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October 03, 2010

The Reproductive Health Bill and what The Bible Says

In about an hour, I will be interviewed about the Bible’s view on the controversial RH Bill which will be featured in the news tonight.

After reading and re-reading the RH Bill, I started searching through Scriptures on what God has to say about the RH Bill.

First and foremost, there are no words like contraceptives, family planning or birth control mentioned in the Bible but there are biblical principles we can glean on to help us reach a decision/ conviction regarding the issue:

So before I dive in to the RH Bill here are some biblical worldview that every Christian must understand:

1.    GOD IS THE CREATOR AND AUTHOR OF HUMAN LIFE.
Psa. 139:13-16     For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

2.    GOD MADE HUMANITY IN HIS IMAGE AND LIKENESS WHICH MEANS LIFE IS UNIQUE AND SACRED.
Gen. 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

3.    GOD INTENDS FOR HUMANS TO FILL THE EARTH
Gen. 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

4.    GOD AUTHORED THAT LIFE BEGINS AT CONCEPTION AND DECLARES THAT AN UNBORN BABY IS A SACRED LIFE.

Ex. 1:16-17 and he said, “When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.

5. GOD DECLARES THAT WHEN HUMAN LIFE IS TAKEN WITHOUT JUST CAUSE  THE SIN OF MURDER HAS BEEN COMMITTED.
Gen. 9:5 Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.

6.    GOD MADE HUMANITY TO STEWARD CREATION BY EXERCISING WISE DISCERNMENT BASED UPON NATURAL REVELATION, CONSCIENCE, THE HOLY SPIRIT, COUNSEL AND MOST AUTHORITAVELY THE SCRIPTURE.

1Pet. 4:10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

7.    GOD MADE HUMANITY MALE AND FEMALE
Gen. 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

8.    GOD CREATED MARRIAGE AS A COVENANT FOR ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN.
Gen. 2:24-25 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

9.    GOD CREATED SEX AS A GIFT ONLY FOR A MARRIED COUPLE
– creation and recreation

10.    CHILDREN ARE A BLESSING FROM GOD TO BE PROVIDED FOR AND CARED FOR BY PARENTS, EXTENDED FAMILY AND THE CHURCH.
Matt. 18:5-6 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Here are some of the highlights that the Catholic church is against when it comes to the RH bill.

SEC. 4. Reproductive Health Care Agenda Framework. The Integrated Reproductive
Health Care Agenda shall create an enabling environment wherein an integrated reproductive health care policy and program become positive instruments for the realization of

a. The sexual and reproductive health and rights of all individuals and couples including:

1) the reproductive health and rights of all individuals and couples to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children;

2) the right to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence;

3) the universal access to a full range of safe, high quality, accessible, and affordable sexual and  reproductive health services and products to all individuals and couples;

4) the universal access to sexual and reproductive health information and education;

b. The attainment of gender equality, equity and women’s empowerment in society; and

c. The promotion of the welfare and rights of the child.

4) Contraception
a. The elimination of restrictions on contraception including excessive regulation, requirements for third-party authorizations, and prohibitions on the dissemination of information regarding contraceptives;
b. Access to the full range of contraceptive methods, as well as accurate information on the relative benefits and risks of each method;
c. The regulation of quality of contraceptive methods and implement appropriate safeguards for efficacy, safety, and full, informed consent by the users;

5) Adolescents
a. The removal of all legal and regulatory barriers to reproductive health care for adolescents and create comprehensive, age-specific health programs for them as part
of the country’s overall health policy. The services should include information and
services addressing reproductive health, STIs, gender roles, sexuality and responsible use of contraceptives;

b. Also, there must be: i) the universal access to contraception and maternal health care, status; ii) services geared specifically towards the special reproductive health needs of adolescents; iii) sex education and life-skills programs for all levels of education — primary, secondary and tertiary. The policies must reflect the special needs of marginalized adolescents, such as street children and out-of-school youth;

iv) education campaigns for STI and HIV/AIDS-prevention specifically aimed
at adolescents;

v) programs to sensitize the community, including health care providers and law enforcement officials, regarding the need to protect the girl child and adolescents against all forms of sexual violence, including rape, incest, prostitution and trafficking; and

c. The provision of special attention to reducing the incidence of teen-age pregnancy
and other adolescent reproductive health problems;

SEC. 5. Education and Information
a. Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Education in Schools. The
Department of Education (DEPED), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and the Technical Education and Skill Development Authority (TESDA), using information provided by the Department of Health, hall require the integration instruction on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the curriculum in public and private schools at intermediate grades, secondary and tertiary levels, including non-formal and indigenous learning systems.

So in light of this biblical worldview and the RH Bill, here are some of my comments regarding the RH bill.

1. Majority of the RH bill is beneficial for everyone. The RH Bill is not 100% wrong.

2. Some of the things written in the RH bill is too vague thus the ordinary citizen needs to know and the author of the bill needs to make it clearer. Making the definition of terms clearer eliminates the fear the church and also the continuous need for the government to explain their stand.

example:gender roles ( what roles are we talking about – can this be an excuse to legalize same sex marriage), the curriculum of the sex education being taught, sexuality to name a few;

3. Use of government money to distribute condoms. Because the bill is not clear how they will educate the citizens – the church is taking a safe and aggressive stand. The last thing I want is for the government to use the people’s money to give away free contraceptives. We can use the funds to alleviate property instead of giving away condoms to students.

4. Educating without a biblical world view is dangerous. We don’t need to go the route of countries giving away contraceptives to single men and women. Philippines is a Christian nation built on Christian principles. When we move away from a biblical worldview we might see a deterioration of the moral values we once embraced as a nation. Passing the RH Bill also means businesses are required to do sex education to their employees or it is punishable by law. What is the curriculum for this? Can a governing body from the religious sect review this first before it is approved.

5. Opening the pandora box. With RH bill approved, pharmaceutical companies can do an all out campaign for people to use contraceptives. It will be in noontime shows, billboard ads and primetime TV where kids are exposed every day.You kind of wonder what is the motivation behind the lobbying of the RH Bill.

6. The role of the church and family.

Sex education is best taught at home and church. God has a lot to say when it comes to this subject. The church should preach on what it stands for not what it is against. I still believe that the church has not lost its voice but we definitely need to rethink how we communicate the message to the world.

Biblical Worldview was taken from the book “Religion Saves and 9 other Misconceptions” by Mark Driscoll

Here is an informative blog on Birth Control, click here

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