Monday, December 10, 2012

Just for the record: “Responsible Parenthood”

Time and again, Malacañang invoked the phrase “Responsible Parenthood” with either the lamentable wrong understanding thereof or the devious intention of deceiving those concerned with the plight of the People (population) of the Philippines. While this particular issue about the pairing of responsibility and parenthood has been repeatedly addressed in and out of the country, it would not be really superfluous to once more take it into consideration though briefly – just for the record.

For a start, the phrase was formally invoked, expressly mentioned by the President himself in the occasion of his SONA. It would not be hard to check this up. And lately, it was again explicitly said by his principal spokesperson on the occasion of the instruction given to Congressmen to have the now both famous and infamous RH Bill voted upon as soon as possible. In the assumption that Malacañang does not simply know what it is talking about, it might be still proper and timely to take note of the following more signal observations.

First is the standing fact that the phrase “Responsible Parenthood” forwards an official Church teaching of long standing – categorically very much earlier than the recently seated administration. The teaching is even enunciated in form of legislation by the 1983 Code of Canon Law, viz., that married couples should only have the number of children they can sufficiently provide for and give proper upbringing to (Cf. Canon 1055, par. 2 CIC). This is responsibility in parenthood.

Second is the Church doctrine that “Responsible Parenthood” is categorically anchored in the essence and import of “Natural Family Planning” which means: That the spouses as rational beings should plan their own family. That in planning their family, the said couples should observe the fertility and infertility periods of the wives as determined by no less than the law of nature itself. And that the same spouses wherefore should not violate natural law by artificially separating factual copulation from the possible conception of children.

Third is the elementary logic that “Responsible Parenthood” is precisely violated and undermined when spouses have recourse to the use of artificial contraceptive articles – not to mention the intrinsically censurable recourse to surgical mutilation such as male sterilization and female tubal ligation. Worse of them all is even recourse to deliberate abortion that does not simply prevent conception but actually destroy it once already a reality. Translation: Murder of the unborn.

How on earth could the RH Bill be equated with “Responsible Parenthood” when it categorically abhors parenthood and promotes irresponsibility? Please!