February 14, 2011
Women members of the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) paid the senators a Valentine’s Day visit carrying red pillow hearts to push for the passage of the RH bill. Big hearts were presented to senators who are supporting the bill and smaller ones to those whom working women are yet to convince to fully support RH.
Around fifty (50) PM members gathered at the gates of the Senate of the Philippines from 10:00 in the morning to 12:00 noon. PM is pushing for the passage of the House consolidated version of the RH bill.
“Eleven (11) poor working women are dying every day from pregnancy and birth delivery complications alone. Don’t we want an end to this continued ‘daily slaughter’ of women? With the passage of the RH bill, we can avoid losing 4,015 precious women’s lives per year,” asserted PM Secretary General Judy Ann Miranda.
Miranda further explained that, “Women workers have been pushing for the RH bill since 1998, almost 12 years have passed – 4,015 times 12 years is 48,180 women’s lives! Wala bang kwenta ang mga nalalagas na buhay na ito ng kababaihan sa gobyerno at sa Simbahang Katoliko!?”
“Although the family planning provisions of the bill are equally important, hindi lang naman ito ang laman ng RH bill. May probisyon para sa dagdag na skilled midwives to attend to pregnant women in rural and urban communities which we extremely lack; upgrading of health facilities to address emergency obstetric care; PhilHealth coverage expansion to include family planning and reproductive health conditions such as breast, cervical, ovarian, prostate and testicular cancers – for both women and men, respectively; paid half-day leaves per year of pregnancy for women workers’ pre-natal consultations, to name a few,” added Miranda.
PM believes that the Catholic Church’s position on the issue of family planning does not only confuse the people from the importance of allowing women to make decisions that concerns their reproductive health without discrimination, coercion and violence, but at the same time with the rest of the important aspects of the bill. “This rigmarole is not helping women at all. We sincerely hope that from this day on, sa araw ng pag-ibig sa kapwa lalong-lalo na, our senators this time will try to listen to the poor and working women na siyang higit na apektado – ang mga kababaihang nagbubuntis, nanganganak, nag-aalaga ng mga anak na kasabay nito ay naghahanapbuhay para mabigyan ng magandang kinabukasan ang susunod na henerasyon ng mga Pilipino,” said Miranda.
Finally, the women also criticized PNoy for easily giving into the Catholic Church’s pressure instead of closely considering the reproductive health needs of whom he referred to in his inaugural address as his “bosses.”