Hell Hath No Fury Like the Bishops Scorned, But Filipinos Are Not Listening
The recently signed Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill), promising to greatly expand contraceptive access in the Philippines, was a victory almost 15 years in the making. For more than five years, I worked with Catholics for Reproductive Health, a group central to the fight against those other Catholics against RH, otherwise known as the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). The bishops and their allies aren’t celebrating with us that the country’s huge unmet contraceptive need and rising rate of HIV infections may soon be somewhat ameliorated. Instead, they are busy planning the downfall of the legislators who courageously withstood the many statements that “contraception is corruption” and that RH Bill supporters were jeopardizing their standing with the Catholic church. The 80 percent-Catholic populace has already left behind the small opposition that simply will not recognize defeat — proving once more that the institutional church doesn’t understand what Filipinos need, how they think or how to reach them.