Reproductive Health Care is NOT a Right!
I do believe that this “man-is-his-brother’s-keeper” system is impractical and evil at best.
A nameless commenter asked me the following question: “What is simply asked of you is to drop your ideologies for the meantime and prove to us, through numbers, that overpopulation has nothing to do with poverty here in the Philippines. You may use percentages, graphs, equations, or whatever formulation is easy for you. Please use the year when the population boom is believed to have started up to the present, and cite your source/s. We know nothing of this kind so we are now giving you the chance to enlighten us about this matter. There are already several international bodies who have conducted researches and surveys, and they were able to demonstrate the correlation between overpopulation and poverty. They were able to show this objectively, and without adherence to any religious dogma or political ideology, because the sole purpose is to expose facts. If you can’t come up with your own proof, then find one. Different ideologies will always just clash so it is pointless to pit our camp’s mentalities.”
Here’s my response:
Notwithstanding the fact that you’re nameless and that it is part of my blog protocol not to respond to anonymous commenters, let this answer of mine be a guide to my future questioners.
What do you mean by dropping my ideology? That I should be guided by a blind premise and that I should base my views on the whim of the moment? Your demand is impossible. What you mean to say is that I should suspend my mind and be guided by my emotions. You don’t want me to think; your only desire is for me to comply. Now, you should understand that every argument that we make is tied to a certain premise. For the religionists, they oppose RH bill on religious grounds (their premise). For those who support it, their premise is linked to altruistic agenda, like common good, the need to solve overpopulation, and the provision of free health care services.
If the RH bill is so good, why criminalize those who want to opt-out?
RH bill versus individual rights
The reason why I oppose this bill—and I think I stated it clearly—is because I don’t believe that it is the role of the government, most particularly the employers, to provide the reproductive health care services of the people. My fundamental premise is hinged on the concept of individual rights: I don’t believe the government has the right to coerce anyone under the concept of common good or social welfare to provide the needs of others, and I also don’t believe that need is a claim or a license to enslave a particular group of people. First, it is important to understand that we’re not yet talking about the legality of this bill, because its proponents are still in the campaign process. The wave of public opinion determines the life or death of this legislative proposal, and I’ve heard that the Arroyo regime ordered its temporary confinement. This is temporary because if presidential bet Noynoy Aquino wins, there’s a high possibility that this law would be enacted.
For those who read the bill, it is important to note that there are provisions under Sections 21 to 22, which state that failure by employers to provide RH services for their employees would constitute an offense punishable by fine or imprisonment or both. It is clear that this proposal seeks to make it mandatory for employers and other individuals to provide RH services to the people. I beg to disagree that this bill is well-intentioned and moral. Health care is not a right! We’re not born with a right to a ride in Enchanted Kingdom. We’re not born with a right to enslave other people by coercing them to contribute something for the benefit of the majority. We don’t live—and we’re so lucky that we don’t!—in a statist or socialist society, where a so-called presidium has the monopoly on all social, economic and political powers, including the authority to allegedly provide all the needs of all its communal members, be it health care, education, housing and other basic necessities. I do believe that this “man-is-his-brother’s-keeper” scheme is impractical and evil at best. No, we cannot contradict reality. If the RH bill is so good, why criminalize those who want to opt-out? Why impose penalty on the employers who don’t want to be reduced to mere slaves? Why do the Leftist politicians who proposed this bill have to force some people to contribute to what they call the “common good” if their proposition is for the good of everybody?
This RH Bill is a proposal to breach reality and that concept of equality under the law or the Constitution.
The true concept of “right” and “privilege”
This bill is just the beginning of the statist plan of some politicians in Congress. It is the creepy, evil face of the socialist
tendencies of our politicians not only in the legislature, but also in other parts of public governance. One of the greatest fallacies ever invented to corrupt man’s mind is the distortion of the concept of “right!” That which you passionately call or claim as “right” means the “right” by, for, and of the socialists or the communists. There’s a big difference between a right and a privilege. A right is one that is incumbent upon an individual since birth. You have the right to exist, but you don’t have the right to command your neighbor to feed you. You have the right to education, but you cannot demand that you be spared from school fees to obtain a degree. You have the right to medical services, but you can’t tell the doctor, who spent a lot of money and years of his/her life studying medicine, to treat you for free. The proper concept of “right” means the right of every individual to choose and to reject self-destruction. Such a right cannot extend to enslave your neighbor. It simply means a right to choose or not to choose.
A “right” is a moral principle elucidating and warranting a man’s freedom of action in a social context. The categories of rights above show that rights are only limited to man’s rights to his LIFE, LIBERTY, PROPERTY, and his PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. The concept of rights excludes and rejects man’s right of force and compulsion.
On the other hand, “privilege” is the means to further exercise that right. It is an advantage which you earned and not merely given or extended to you without any reason or cause at all. We all have to work in order to earn for a living—in order to survive. One has to work in order to earn money for his/her plastic surgery or for the treatment of his/her serious illness. This is the basic reason why the Constitution recognizes individual rights—that we all have the right to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. If this bill seeks to coerce employers to provide the health care needs of their employees, then it is tantamount to the deprivation of the property of the former. The state has no power or right to deprive someone of any portion of his earnings or property only to fulfill the happiness of other people. This is the natural meaning of the noble concept of “equality under the law.”
But there are some people who coldly asked: “But what’s wrong with socialism.” My answer would be: “What’s wrong with committing suicide?”
RH bill is unconstitutional and a breach of reality
This RH Bill is a proposal to breach reality and that moral concept of equality under the law or the Constitution. In a society claiming to be semi-free, this bill is a mockery of people’s freedom and happiness. A welfare legislation that conspires to diminish our rights and freedom has no room in a free society. This collectivist proposition is only possible in a statist or socialist society, where the mode of production and the goods and products created and produced by the people are all owned by the state. Under this system, everybody is enslaved to everybody. Under a statist regime, there’s no such thing as individual rights. Every individual in a socialist or communist society must work for the benefit of his country. Such a system is doomed to failure. Mao Tse Tung perfected this same ideological scam during his experimental “Great Leap Forward” wholeheartedly supported by the Chinese in the hope of propelling China to success and even exceeding the steel-making output of America and Great Britain. In less than a decade, in a country where education, health care and almost all basic needs were provided by the statist government, more than 20 million Chinese died in famine and starvation. Now this is our only direction if we continue to embrace this altruist-collectivist trend.
Meanwhile, the bill covers the following: (1) Information and access to natural and modern family planning (2) Maternal, infant and child health and nutrition (3) Promotion of breast feeding (4) Prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications (5) Adolescent and youth health (6) Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, HIV/AIDS and STDs (7) Elimination of violence against women (8) Counseling on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health (9) Treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers (10) Male involvement and participation in RH; (11) Prevention and treatment of infertility and (12) RH education for the youth.
A proposal to legislate population is an attempt to invade every household in this country.
By looking closely at these welfare state promises, these are all available and provided for under the present setup, and that there are existing and open government agencies that can deliver these services. For instance, departments and agencies under Section 4(n) like the Department of Health, Department of Education, including public clinics, and other specialized government health centers like the Lung Center of the Philippines, Health Center of the Philippines and government hospitals, can be given additional or even special functions only to comply with the supposed social welfare mandate of this bill. All of the alleged welfare state boons are guaranteed under our present set up. In other words, there is no need to enact this so absurd legislative proposal. However, it is important to note that this bill includes a “pass-on provision.” It’s proponents seek to shift the burden of paying for the RH services to employers. By virtue of their success and economic status, employers are being offered to a sacrificial altar to satisfy the reproductive health care needs of a particular group of people. This trend simply means that need now is a claim on slavery.
Overpopulation cannot be legislated
In regard to the assertion of the fear-mongering proponents and supporters of this bill, overpopulation is not the sole domain of politics. Overpopulation is, indeed, a problem but it cannot be legislated. This attempt to legislate population is tantamount to reducing it to mere statistical problems, which can be solved by orchestrated government actions and social edicts. Population is not synonymous to goods, which are determinable by statistics. In a capitalist society, a regime can only increase the domestic production output by letting the capitalists perform their job. But population is a different matter. A proposal to legislate population is an attempt to invade every household in this country. There’s only way to solve population without the use of government’s arbitrary powers, and this is through voluntary education. Like I said, there are government agencies that can perform this function, and I’m certain that there are also private organizations and non-profit institutions willing to help the government fulfill its goal. History tells us that most socialist states that attempted to legislate their population resorted to force and even mass killing. Socialist countries like Sweden used sterilization or eugenics programs to control the growth of its population. This only means that if you allow your government to rule your lives, the use of arbitrary powers and force is inevitable. But there are some people who coldly ask: “But what’s wrong with socialism.” My answer would be: “What’s wrong with committing suicide?”
If a dictator attempts to alter or distort reality, the only inevitable result is his own destruction—and that of his loyal people.
Overpopulation is not the main problem
According to its proponent, Rep. Edcel Lagman, this bill “simply recognizes the verifiable link between a huge population and poverty. Unbridled population growth stunts socio-economic development and aggravates poverty.” Again, can the Congress legislate “unbriddled population growth?” This reminds me of the famous Simon-Ehrlich Wager in 1980. Economist and Libertarian Julian Simon and the so-called population expert Paul Ehrlich who authored “The Population Bomb” bet on five commercially important and highly scarce metals—copper, chromium, nickel, tin, and tungsten—over the decade leading up to 1990. Simon bet that their prices would go down, while Ehrlich bet they would go up. It is important to understand that during that period—1980 and 1990—the global population ballooned by over 800 million, the biggest jump in a decade in all of history. Ultimately, Ehrlich the “doomsayer” lost the wager. This only means that as the world population increased, mankind found some ways to survive. Today, we have found potential alternatives to oil and metals. Before, a computer was as big as a single-storey house, but due to man’s ingenuity and intransigent passion to discover new things we now have personal computers and notebooks. For the creators’ love of life and willingness to survive, they were able to find new alternatives better and more efficient than the ones which they replaced.
It is true that population is increasing, but I don’t believe it can be legislated. It appears that the main reason of the bill’s supporters is the unfounded fear that overpopulation is somewhat linked to poverty. This contention is debatable and the burden of proof rests upon those who claim that overpopulation is the problem. It is wrong to totally attribute poverty to overpopulation, considering that fact that there are even worse social problems confronting this country, like corruption, people’s stupidity and faith-based fanaticism, and most especially massive government intervention. Almost all crises that took place in this country were caused by excessive state interference. Population must not be used as a scapegoat to correct an evil with another evil. We can’t solve poverty by expanding the powers of the government. Only Capitalism can save this country from poverty, and I have clearly and explicitly stated the reason why in my previous blogs. Population is not the culprit. It cannot be controlled with the use of political edicts. It can only be managed through proper education—by giving every family the right to choice and proper information. Like I said, these functions are part of our existing governmental system, thus there’s no need to pass this evil bill—more so, there’s no need to let this country shift to statism or socialism. It is not moral to coerce employers to extend reproductive health care services to their workers against their will. It is the free-market competition that can only make this dream of the socialists happen without passing the bill. For example, call center companies, mostly foreign-owned, competing for competent and skilled workers now offer competitive health care packages to their employees. This proves that even without the coercive power of the government, competent employers would be compelled by the free-market system to offer not only high compensation package but also good health care services for their workers.
UN versus nations’ sovereignty
It may be true that the United Nations came up with a series studies regarding the effects of the world’s ever-increasing population, but this international body only has the power to suggest and of course, to influence our domestic affairs. However, the UN is currently working on sweeping international rules, which would diminish countries’ sovereignty. The UN is also the brainchild of the global warming farce that swept the consciousness of most people on earth today. By simply forming an absurd global collective of so-called scientists, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN has successfully sold the man-made concept of global warming to almost all countries in the world. Thus, I must say that population is not subject to or an element of our consciousness; it is part and parcel of reality. If a dictator attempts to alter or distort reality, the only inevitable result is his own destruction—and that of his loyal people.
For decades, we have been poisoned by an absurd notion that the government has the responsibility to provide us with our needs, that it is our right to command the government to clothe us, to shelter us, to provide us our medicine and other basic necessities. Most of you have been lulled by the altruistic belief that you must serve the common good and public welfare, and that society is regarded as the standard of value and not the individual. But there is no such thing as society- it’s all of us. Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, once said:
“I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand “I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!” or “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!” “I am homeless, the Government must house me!” and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations…”