Posts Tagged ‘Miriam Defensor Santiago’

SEN. MIRIAM’S LIST: 8 Reasons Why Catholics Support RH

By: Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago
September 15, 2012 3:33 PM

A Doctor of Juridical Science and a candidate for Master of Arts in Religious Studies, the senator delivered this keynote speech at the program sponsored by the Catholics for Reproductive Health today, 15 September 2012, at the UP College of Social Work and Development.

1. The Catholic Church does not consider anti-RH teaching as infallible.

Theology consists of critical reflection on faith. St. Anselm of Canterbury gave to us the classic definition of theology as: “Faith seeking understanding.” But theology is the result not only of faith, but also of certain normative rules which fall into two categories: doctrines and dogmas. Doctrines consist of beliefs or teachings which receive the official approval of the Church.

But by contrast, dogmas, which literally mean “what is right,” are doctrines that are taught definitively and promulgated with the highest solemnity. In other words, dogmas are the definitive rules of faith. If you reject a dogma, you become a heretic. Parenthetically, it is very strange that our Church has failed to enumerate what are the Catholic dogmas.

A teaching which is dogma is infallible; but a teaching which is mere doctrine is not infallible. A doctrine can change over time. Thus, the 1973 Mysterium Ecclesiae, a declaration issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith states: “The expressions of revelation are historically conditioned, and therefore the meaning is not always self-evident to those in some other historical setting. The meaning in dogmatic language may change from one historical period to another. The truth itself may be expressed incompletely.”

In his classic bestseller, the 1994 revised edition of the book entitled Catholicism, Richard P. McBrien of the University of Notre Dame, said: “The Church has never explicitly claimed to such infallibility on a moral question.” The RH issue is a moral question. The Catholic Church has never claimed that any pronouncement on the RH issue is infallible.
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RH Redundant? Miriam: Show Me the Same Law!

by Ayee Macaraig

Posted on 09/20/2011 8:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines — Debate over the Reproductive Health (RH) bill sizzled Tuesday as Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago challenged claims by Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III that it is redundant.

During the Senate debate, Sotto said the RH bill is unnecessary, citing existing laws like the Magna Carta of Women and Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act that already address the same issues. Sotto was interpellating RH bill co-author Sen. Pia Cayetano when Santiago took to the podium and interjected, “Assuming for the sake of argument only that it is redundant, why is there so much opposition to it?”

Santiago, a co-author of the bill, said that while the RH bill is consistent with the principles underlying the Magna Carta of Women, it has two provisions not found in any existing law: access to family planning (Section 7), and the inclusion of family planning supplies as essential medicines (Section 9).
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The Reproductive Health Bill: Logic 101

(Speech at the inter-university forum on 15 September 2011 sponsored by the UP Law Center Human Rights Institute at the UP College of Law Malcolm Theatre)

Reproductive Rights as Part of Human Rights

Our topic is the nature of reproductive rights as part of the greater sum of human rights. In legal terms, human rights form the totality of the freedoms, immunities, and benefits that, according to modern values – specially at an international level – all human beings should be able to claim as a matter of right in the society in which they live.

In international law, the basic document is the non-binding but authoritative Universal Declaration of Human Rights, accompanied by the binding documents known as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.

In national or domestic law, the basic document is the Philippine Constitution, particularly Article 2 on Declaration of State Policies, and Article 3 on the Bill of Rights. Our Constitution, Art. 2 Sec. 15 specifically provides: “The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.” This right to health is now viewed as including the right to reproductive health.

Reproductive rights constitute the totality of a person’s constitutionally protected rights relating to the control of his or her procreative activities. Specifically, reproductive rights refer to the cluster of civil liberties relating to pregnancy, abortion, and sterilization, specially the personal bodily rights of a woman in her decision whether to become pregnant or bear a child.

The phrase “reproductive rights” includes the idea of being able to make reproductive decisions free from discrimination, coercion, or violence. Human-rights scholars increasingly consider many reproductive rights to be protected by international human rights law.

When we speak of Philippine internal laws and politics, we are speaking of the so-called “horizontal” strand of the human rights movement. But as constitutionalism spreads among states, we now speak of the so-called “vertical strand” of the new international law, that is meant to bind states and that is implemented by the new international institutions. Filipino politicians seem to be aware only of the horizontal but not of the vertical dimension of the human rights movement.1
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Miriam: Abortion to Remain a Crime Under RH Bill

KIMBERLY JANE TAN, GMA NEWS August 17, 2011 6:04pm

Despite the assertion of groups against the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Wednesday said that abortion will remain a crime under the controversial measure now pending in Congress.

“Under the Penal Code, abortion is a crime, and it will remain a crime under the RH bill,” Santiago said during the third part of her co-sponsorship speech of Senate Bill No.2865 or The Reproductive Health Act of 2011.

Under SB 2865, the state shall guarantee universal access to medically safe, legal, affordable, and quality reproductive health services, methods, devices, supplies, and relevant information on the matter.

Oppositors of the RH bill, however, have repeatedly asserted that devices like contraceptives induce abortion.
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