These have come up since the Health Department started the campaign in February this year. First, The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines reacts to it, calling for a ban on advertisements and the whole campaign in general.
“The condom cannot really put a stop to Aids. Moreover, by creating a false sense of security, it condones and encourages promiscuity outside of marriage, and hence contributes to the further spread of Aids,” the statement added.
The Health department started initiating the free condom drive last Valentine’s Day in Metro Manila due to the increasing cases of HIV-Aids in the country.
DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral earlier said the drive was made as the dreaded disease continues its “silent” onslaught on the Filipinos.
In Western Visayas alone, there are already several cases of HIV-Aids and more victims of the disease are coming out in the open to seek help and understanding from the public, said DOH Center for Health Development-Western Visayas Regional Director Ariel Valencia.
He also said that the advertisements are a timely reminder to the public on the importance of responsible sexual behavior, and not meant to promote artificial contraception.
The CBCP, however, sees the condom drive as immoral.
Source: please click here for the full article(1).
I don’t think these are grounds enough for the ban of the condom. The church may ban it in its own territories, but not as a whole, as some government officials have expressed. Ban its flock from watching television, staring at ads and buying a condom. But why deny the rest of the Filipino population the choice? Does the church realize that it does not ban more debilitating products in the market that are not only useless but are part and parcel of the pains and joys of having more to choose from? It doesn’t ban violent acts to be shown on television, or a boxing match with Manny Pacquaio to be shown nationwide. Because it really has no right to do that. So if the church were confident in its own, why worry about the condom?
In line with the May 2010 elections, reproductive health issues have been the consideration of some voters. Moreover, in the following article by Kara Santos of the Inter Press Fund, the church has not yet realized the pro-life values of the condom nor the reproductive health bill. The political issues:
The election guidelines for Catholics state that contraception is “morally wrong… endangers the spiritual health of the marriage” and “impedes the process or possible fruit of conception”, which the Church says should be the point of conjugal union. Voters who elect pro-reproductive health candidates in the May poll would become willing accomplices to “evil”, they added.
But advocates say that the failure to pass the reproductive health bill has been detrimental to women’s health.
“Eleven women die every day due to pregnancy and childbirth-related causes, almost half of all pregnancies are unintended and one-third of unintended pregnancies end in abortion,” says lawyer Clara Rita Padilla, executive director of EngendeRights Inc, a non-government organisation promoting women’s rights through legal advocacy.
Asks Padilla: “Will the next president turn a blind eye and not provide for the proper budget for wide access to reproductive health
information, supplies and services simply because such a stance would take the ire of the CBCP?”
Already, PLCPD’s San Pascual notes, candidates for the 2010 polls have been careful not to make their statements on reproductive health issues too strong because of the perceived weight of the Church’s position among many voters. But he says, “By trying to balance their agenda so that they will not face the ire of their bishop or parish, they end up not helping their constituents or giving justice to their job as a public servant.”
Source: please click here for the full article (2).
I would like to thank Ms. Irina Otmakhova, Membership and Networking officer of the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights , for providing the second article.