Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Women workers are caring mothers not terrorists

April 27, 2011

In response to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ Vice-President Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma statement that RH bill advocates are no better than terrorists, PM Secretary General Judy Ann Chan-Miranda explained that, “On the contrary, women workers are caring mothers not terrorists.  The analogy is erroneous just as insisting that condoms are abortifacients.  Women workers support the passage of the RH bill because they care that much for the future of their children and would-be children.”

Women workers through PM are strong supporters of the controversial RH bill. They cite the pro-worker provisions of the bill such as providing paid leaves for pre-natal consultations; PhilHealth coverage of family planning services and commodities, and also life-threatening RH-conditions like HIV AIDS, breast, ovarian and prostate cancers, and obstetric complications; and finally information to employees and even applicants of the RH benefits and services provided by companies.

Miranda further argues that, “With meagre salaries to spend for food and education, among others – in the midst of a crisis and rising prices – the RH bill’s provisions for reproductive health services is similar to ‘mana falling from the heaven.’  That after waiting for what seemed to be a lifetime women workers will have the chance now to provide for and take care of their families without sacrificing their health.”

“Beyond the illusion that artificial family planning methods are abortifacients, on the contrary, the absence of reproductive health care services has caused thousands of deaths among women, especially poor women.  And the unmet need for family planning services of women has caused also them to resort to backyard abortions which we all do not want to continue happening,” insisted Miranda in reply to Archbishop Palma.

She insisted that “Through the RH bill, minimum wage earners will be able to have access to complete accurate and relevant information, and affordable and accessible family planning and reproductive health care services and commodities.”

The passage of the RH bill is one of the demands to be raised by PM in the coming Labor Day celebration. Aside from the Mendiola rally at noon, PM will also lead Labor Day protests in Cebu City, Davao City, Bacolod City, Iloilo City, General Santos City, Iligan City and Dipolog City. Thousands of workers are expected to participate in the Labor Day protest.

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