PCID Supports the Passage of the RH Bill in ARMM

Press Release
July 24, 2012

QUEZON CITY – The Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) in the ARMM held a consultative meeting on the RH Bill on July 18 at the Alnor Hotel and Convention Center in Cotabato City. The meeting was attended by representatives from sectors such as business, religious, women, youth, and media.

The Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID) supports the passage of the RH Bill in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in line with its work promoting maternal and child health in the region known to be the most dangerous to pregnant women and infants.

PCID and the Magbassa Kita Foundation (MKFI) have organized the Noorus Salam (Light of Peace), the first national network of Muslim women religious (aleemat and ustadzas) and civil society leaders, working to capacitate women in peace and development efforts.

PCID believes the RH Bill will address the crucial and difficult role of marginalized women in ARMM as they contend with not only raising a family in poverty, amid uncertain conditions brought about by continuous conflict in the region.

Most importantly, the bill is a direct response to the Tanzim al-Usra – the official ruling (fatwah) on reproductive health and family planning – released by the Assembly of Darul-Iftah of the Philippines in 2003 supporting birth spacing, delaying pregnancy, and use of safe and legal contraceptives with ultimate goal of promoting the health and welfare of the family, in particular; and the society, in general.

PCID lauds the efforts and courage of RLA assistant majority floor leader Irene P. Tillah and Samira Gutoc-Tomawis (sectoral representative for women), as well as the Assemblymen for coming up with a piece of legislation that would address the largely neglected needs of women in the ARMM, the region being the most dangerous to childbearing women and to babies.

The passage of the RH Bill will have an immense impact on the current situation of women in ARMM in many ways, among others:

It will make reproductive health care services more accessible for women in the region who can hardly afford health care especially when the regional government will be mandated to provide such services.

Abortion, while remaining illegal and punishable by law, would not be a hindrance for women to avail of post-abortion care to be provided for by government in a “humane, non judgmental, and compassionate manner.”

The region will benefit from additional hospitals and improvement of existing facilities to accommodate emergency obstetric and neonatal care as called for in the Bill providing at least one hospital per 500,000 inhabitants.

The integration of responsible parenthood and family planning in anti-poverty programs will mean more government support.

PCID is one with the proponents in pushing for the passage of the RH Bill as the RLA prepares for deliberations.

Source: http://www.samarnews.com/news2012/jul/b988.htm

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