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Background of the study about RH Bill

The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012

(Republic Act No. 10354), informally known as the Reproductive Health Law or
RH Law, is a law in the Philippines, which guarantees universal access to
methods on contraception, fertility control, sexual education, and maternal care.
While there is general agreement about its provisions on maternal and child
health, there is great debate on its mandate that the Philippine government and
the private sector will fund and undertake widespread distribution of family
planning devices such as condoms, birth control pills, and IUDs, as the
government continues to disseminate information on their use through all health
care centers.

Passage of the legislation was controversial and highly divisive,

with experts, academics, religious institutions, and major political figures

declaring their support or opposition while it was pending in the legislature.
Heated debates and rallies both supporting and opposing the RH Bill took place
nationwide. The Supreme Court delayed implementation of the law in March 2013
in response to challenges. On April 8, 2014, the Court ruled that the law was "not
unconstitutional" but struck down eight provisions partially or in full.
According to the Senate Policy Brief titled "Promoting Reproductive Health",
the history of reproductive health in the Philippines dates back to 1967 when
leaders of 12 countries including the Philippines' Ferdinand Marcos signed the
Declaration on Population. The Philippines agreed that the population problem

be considered as

the principal element for long-term economic

development. Thus, the Population Commission was created to push for a lower
family size norm and provide information and services to lower fertility rates.
Starting 1967, the USAID began shouldering 80% of the total family planning
commodities (contraceptives) of the country, which amounted to $3 million
annually. In 1975, the United States adopted as its policy the National Security
Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S.

Security and Overseas Interests (NSSM200). The policy gives "paramount

importance" to population control measures and the promotion of contraception
among 13 populous countries, including the Philippines to control rapid










sociopoliticagdhdj548988he national interests of the United States, since the

"U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from
abroad", and these countries can produce destabilizing opposition forces against
the United States. It recommends the U.S. leadership to "influence national
leaders" and that "improved world-wide support for population-related efforts
should be sought through increased emphasis on mass media and other
population education and motivation programs by the UN, USIA, and USAID.
Different presidents had different points of emphasis. President Ferdinand
Marcos pushed for a systematic distribution of contraceptives all over the
country, a policy that was called "coercive", by its leading administrator. The
Corazon Aquino administration focused on giving couples the right to have the
number of children they prefer, while Fidel V. Ramos shifted from population
control to population management. Joseph Estrada used mixed methods of
reducing fertility rates, while Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo focused on mainstreaming
natural family planning, while stating that contraceptives are openly sold in the
In 1989, the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and
Development (PLCPD) was established, "dedicated to the formulation of viable
public policies requiring legislation on population management and socioeconomic development". In 2000, the Philippines signed the


Declaration and committed to attain the MDGs by 2015, including promoting

gender equality and health. In 2003 USAID started its phase out of a 33-year-old
program by which free contraceptives were given to the country. Aid recipients
such as the Philippines faced the challenge to fund its own contraception
program. In 2004 the Department of Health introduced the Philippines

Contraceptive Self-Reliance Strategy, arranging for the replacement of these

donations with domestically provided contraceptives.
In August 2010, the government announced a collaborative work with the
USAID in implementing a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy
in favor of family planning called May Plano Sila.