FACEBOOK REMINDED ME LAST FRIDAY THAT I WAS A NAÏVE “PRO-LIFE” HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT, RALLYING AND LIGHTING VIGIL CANDLES OPPOSING THE PENDING REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH LAW BACK IN 2011.
Coming from a Catholic school, half of the values I learned aligned with what the church decided for all of us. But it had always left a weird uneasy feeling in the back of my head, like I was telling a lie, which I wasn’t good at in the first place.
A few years later, I figured out that religiously staying on the internet gives you so much valuable information on what the world and other people has to say. In shaping my beliefs, and somehow what others would mock as “too sensitive” opinions, it wasn’t an easy prayer. I needed to unlearn values that do not favor me or the women around me. And I decided to learn a new set of dogmas that raised the standards on how women should be treated in the society.
As I shape my beliefs through the years, I continuously ask myself “Is this kind?” “Is this empathetic?” and “Will this be favorable to all, despite differences?”
Now in the year 2018, I consider myself as “pro-choice,” believing that all women should be inclusive to deciding in any social, economic, and political choices.
Even though the RH Law has already been passed, there are still people who frown upon the decision that goes against the conservative majority. Just last year another threat occurred when the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order on some contraceptive pills and implants. Not only that, according to Inquirer.net, 560,000 Filipinas undergo abortion each year, 90,000 of them seek medical help and around 1,000 die from complications.
By looking at this how can we, collectively as women feel secure that all of our needs will be served?
Uneventfully in the Philippines, disgust would be the first reaction, linking “pro-choice” only to abortion. But what people don’t know is that this advocacy benefits all women, supporting access to safe and medically prescribed contraceptives that stop unwanted pregnancies, ease menstrual cramps and even prevent sexually transmitted diseases. Thus, despite being a taboo it should include getting a safe and legal abortion!
But for now we can only imagine a place wherein women are free and confident of their bodies, if it ever happens then that would heavenly.