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Reproductive health as a womans issue

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Reproductive Health as A Woman’s Issue While women’s Reproductive Health is no longer an issue in developed countries like USA and UK, it is still however a big debate in developing countries such as the Philippines. This is a worthy topic for discussion because that particular country’s Congress is currently torn between those who are pushing for women’s Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill) and the Catholic Church who had a traditional strong hold over the state. Perhaps nowhere in the world today where every aspect of women’s reproductive health is heavily scrutinized than in that country. Which explains why it is worthy to take notice if such measure of improving women’s health is valid and re-examine our own stance with the arguments presented. There are two sides of the argument, according to pro-RH Bill “ the reproductive health (RH) bill promotes information on and access to both natural and modern family planning methods, which are medically safe and legally permissible. It assures an enabling environment where women and couples have the freedom of informed choice on the mode of family planning they want to adopt based on their needs, personal convictions and religious beliefs. On the other side of the coin is the “ the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ Fr. Melvin Castro drew raised eyebrows when he said tubal ligation, a popular medical method involving the cutting women’s Fallopian tubes to prevent them from becoming pregnant again, is considered as a sin by the church (Philippine Daily Inquirer).” Other issues raised by the Catholic Church were that the birth control pills were really abortifacient and that the state cannot subsidize contraceptives. But transcending beyond the arguments, facts presented both by the United Nations and experts alike seemed to favor and validate the necessity of a reproductive health measure for the women. According the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimated that 200 million women worldwide ” want to delay or prevent pregnancy but are not using effective contraception. Researchers estimated that universal access to family planning could save the lives of about 175, 000 each year (2008). This is further validated by the “ World Health Organization, 1, 500 women die from complications of childbirth everyday, totaling 536, 000 maternal deaths in 2005 alone. Most of these deaths are concentrated in developing countries and most were preventable. . . In developing countries, the percentage of pregnant women who do not have access to or contact with skilled health personnel prior to delivery is estimated at 20%… (Gable, 2010) This is further validated that such measure is “ critically important to focus on the sexual and reproductive health . . . at risk of acquiring HIV infection and to invest resources and energy where they are mostly needed (Gable, 2010). Clearly, reproductive health measure is not only important but a necessity for women not only in improving their health but also in saving their lives from childbirth deaths and sexually transmitted diseases. Equally, this has also an impact on women’s economic well-being as having fewer, healthier children can reduce the impact on poor families and allow them to invest more in each child’s care and schooling, helping to break the cycle of poverty (UNFPA, 2010). Morality, as the main argument of the priests against the measure of women’s reproductive health is not only untenable but also proves to be impractical in a country where more than half of its population is poor. REFERENCES: Abs-cbn news. http://www. abs-cbnnews. com/-depth/05/08/11/philippines-still-divided-reproductive-health-bill. Retrieved on May 20, 2010 Lance. Case, 2010. Reproductive Health as a Human Right Gable, Western Reserve Law Review, Summer2010, Vol. 60 Issue 4, p963 & 964 Philippine Daily Inquirer. http://opinion. inquirer. net/inquireropinion/talkofthetown/view/20080803-152296/Reproductive-health-bill-Facts-fallacies. Retrieved on May 20, 2010 Reproductive Health as a Human Right Gable, Lance. Case Western Reserve Law Review, Summer2010, Vol. 60 Issue 4, p957-996, 40p Lusti-Narasimhan M; Collin C; Mbizvo M, 2009. Sexual and reproductive health in HIV-related proposals supported by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2009 Nov; 87 (11): 816-23 (journal article – research, tables/charts) ISSN: 0042-9686 PMID: 20072766 United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), A Global Need for Family Planning (2008), http://www. unfpa. org/rh/planning/mediakit/docs/new_docs/sheet1-english. pdf. (accessed last May 20, 2010)

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