By +Oscar V. Cruz, JCD
SOMEONE mentioned the phrase “Responsible Parenthood” – with pride and gusto. He said it decidedly and clearly. He invoked it before an elite crowd – with the general public hearing it. He got a loud and long applause from his direct audience – most of whom are interested in getting not only his political but also financial support. He thus immediately moved and inspired his comrades to meet, plan and strategize for the passage of the famous as well as infamous RH Bill – depending on whether the Bill is simply about lobby money, business profit, PPP enterprises or the issue is basically about ethical considerations and/or moral principles.
That is why the following sceneries immediately came to fore: Those in favor of the Bill are flexing their muscles, planning their strategies and programming their moves for its eventual approval. On the other hand, those categorically against the bill are meeting, planning, and moving silently at first and loudly sooner or later. There are even those who expressly and clearly said that “The battle is joined” – or something the line. Translation: The ruling Administration and the Catholic Church in the Philippines are on a head-on collision course.
This is why some clarifications and/or explanations are in order, even if only to clarify one and for all, the meaning and implications of “Responsible Parenthood”. But before that, there are certain key questions begging for true and proper answers: Why is a big number of the people in the Philippines poor if not also hungry? Why is there no real socio-economic development in the Country up to these times? Where are the direct and indirect taxes paid by all Filipinos from birth to death? In the event that these key questions could be answered satisfactorily by the administration, the same should thereafter answer this clear and direct question: What is responsible parenthood?
The hallowed phrase “Responsible Parenthood” is official Church language very long since. It means: Husbands and wives should only have the number of children they can afford to support and educate. It means: They should not therefore have more children than they can thus care for and form. It means: They should observe natural family planning specifically for that purpose. This is “Responsible Parenthood”. Period.
Question: When that someone mentioned the phrase, does he know what it really means? Or did he simply intend to mislead his listeners? Answer: Considering that it is not good to say that he deliberately wanted to deceive them, it is more kind to say instead that he did not really know the meaning of what he said. One thing is very certain: Responsible Parenthood is the direct exact contradiction of the RH Bill promoting artificial contraception in line with the observance of government population control.