At a media interview at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Dagupan City on July 16, 2011 after the mass and prior to the “Run for Life” activity sponsored by the church to commemorate the Dagupan earthquake in 1990, Congresswoman Kimi Cojuangco of the 5th district of Pangasinan emphasized that the Reproductive Health bill that she strongly advocates is PRO LIFE.
“The RH bill does not sympathize with abortion and I am against abortion! And I am Catholic! God wants us to enjoy the bounties of a good life. God hates to see us in pain and in sorrow. He doesn’t want us to be destitute and die of hunger. He gave us intelligence to be able to manage our lives properly!”
All these she said in reply to one “Run for Life” participant who trailed her during the media interview. As she was picking up one of the PRO-LIFE card that certifies that she is a contributor to the event, the heckler questioned her motives of why the congresswoman attended the pro-life campaign of the church when she has publicly declared her support of the RH bill.
Previously, during the mass, Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas condemned the Reproductive Health bill as “bad word” along with abortion. The stand of the Catholic clergies against the RH bill remains firm.
Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas
Thus, the presence of the congresswoman at the event was questioned because of her support of the RH Bill.
She staunchly defends her position by reiterating that the RH Bill does not in any way condone or endorse abortion, it recognizes that abortion is illegal (House Bill 4244, Section 3.i). What the bill does promote is the empowerment of women and families to choose what is prudent for their particular situation. It gives couples freedom to plan their parenthood responsibly. It gives women access to information regarding their health and pregnancy issues allowing them to make intelligent choices. The RH Bill promotes LIFE! A better quality of life as the congresswoman indicated in her statement.
Rep. Kimi Cojuangco at press conference.
Misconceptions and fallacies about the Reproductive Health Bill such as the one regarding abortion abound, fueled by the religious rhetoric that many still accept as fact. The congresswoman wants to make clear that one can be a good Catholic and still support the RH Bill.
The RH Bill does not encourage abortions nor does it further promiscuity. What it does is end hopelessness, despair and exigency by providing legal and safe alternatives. Ultimately, it will still be up to the individual to decide how they will manage their life. The RH Bill does not coerce people to do or practice or anything they don’t want to do. Each individual with their God given intelligence will ultimately have to make the choice.