Sunday, July 10, 2011

Young people to join march for RH on World Population Day

July 10, 2011
Partido ng Manggagawa-Kabataan (PMK)
Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK)

Saying they are no longer too young and dull to understand sexuality and reproductive health, students and out-of-school youth members of Partido ng Manggagawa-Kabataan (PMK) and the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) are joining the Purple March tomorrow, July 11, as the entire world celebrates the World Population Day.

More than a hundred members of PMK and SDK are joining the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network – Youth (RHAN-Youth) that will participate in the Purple March and Parade that will assemble at Raja Sulayman Park, Malate at 7am tomorrow. They will be carrying posters “Hindi na kami bata para sa RH” enumerating the reasons for their support to the RH bill in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“The fact that the world of seven billion today remains divided between the rich minority and the poor majority, we believe that young people still have the chance of having a better future if we have a better understanding of everything, including on our sexuality and RH needs,” said Karol Hernandez, PMK spokesperson.

“Hindi nakatulong sa gaya naming mga kabataan ang pag-iwas ng lipunang pag-usapan ang mga usapin sa sekswalidad at RH.  Imbes na alam namin ang gagawin dahil sa kakulangan ng impormasyon, mas marami sa amin ang nag-eeksperimento at nakikinig sa kapwa naming kapos din sa kaalaman sa RH,” added Hernandez, explaining how escaping the issues concerning sexuality made the youth, specially young women, dependent on ‘sabi-sabi’ or superstition on one of the most important aspect of their lives – their reproductive health.

According to Ms. Hernandez, because of the lack relevant and accurate information: 30% of Filipino women become mothers before they reach their 21st birthday; 11 mothers die every day due to pregnancy and child birth complications; 2 out of 5 teenage pregnancies are ‘unwanted’; 46%  of these unwanted pregnancies turn into ‘induced abortions’; 1 out of 4 teenage mothers stop schooling to concentrate on child rearing; and 10% of children of teenage mothers, 1 out of 5 die due to various reasons.

“The RH bill’s passage is an urgent issue for the Filipino youth.  Attached to the compulsory education for the youth – among Grade 5 to 4th year high school students – is the opportunity for a brighter future for us, the youth.  In this issue, we believe that, this time, the conservative adults should listen to the youth,” asserted SDK spokesperson, Ernest Abanes. Abanes said young Pinoys are also aware of the many problems facing today’s youth such as high cost of education, unemployment and deteriorating labor standards and they want President Aquino address these concerns in his upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“But PNoy should never forget the equally tall order of getting the RH bill approved by Congress,” ended Abanes.

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