception is being taken up as if it's part and parcel of a married life. Even President Arroyo used artificial contraception (now that she's menopause, she says she should have tried the rhythm method instead--how convenient) without, gathering from her quotations by the press, much soul-searching during the "Satanist" period of her married life.

I myself never really understood the theology backing up the rhythm method. I mean, even if you're not "killing" a zygote there, you still have the intent to frustrate the formation of life. In the ryhthm method, in my opinion, one still sins. If one follows the logic of the pro-lifers to its ultimate conclusion, all contraception methods should be denounced, including the rhythm method. We may fool ourselves with the rhythm method, but we surely are not fooling God.

While our overpopulation is certainly not the root cause of all our miseries, it remains a great burden to our economic growth as the paper Population and Poverty: The Real Score (pdf) by UP economists points out. The government’s target of reducing poverty incidence to 20% or lower by 2010 would not be feasible, according to the economists, given historical growth rates of population and the economy.

If using a condom or an IUD is a sin, we probably will all burn in hell for it (and a couple of other things as well), except perhaps for some self-righteous clergymen who will burn for pederasty instead.

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