Sen. Tito Sotto: Throw RH Bill in "the garbage bin"; Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago razes RH bill objections
(SPOT.ph) After President Noynoy Aquino deemed the Reproductive Health Bill a priority during a meeting with the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council on Tuesday, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago once again countered key objections against the controversial legislation, reports GMA News. Santiago delivered her arguments during her sponsorship speech before the Senate yesterday, August 17.
Santiago reiterated that the RH Bill does not support abortion nor does it promote abortifacients. "Under the Penal Code, abortion is a crime, and it will remain a crime under the RH bill," she said in the GMA News report. She also listed legal basis supporting the bill, maintaining that it follows the Constitution. In an ABS-CBN report, Santiago explained that the Constitution’s "sanctity of life" clause-an argument often used by detractors-does not include reproductive health. "If there is no applicable provision in the Constitution, the implication is that the power has been reserved to the people in their sovereign capacity," she said.
Santiago also argued that the bill upholds the right to privacy in terms of sex, marriage, and procreation, because it allows them to choose their preferred family planning method. Another legislation supported by the bill is the Equal Protection Clause, she said, since it makes information on reproductive health accessible to everyone.
However, Senate Majority Leader Tito Sotto, a known anti-RH Bill advocate, is unmoved by the arguments, even after President Aquino’s decision. "Those were the priority bills of the executive branch, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they're the priority measures of Congress, particularly the Senate," he said in a Philippine Daily Inquirer report. He added that the Senate would expedite debates on the bill "so we can dispose of (it)... to the garbage bin."
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Sen. Mirian Defensor-Santiago defends the Reproductive Health Bill