Is family planning a shared burden or responsibility? In a democracy, the decision-maker is the parent. The parent has the right to determine how many kids he wants. There are still parents out there who wants a big family, maybe due to family tradition. Others, well, they just want one or two.
The issue is based on financial capability. If a parent is wealthy enough, then, having ten or twelve kids is, well, affordable. Of course, that’s different when a parent belongs to the poor. Nowadays, even one kid is a burden.
Okey, so the government sees that there is a problem. Our population now stands at 90 million. Government says, it is unable to satisfy the needs of 90 million people. Why is it?
Brazil and other countries in South America also faces the same 90 plus million citizens problem, but they are not fretting about it. They see it more as a challenge rather than a problem. It just means that if you have a fast growing population, government must be adaptive enough to plan ahead and ensure that the infrastructures you need to accommodate such a big population is there.
I don’t buy the idea that population is a key issue here. Even if, say you have 100 or so million, but your food stocks are more than enough, you have a very effective plan to manage your economy, local and foreign investments are pouring in and you have a fully developed educational system, why fear? Government fears because, unlike other countries, our economy is not growing big enough, and our food production and infrastructures are not expanding horizontally in parallel to a rising population.
Instead of acknowledging this, government instead blames the people, especially the poor and rationalizes that the reason why they are poor is because they have big families. It is just not that.
The poor remains poor because they don’t have full access to the benefits of democracy. Most of them don’t have jobs. MOst of them are being left to fend for themselves due to lack of credit access to business.
The inequality is there. The poor does not have access similar to those enjoyed by the middle class, simply because of lack of finances. This is the thing with capitalist societies.
HOw then will population be a problem if we have adequate food stocks? How population be a problem when our government is fully prepared to service a million or more citizens every single day?
If a state is prepared, if the economy is also expanding, then, population is not a problem. Fact is, it is a resource, an asset. A big market has big needs. These needs produce social wealth. The only question is how states manage social wealth.
Now, going to the Reproductive Health bill, this bill is being opposed by many, especially by the Catholic church simply on the principle of state intervention. Why is the state so desirous to intervene when it recognizes pro-choice? Under a democracy, if an individual chooses a method for contraception, he is exercising a right with corresponding responsibility. It is his responsibility to have money to buy this method. It is not for the state to buy it for him.
If, say, an individual wants the natural method of family planning, then, he is entitled to exercise it. It is not for the State to convince him to shift from natural to artificial. That is violative of his rights as a citizen living in a so-called democratic society. If natural methods work for him, why push for artificial methods?
There are, however, certain situations that the state must intervene. For example, the question of an unborn child still in the placenta and threatening the life of the mother. Will it be proper for the State to give doctors the right to choose who between the two would be worth saving? There are, as far as I know, existing legislation to this regard. Aborting a dead fetus is simply not abortion.It is an extraction.
Senator Ping Lacson says that the RH bill is necessary in curbing the population. HOnesty, there is no correlation between poverty and population explosion. For example, the Chinese government services 1 billion people. They are rising almost every single day. But, you don’t hear them pushing for RH bill that employs abortive measures.
The Chinese government made their people realize that having more than two kids is risky simply because of economic reasons. People comply, but those who cannot, face a problem, which is now turning to be a human catastrophe. This is a good example of how state intervention leads more to a worsening of a problem rather than providing for its solution.