Senate to begin RH Bill debates today
(SPOT.ph) Senate plenary debates on the Reproductive Health Bill begin today, August 1, reports ABS-CBN News. A press statement released yesterday announced that Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago will deliver a co-authorship speech, while the bill’s principal sponsor Sen. Pia Cayetano will address interpellations.
Though she expects some heat in the discussion, Cayetano predicted that the debate will be productive. "In answering the interpellations, I will focus on socio-economics, which covers such topics as maternal and child health, family planning concerns, statistics and other social issues, while Sen. Defensor-Santiago has offered to discuss issues on Catholic theology and constitutional and international law," said Cayetano, adding that she hopes to clarify whatever misconceptions her colleagues might have about the bill.
Cayetano also thinks the measure has a chance in the Senate. Twenty out of 23 senators signed the committee report on the bill last June and, according to an Interaksyon report, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile also revealed last week that he was open to hearing the pros and cons of the issue. Cayetano also believes that President Noynoy Aquino still supports the bill even though he did not mention it during his State of the Nation Address last week.
The Church, meanwhile, is counting on Defensor-Santiago to air their side on the issue, reports Malaya. "We are appealing to her to also defend the Church's position on RH just like what she did when she defended the bishops on the SUV issue," said Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.