The Tyranny of the Anti-Population Bill
In a free society, no one must be sacrificed in the name of “common good…”
The staunch supporters of the Reproductive Health bill authored by some communist politicians in Congress have been peddling a flurry of altruistic grounds and equivocations to ensure the passage of their socialist proposal to enslave the productive in this country. Some of their grounds are the following: a) to provide the needed reproductive health care services for women; b) to help the poor; and c) to curb the alleged population explosion in the country.
On its face, this bill seems to address a number of social problems in the country so its proponents and fanatic supporters believed that it must be enacted into law. They have been doing their very best to make this socialist legislation acceptable to the people and to our politicians who also have been giving their best to ensure their victory in the upcoming May 10 national polls. Well, who doesn’t want freebies? In the name of women and poor people, the bill’s proponents, along with the passionate anti-population advocates, have been urging the government to give them a break, at least during this election period. Sounds good!
Now before we get blown away by their socialist and nice-to-hear altruist platitudes, it is important to look at the original version of the bill passed and deliberated in the Lower House.
Section 2 of the RH bill states:
“The State upholds and promotes responsible parenthood, informed choice, birth spacing and respect for life in conformity with internationally recognized human rights standards.
“The State shall uphold the right of the people, particularly women and their organizations, to effective and reasonable participation in the formulation and implementation of the declared policy.
“This policy is anchored on the rationale that sustainable human development is better assured with a manageable population of healthy, educated and productive citizens.
“The State likewise guarantees universal access to medically-safe, legal, affordable and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies and relevant information thereon even as it prioritizes the needs of women and children, among other underprivileged sectors.”
I must say that in this country, everybody has the right to his own choices. I do not believe in a government that babysits its people. Likewise, I do not believe in a government that protects us from ourselves. The danger in some of the populist/socialist provisions in our 1987 Constitution is that it is wrought with a number of dangerous contradictions. The New Charter is apparently more concerned with “distribution” and not “production” when it comes to the principles of “public welfare,” “public good” or “common good,” “social justice,” equality and egalitarianism. Yes, the Constitution, in effect, establishes a mixed economy bordering on socialism.
The Constitution speaks of “common good,” “public welfare,” and “social justice,” but all of these pertain mainly to distribution of wealth and not production. What do I mean by this? The above-quoted provision is a good example. It talks about the promotion of “responsible parenthood, informed choice, etc., as well as a guarantee to have a “universal access to medically-safe, legal, affordable, and quality productive health care services,” etc. This is clearly a political provision that aims to serve the “public good” by means of redistributing wealth. But the question is, “where will the government get the wealth or money to serve women and poor people?” Where is the “economic factor” of this provision? We have to understand that “distribution” and “production” pertains to economics. Now who will produce wealth to guarantee the goals of this bill? The authors of this legislation do not specify.
But wait, there must be some ways for the government to evade responsibility and shift the burden to some social sectors. Yes, the bill targets four particular persons who must be “sacrificed” in the name of “common good.” Section 21 of the bill enumerates these four persons who are the following:
- Public and private health care providers;
- Any person who shall engage in falsification of compliance under Section 14 of the Act;
- Any person who shall maliciously engage in disinformation about the intent or provision of this act.
Section 22 of the Act states that any person “who is found guilty shall be sentenced to an imprisonment ranging from one (1) month to six (6) months or a fine ranging from Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) to Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.” No, we’re not yet a socialist country. Not yet!
Letter (a) clearly covers both public and private health care providers. They can be penalized for personally prohibiting or restricting or through a subordinate “the delivery of legal and medically-safe reproductive health care services, including family planning.”
Letter (b) covers any employer who shall fail to comply with his obligation, which is to provide the RH care services of his/her employees, or “an employer who requires a female applicant or employee, as a condition for employment or continued employment, to involuntarily undergo sterilization, tubal ligation or any other form of contraceptive method.” Now what right does the government have to force and coerce employers to provide the RH care needs of their employees against their will? Common good?
Both the public and private health care providers and employers are the two main targets of this bill to be sacrificed in the name of “common good” or for the sake of women and poor people. The bill’s proponents and the anti-population advocates say the government must guarantee the rights of women and poor people to universal RH care. But what about the employers and health care providers? Is this not a violation of their rights? But the socialists and their apologists can still say, “there are more poor people in this country.” I have to say this is what is happening in Venezuela whose intelligentsia is now embarking on a massive exodus because of Hugo Chavez’s determination to sacrifice those who produce wealth in the name of the poor.
In a free society, no one must be sacrificed in the name of “common good.”
Letter (d) talks about any “person who shall falsify a certificate of compliance as required in Section 14 of the Act, while letter (d) speaks of any person who maliciously engages in disinformation” about the Act’s intent or provision. Now Letter (d) is very non-objective. This is the best manifestation that the bill was really authored by the communist politicians in Congress.
But the bill’s supporters now say, there’s a Senate version that seeks to cure the “imperfections” of the House version. Whether it be a Senate version, a House version, or any merged version, the fact is that this legislative proposal is violative of our rights. Everybody here has the right to go to any physician to obtain any kind of RH care services. Everybody in this country has the right to obtain RH care information. They say the Church is forbidding couples to go on artificial method of family planning, but the fact is that there is no law acceding to the will of the Church or any religion in this country. Everybody has to right to make a choice. If a couple followed the advice of their church, then that is their right, but no one has the right to impose his own will on anybody.
Let me make it clear that I am against the position of the Church. I have previously stated the following:
“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 for 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 for 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.”
The bill’s proponents and their anti-population allies also perverted the real concept of rights— that it is the right of women and poor people to have a universal access to RH care services. We all have the right to go to a private clinic, but we don’t have the right to force the doctor to treat us for free.
But there’s a hidden target of this bill—the taxpayers. If a government speaks of services, we shouldn’t forget that somebody has to make those services possible, and it is the taxpayers. Most of us complain of the amount of taxes that we pay, but most of us also ask for more government services—to the extent that we urge our politicians to provide everything we need for free. Most of us focus on the social aspect of a law or legislation, but we also forget its economic aspect.
Is RH care a right? If you say “Yes,” then you have to check your premise. Like I stated before, “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.”
Can’t you see that the main target of most statist/socialist bills are the producers of wealth, while the main excuse or justification for forcing them down our throats are the poor? Yes, nobody is defending the rights of employers and doctors in this country. Well, who likes to defend the rich? Ellsworth Toohey of The Fountainhead, who’s the philosophical figure of the bill’s proponents and supporters, is right in saying that—“It is always safe to denounce the rich.” In fact, some “rich” people even support their own destroyer.
We all know that the country’s medical field is experiencing an ongoing brain drain. This is not a myth. Most doctors, nurses, and other health care providers would like to leave the country any time now had they been given the chance. Just imagine if this bill were passed, I believe we should expect a massive exodus of not only health care providers, but the people who produce as well.
Now some politicians are proposing to implement a universal health care system in the country, a proposal that is more dangerous than the RH bill. And I predict that this universal health care proposal would unite the religionists, who oppose the RH bill, and the bill’s supporters.
There’s a bestselling novel entitled Atlas Shrugged that provides for the best defense of not only Capitalism, but of every man and woman of ability as well. One of the book’s major characters is a surgeon named Dr. Thomas Hendricks. Dr. Hendricks, who quits the field, eloquently explains in describing his decision:
“Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I would not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything–except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the “welfare” of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter, was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, only “to serve.” . . . I have often wondered at the smugness with which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind–yet what is it that they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands?”
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