14 January 2011

'Non-reproductive beings' should have no voice in defence of human life?

US Secretary of State clarifies to Rep. Chris Smith that 'Reproductive Health' etc includes abortion

Rina Jimenez-David is a columnist in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the most widely read broadsheet in the Philippines. The paper began 25 years ago as part of the movement that eventually ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Ms Jimenez-David frequently writes in support of contraception. She began one column by stating that the most important decision to be made by a couple getting married was which contraceptive to use. In the last two years or so it is clear that she also supports abortion. Four or five years ago she got a fellowship to a short course in California the aim of which was to train persons with influence in developing countries to promote contraception. The columnist wrote at the time that there was an extra week for those from Spanish-speaking countries to help them promote abortion. (The Philippines is not and never has been a Spanish-speaking country so she did not take part in that). The course was largely funded by a Bill Gates foundation, as I recall.

A Reproductive Health bill is being pushed through at the moment in the Philippines. Its proponents have said many times that it does not include abortion. But the term 'Reproductive Health' is a code for abortion, as Hillary Clinton makes clear in the video above. The RH Bill is the background to the column to which I responded.

Last Sunday  in her column Ms Jimenez-David wrote: But let me caution the President and his advisers against letting his dialogue partners take their sweet time nitpicking over various arcane issues like when life begins; what constitutes fertilization, ovulation and abortion; and whose rights should prevail: The mother’s or the unborn child’s. If they so want, Catholic bishops and their supporters among hard-line conservatives can keep up the “dialogue” until well into the next millennium! (Emphasis mine throughout.)

She further wrote: And may I point out that Catholic bishops and priests are strictly speaking peripheral to the issue of reproductive health: they are not (officially at least) reproductive beings. Having taken vows of celibacy, they are not (or should not be) confronted with the problems that millions of reproductive Filipino men and women face every day

Ms Jimenez-David further wrote: (As an aside—I couldn’t resist bringing it up—a doctor-friend of mine tells me that while he was a young physician, he was asked to give a talk on sexuality before a group of priests. Afterwards, he recalled, he was approached “in private” by quite a good number of priests who wanted to know what they could do about their sexually transmitted infections. “I lost my faith in priests that day,” he confessed.) (Brackets in the original).

Yesterday, Thursday, the PDI published my reply:

Heed Rina’s counsel—P-Noy urged ('P-Noy' is President Aquino whose nickname is 'Noynoy'. 'Pinoy' is a colloquial term for the Filipino.)

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 06:01:00 01/13/2011

RINA JIMENEZ-David apparently wants to take us back into the Dark Ages by dismissing as “arcane” issues such as “when life begins, what constitutes fertilization, ovulation and abortion.” (Inquirer, 1/9/11) She wants us to dismiss modern medical science as of no matter.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated very clearly in answer to US Rep. Chris Smith that for her and her government “Reproductive Rights,” “Reproductive Health,” etc. include abortion. (This can be easily googled.)

As an aside—I couldn’t resist bringing this up—President Aquino would do well to follow David’s implicit advice and ignore the views of columnists who have ceased to be “reproductive beings.”


I had put the last paragraph in brackets but the paper dropped them. However, I was very pleasantly surprised that my letter was published as there is rarely anything critical of Rina Jimenez-David in the letters page, though there is one strongly pro-life columnist, Antonio J. Montalvan II, based in Cagayan de Oro City in northern Mindanao.

The video I referred to in the letter is at the top. 

I"m aware that part of my reply ('As an aside . . .') is to some extent ad hominem though not totally so since I'm basically showing where the columnist's logic leads.

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