Wednesday, March 20, 2013

NYC: The temporary setback on RH Law implementation is a great disservice to young people

Reproductive Health Care is and has always been a right. The temporary setback on RH Law implementation is a great disservice to young people.

The National Youth Commission, as the voice and advocate of the youth, is confident that Reproductive Health Law (R.A. 10354) will still prevail despite the Status Quo Ante (SQA) order of the Supreme Court last March 19, 2013.

Voting 5-10, the Supreme Court of the Philippines stops the implementation of the RH Law for 120 days through a Status Quo Ante (SQA) order as a verdict to the eight (8) petitions filed by Pro-Life groups. 

“This temporary setback on RH Law may further affect the country’s efforts to comply with the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. The law was supposed to bring down mortality rate and ultimately bring down levels of poverty in combination with other programs that we have.” says Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang in an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer. 

The National Youth Commission on its Resolution No. 37 series 2011 and Resolution No. 25 series 2012 called for the legislation of a National Policy on Reproductive Health and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health to address sexual and reproductive health rights and issues of young people. 

The passage of the RH Law finally affirms the Commission’s efforts and belief to promote reproductive health consciousness among the youth and protect them from elements that would compromise their health and well-being; that this very law is the key to influencing so they can be more responsible of their actions. To stop its implementation is detrimental to the welfare of the youth. 

“Every single day that RH Law is not implemented translates to more young people not having access to age-appropriate, culturally sensitive and evidence-based sexuality and Reproductive Health information and services. Maternal deaths, teen/child pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) and HIV/AIDS continue to be on the rise. We are losing time. We are losing lives.” says Undersecretary Leon Flores III, Chairman and CEO of the National Youth Commission. 

Ultimately, the Commission is firm on its stand that the RH Law is a necessity that will help the youth as they face the critical period of growth and development alongside empowerment for the next generation and hope of this land to exercise their constitutional right to reproductive health services that meet the standards of quality care, user-friendly, age-appropriate and culture-sensitive. 

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