Thursday, June 2, 2011

RH Bill Timeline

Note: Thanks to writer and blogger R.O. for allowing me to repost this very informative stuff on RH Bill which will help us all trace its roots.

Lifted from: Reproductive-Health-Bill-Timeline

Check these links for the most updated versions:




Reproductive Health Bill Timeline

It would be impossible to look back and trace the history of the Reproductive Health Bill currently pending in the Philippine congress without taking a peek into the roots of birth control and population management that began in the late 1800s. In 1793, economist Thomas Malthus fathered the population control movement when he published An Essay on the Principle of Population, effectively frightening British leaders with his claim that food production would never be able to keep up with population increase.1 Contraceptives weren't unknown at the time, but social norms meant that they weren't talked about either. It was in this environment that atheists and Malthusians Annie Besant and Charles Bradlaugh gained notoriety in 1877 by publishing Charles Knowlton's booklet promoting what they called "sex without pregnancy". The booklet had already been in quiet circulation for decades but its publication triggered quite the response even from the prosecutors that convicted Besant and Bradlaugh. Although the duo was found guilty of publishing the obscene booklet, the attention that they received did much to encourage a large number of people to employ contraceptive measures. Even before they went to trial they had sold more than 130,000 copies of the booklet. It was also around this time that the birth rate of England began to fall, at first in privileged households, and then eventually in every social class and occupation.2, 3

Two years after Besant and Bradlaugh, Margaret Sanger was born to a poor New York household with eleven kids. Growing up she was exposed to much hardship and suffering and she attributed this to the fact that they had a large family. As a nurse she witnessed the tragic death of a pregnant woman, and it forever changed her. She was convinced that eliminating procreation from the sexual equation was the solution to many social ills. Sanger coined the term "birth control" in 1914.4 She, along with Marie Stopes from the UK, Elise Ottesen-Jensen from Sweden, Baroness Shidzue Ishimoto from Japan and Lady Rama Rau from India, would be the pioneers of the sexual revolution. They not only broke rules, they made new ones: rules that would shape the attitudes of the world about the meaning, purpose and value of human life.5

Events in the early 1900s -- war, famine, migration -- fueled the efforts of neo-Malthusians, eugenicists, birth controllers, and demographers. Each of these groups had different concerns for which they were seeking solutions. Some believed in preserving and increasing "good stock" to maintain national identity. Others were alarmed with the growing population outside their borders and thought it would be in their nation's interests to control migration and preserve racial purity. Included in these were world leaders apprehensive about the loss of economic and political power. Yet others were concerned about replacing people lost through war, famine or disease. And still others were afraid that growing populations in places like India would eventually be difficult to sustain and that humanitarian efforts to help these nations would certainly end up in bringing Western civilizations down.

Sanger was a genius in organizing and she was able to bring together well-known and moneyed people from different disciplines to advance her cause. Sanger wanted everyone -- the eugenicists, the population controllers, the demographers, the Malthusians -- to see that all of their concerns could be solved by one thing: contraception. Though she was marginalized at first by the very men she invited to her conferences, her ideas soon took hold and became promoted as useful for "the common good." It would take a while before these movements would eventually grow into global coalitions, but Sanger and others like her planted the seeds wherever and whenever they could.6 Today, many who recite the mantras that grew out of this eugenicist and racist movement scarcely realize the beginnings of the causes for which they fight.

In the Philippines early on, President Ferdinand Marcos bought heavily into US and UN agenda of depopulation, signing the 1967 Declaration on Population, a statement made the previous year by representatives of 12 countries.7 Since then, much effort has been expended within and without to increase contraceptive use and promote voluntary sterilization. Marcos, Ramos, Estrada and now Aquino, all had similar views regarding population as it relates to economic development. It was during their watch that depopulation programs made the biggest strides.8

Today, the clamor to pass the bill comes from non-governmental organizations such as Likhaan and coalitions like the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN). Though seemingly concerned with benevolent ends, their motivations remain suspect because of the monies they've received and continue to receive from these international organizations. In 2010 the Philippine government received $434M from the Millennium Challenge Corporation of America for a five-year ‘development’ contract. MCC is the new millennium's version of the old organizations; new name, same goals, same methods.

Let's take the International Planned Parenthood Federation for instance, whose country programmes are partnered with and get funding from MCC. While founder Margaret Sanger did not have abortion as her goal, the seeds of contraception that Planned Parenthood started from has blossomed since Roe v. Wade into a booming abortion business, currently making hundreds of millions of dollars a year, the majority of these dollars made on abortion alone.9

Since 1973 when abortion became legal, there have been 53,000,000 abortions in the United States.10 What does the IPPF want to achieve in the Philippines?

In the following timeline, we trace how the idea of contraception was born, and how it grew to its status now, a perceived quick fix as commonplace as the air we breathe. Its promotion and use around the world has resulted in an anti-life, contraceptive mentality, widespread acceptance of abortifacients, legalization of abortion and its use as the ultimate contraceptive, coercive family planning policies, divorce, the breakdown of the family, pornography, and an overall tolerance for promiscuity and immoral homosexual behavior, giving rise to more and more sexually-transmitted diseases.11


1 Malthus, Thomas Robert, An Essay on the Principle of Population. 1798. Library of Economics and Liberty. 13 May 2011. .
2 Connelly, Matthew James. Fatal Misconception: the Struggle to Control World Population. Cambridge, MA: Belknap of Harvard UP, 2008. Print.
3 D'Arcy, F. "The Malthusian League and the Resistance to Birth Control Propaganda in Late Victorian Britain." Population Studies 31.3 (1977): 429-48. Population Investigation Committee. Web. .
4 Sanger, Margaret. The Autobiography of Margaret Sanger. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2004. Print.
5 Connelly 24.
6 Connelly 55-76.
7 The Population Council, "Declaration on Population: The World Leaders Statement." Studies in Family Planning, No. 26, January, 1968. Web. .
8 Robinson, Warren C., and John A. Ross. The Global Family Planning Revolution Three Decades of Population Policies and Programs. Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2007. Print.
9 Simon, Stephanie. "Planned Parenthood Hits Suburbia -" Business News & Financial News - The Wall Street Journal - 23 June 2008. Web. 12 May 2011. .
10 "Factsheet Has New Abortion Totals & Analysis: Over 53 Million Abortions since Roe."National Right to Life. Web. 12 May 2011. .
11 Malhotra, Sheetal. "Impact of the Sexual Revolution: Consequences of Risky Sexual Behaviors." Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 13.3 (2008): 88-90. Web.


1914 – American nurse Margaret Sanger invents the term “birth control”.12

1927 - Margaret Sanger organizes first World Population Conference in Geneva, including professors, doctors and scientists to establish credibility and rally people to her cause.13, 14

1942 - Planned Parenthood Federation of America is established to unite the efforts of eugenicists, population controllers and birth controllers.15

1939-1948 - Increase in individual efforts in the Philippines by Presbyterian, Congregational, and other Protestant ministers to spread information about birth control.16

1948 - Planned Parenthood awards a grant to Gregory Pincus, a research biologist who undertook a series of tests leading to the development of the birth control pill.17

1952 - Population Council is founded by John D. Rockefeller III. This would be the nexus of the entire population control movement, going on to coordinate the work of the United Nations, the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and the International Planned Parenthood Federation, founded just three weeks later, as well as major pharmaceutical firms. IPPF's first director Blacker said of their goal, "You seek to fulfill the aims of eugenics without disclosing what you are really aiming at and without mentioning the word." With the approval of India's PM, India's people became some of the very first subjects of experimentation in the quest to find a cheap contraceptive "to be used in poverty stricken slums, jungles and among the most ignorant people." Just a few years later, Sanger would go back to the US and promote the sterilization of what she deemed "dysgenic" portions of the population.18

1957 The National Council of Churches establishes the Family Relations Center, a counseling clinic. The Children's Medical Center Foundation is established. One of its semi-autonomous units is the Institute of Maternal and Child Health, which is responsible for extending services to rural areas.19

1959 – Swedish researcher Bent Boving, at a Planned Parenthood-Population Council symposium notes that: “Whether eventual control of implantation can be reserved the social advantage of being considered to prevent conception rather than to destroy an established pregnancy could depend upon something so simple as a prudent habit of speech.”20 Prior to this, all references to the fetus affirm that life begins at conception. The only reason the change was proposed was to pave the way for widespread acceptance of contraception despite its action on the ovum post-fertilization and pre-implantation.

1960 - The US FDA approves the sale of oral pills for contraception.21

1964 – The University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) is formally established as a unit of the University of the Philippines, with an initial grant from the Ford Foundation. Its goal is to undertake population studies and train graduates in demography.22

1965 - American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) adopts Boving’s definition that "conception is the implantation of a fertilized ovum" even though the zygote at implantation is already a blastocyst (five-day old embryo). [to be deleted later, after we find a way of inputting the citation not found online - Ref: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Terminology Bulletin. Terms Used in Reference to the Fetus. No. 1. Philadelphia: Davis, September, 1965.] The Family Relations Center is reorganized into the Planned Parenthood Movement in the Philippines. The Family Planning Association of the Philippines is established to provide education, information and clinic services. The University of the Philippines Population Institute organizes the first Conference in Population with support from the Population Council. US President Lyndon Johnson declares in a speech that every five dollars spent on population control was worth more than a hundred dollars invested in economic growth. American funding soars for family planning programs both in the US and abroad. FIGO (Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society) adopts the ACOG definition of conception.

1966 - Lyndon Johnson receives Planned Parenthood's highest award (the Margaret Sanger award) for his policies pushing family planning on foreign countries.

1967 – Seventeen heads of state including Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos sign the United Nations Declaration on Population which stresses that the “population problem” must be recognized as the principal element in long-term economic development. The Institute of Maternal and Child Health sets up the National Training Center for Maternal Health Service in accordance with an agreement between the National Economic Council, the Institute for Maternal and Child Health, and the US Agency for International Development.

1968 - The government starts to participate in population and family planning efforts by creating the Project Office for Maternal and Child Health in the Department of Health to coordinate family planning activities. Paul Ehrlich publishes the book Population Bomb, falsely foretelling a grim future of overpopulation and mass starvation in the 70’s and 80’s as a direct result of the dangerous links between population, resource depletion, and the environment. Reproductive rights develops as a subset of human rights at the United Nation's 1968 International Conference on Human Rights.

1969 – Philippine Population Program is officially launched through Executive Order No. 233, creating a study group known as the Population Commission (POPCOM). POPCOM is mandated to undertake population studies and to serve as central coordinating and policy-making body, make program recommendations on population as they relate to economic and social development. Its goal: to lower family size and fertility rates. The secretary of justice liberalizes the interpretation of an existing ruling to permit the importation of contraceptives. USAID starts funding 80% of contraceptives in the Philippines, amounting to US$ 3 M/year. President Marcos eventually pushes for a systematic distribution of contraceptives all over the country, a policy that is called “coercive,” by its leading administrator. The Family Planning Association of the Philippines and the Planned Parenthood Movement in the Philippines are merged to form the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP). In November FPOP becomes a full-fledged member of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Congress approves a resolution to establish basic policies aimed at achieving economic development and social justice. The Catholic bishops issue a statement disagreeing with the government's intervention in couples' fertility decisions and objecting to the promotion of family limitation as a measure to reduce population growth.

1970 - First Earth Day. Peaceful demonstrations reflect environmental concerns, promotion of the idea that "population pollutes."

Early 1970's - Planned Parenthood International comes to the Philippines, working with local partner organizations to increase the provision of comprehensive reproductive health care services.

1971 – Republic Act 6365 aka Population Act of the Philippines is enacted into law by Congress. It establishes the national population policy and creates the national agency in charge of population, the Commission on Population (POPCOM). President Marcos instructs the Department of Health to add family planning services to all of its 1400 rural health units. By 1973, 1070 rural health units are offering family planning services.

1972 – President Ferdinand Marcos declares martial law. The Population Center Foundation is set up to forge a stronger partnership between the government and the private sector. Presidential Decree No. 79 revises Republic Act 6365, authorizing nurses and midwives, in addition to physicians, to provide, dispense, and administer all acceptable methods of contraception to those who desire to avail themselves of such services as long as these health workers have been trained and properly authorized by the POPCOM board. It directs the National Family Planning Program to respect the religious beliefs and values of individuals. The Population Education Program is established within the Department of Education Culture to provide instruction in population education for elementary and high school children by training teachers to develop curriculum materials. General Order No. 18 enjoins all sectors to promote the concept of family planning and responsible parenthood. Letter of Instruction No. 74 A directs the secretary of the Department of Public Information and the postmaster general to help implement the POPCOM board programs by disseminating information on family planning.

1973 – Philippine Constitution expresses government commitment to deal with the "problem" of rapid population growth. It provides: "It should be the responsibility of the state to achieve and maintain population levels most conducive to the national welfare." Presidential Decree No. 69 amends the National Internal Revenue Code to reduce the number of children for which additional tax exemptions can be claimed from an unlimited number of children to four. Decentralization of the Population Program starts with the establishment of 11 POPCOM regional offices. Presidential Decree No. 166 appoints two members from the private sector to the POPCOM board for three-year terms. A Department of Justice ruling permits sterilization. The Catholic hierarchy issues a pastoral letter on the population problem and family life. The letter objects to the use of artificial contraceptives to solve the population problem and notes that the government reneged on its earlier pledge not to encourage sterilization. Population Center Foundation (PCF) is established and starts operations to serve as a resource institution for the population program in the Philippines as its purpose, by “managing the growth of the country’s population through fertility reduction or family planning.” Supreme Court Decision Roe v. Wade strikes down many state laws restricting abortion.

1974 – National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200 - Kissinger Report is released in April in the US. In 1975, the United States adopts NSSM200 as its policy to give “paramount importance” to population control measures and the promotion of contraception among 13 populous countries, including the Philippines, to control rapid population growth which they deem to be inimical to the socio-political and economic growth of these countries and to the national interests of the United States. It recommends the US leadership to “influence national leaders” and that “improved world-wide support for population-related efforts should be sought through increased emphasis on mass media and other population education and motivation programs by the UN, USIA, and USAID.” Report soon influences Kissinger’s fellow racist or anti-life presidents, other high-ranking officials, and private institutions such as the Ford Foundation. Presidential Decree No. 34 exempts contraceptives and supplies necessary for the family planning program from payment of customs duties. Presidential Decree No. 1202 reduces the number of paid maternity leaves to four. Presidential Decree No. 442 requires private companies to provide their female employees with family planning services. In the Philippines, where abortion is both illegal and explicitly against official population policy, the IPPF provides 200 "menstrual regulation" kits for demonstration purposes. (IPPF details)

1975 - The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) is established as “the Philippines’ premier gender and development portal providing access to resources and data on women in the Philippines." Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) is also founded as an internationally recognized non-profit organization that improves the lives of women and girls in developing countries. The orientation of the Population Program shifts because of the operationalization of the total integrated development approach that is piloted in provinces. The Department of Justice removes the requirements for prescriptions for oral contraceptives, thereby permitting widespread distribution of pills through nonclinical channels by trained field workers. Presidential Decree No. 166 further strengthens the Family Planning Program, requiring the participation of private organizations and individuals in the formulation and implementation of population programs and policies.

1976 - Executive Order No. 123 attaches the Population Commission to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as the population planning and coordinating agency. Presidential Decree No. 965 requires applicants for marriage licenses to receive instruction on family planning and responsible parenthood. The National Population and Family Planning Outreach Project is initiated. Letter of Instruction No. 433 authorizes provincial governors and city mayors to gradually assume the responsibility of funding the cost of all activities related to population and family planning and of projects agreed to by the POPCOM board and provincial officials for their respective jurisdictions.

1977 - The National Population and Family Planning Outreach Project begins implementation. Between 1977 and 1979, 30,000 volunteers are recruited to provide contraceptive supplies and referrals. Presidential Decree No. 1204 amends certain sections of PD 79. This amendment further strengthens the powers of the Commission on Population in order for it to implement its functions more effectively.

1978 - Letter of Instruction No. 661 creates the Special Committee to Review the Philippine Population Program in the context of the overall development goals of the country and to recommend policy and program directions for the future.

1979 - CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) Philippines is established, to “promote women's rights everywhere, by aligning laws with international obligations and treaties, …to realize the goal of women's human rights.”

1986 – Pres. Cory Aquino issues Executive Order No. 123, attaching POPCOM to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as the planning and coordinating agency for a 5-year plan to improve health, nutrition and family planning, with particular focus on maternal and child health, not on fertility reduction. During Aquino's administration, the Philippines still posts steady declines in population growth rates.

1987 - Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP) is founded as a socialist feminist organization involving “women’s right advocate” Elizabeth Angsioco, RHAN, et al. Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare (PNGOC) is founded "by 17 Philippine NGOs with the objective of becoming the voice of population and development advocates within the NGO, government and funding circles and to respond to the growing demand for NGO services in population, reproductive and sexual health and development." Policy statement under the Aquino Administration is issued by the POPCOM Board which states: "The ultimate goal of the Population Program is the improvement of the quality of human life in a just and humane society. … The achievement of this goal requires a recognition of the close interrelationships among population, resources and environmental factors."

1989 - The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) is established in Congress, “dedicated to the formulation of viable public policies requiring legislation on population management and socio-economic development.”

1990 - Executive Order No. 408 is issued, placing POPCOM under the control and supervision of the Office of the President in order to "facilitate coordination of policies and programs relative to population."

1991 - Executive Order No. 467 (476?) is issued, making POPCOM an attached agency of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). PCF is renamed as Philippine Center for Population and Development (PCPD) on February 15, now with a wider scope beyond common concerns on population. Members of the board include various well-known media personalities: Ricky A. Carandang, Peter D. Garrucho and Cecilia L. Lazaro. New members include DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral and Luchi Cruz Valdez of TV5. Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Juliano Soliman, the Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, along with Cecilia L. Lazaro (Cheche Lazaro) of the TV magazine show The Probe Team, is also part of the Nomination & Membership Committee of the PCPD chaired by Ricky Carandang.

1992 - Fidel Ramos’ presidency shifts from population control to population management. Earth Summit on Sustainable Development is held in Rio de Janeiro, with several influential documents produced, including "Agenda 21" and "The Rio Declaration." Discussions about population control are central to the event, and the abortion agenda is pushed under the umbrella of "reproductive rights." The Philippines is one of the signatories.

1993 - The Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW) is formally established in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (see ASAP study 2008-2009) as a sort of a middleman between funders and fundees. CRR’s partner, Reproductive Health, Rights, and Ethics Center for Studies and Training (ReproCen) is established as a joint project of the College of Law and the College of Medicine of the University of the Philippines System with support of the Ford Foundation. The Philippine Population Management Program and the Population, Resources and Environment Framework are adopted by the Ramos Administration.

1994 - "Ethical and Pastoral Dimensions of Population Trends” is published by the Pontifical Council for the Family. It studies and reflects on population trends and “sets out ethical principles in the light of which the Church analyzes these realities.” United Nations International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. Several nations seek to define reproductive health services to include (safe and legal) abortion.

1995 - The Likhaan Center for Women's Health (Philippines) is established, “a collective of grassroots women and men, health advocates and professionals dedicated to promoting and pushing for the health and rights of disadvantaged women and their communities,” with Dr. Junice Melgar as Executive Director.

1996 – Maguindanao, the largest of the five provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in terms of population and number of municipalities and barangays, is assisted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) since the 4th Country Programme. Official UN terminology on contraceptive use is noted to have evolved from one euphemism (doublespeak) to another: from "safe motherhood" to "family planning" to "sexual health" and "reproductive health" to "fertility regulation" (which involves abortion).

1998 - Pres. Joseph Estrada uses mixed methods of reducing fertility rates. The first reproductive health measure is introduced in Congress, but is stalled on the committee level long before reaching the floor. Similar bills have been introduced almost every year since. Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) is established. (See their Yahoogroup started in 2007.) IPPF presents its Youth Manifesto (Christopher Penales is a participant). Kiko de la Tonga becomes Youth Program Coordinator of Likhaan.

1999 - Felipe Medalla, Secretary of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and chair of the Board of POPCOM, unveils the idea of Philippine contraceptive self-reliance to the world at a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly in July. Melgar is in alliance with Inter-Pares, which “works with social change organizations around the world who share [their] analysis that poverty and injustice are caused by structural inequalities within and between nations, and who are working to promote social and economic justice in their communities.” Prochoice Lesbian and Gay Legislative Advocacy Network Philippines (or LAGABLAB-Pilipinas) is formally launched. The Estrada Administration reformulates the Philippine Population Management Program, with Responsible Parenthood as its lynchpin.

2000 – In board meeting of January 31, POPCOM Board of Directors pass a resolution that launches the Contraceptive Independence Initiative and creates the multisectoral Technical Working Group. The Philippines signs the Millennium Declaration and commits to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015, including promoting gender equality and health. MDG Philippines and MDG Youth Philippines are founded. Women's Legal Education, Advocacy and Defense Foundation, Inc. (WomenLEAD) is founded, with staff and Austria, Lucson, Melgar, and Claudio in the board of trustees.

2001 - Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration focuses on mainstreaming natural family planning, while stating that contraceptives are openly sold in the country. Carolina Ruiz-Austria’s (WomenLEAD) paper, "From Mortal Sin to Human Rights: Redefining the Philippine Policy on Abortion," is published.

2002 - WomenLEAD co-sponsors on December 9 a conference on the Women's Reproductive Rights as Human Rights sponsored by the Institute of Human Rights, University of the Philippines Law Center at Malcolm Hall, UP College of Law. In May, Womenlead Foundation, representing RHAN, files a petition and a position paper to re-open the Department of Health case on Postinor, arguing that women want to use it and women's reproductive health advocates have been denied due process of law in the hearing on the original petition that has led to the ban.

2003 - Clara Rita Padilla founds EngendeRights, which seeks to “raise awareness and access to emergency contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancies, post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent transmission of HIV/AIDS, and safe and legal abortion.” USAID starts to phase out its 33-year-old program by which free contraceptives are given to the country. Aid recipients such as the Philippines face the challenge to fund its own contraception program. On March 24, 2003, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issues Executive Order No. 188 attaching POPCOM to the Department of Health. In her State of the Nation address in July, President Arroyo labels the Reproductive Health Care Act as "the abortion bill" and vows to veto it if it is passed. However, the bill does not even contain a clause to amend the current penal law on abortion; rather, it establishes the integration of post-abortion care into the health services and sets standards for humane treatment in public hospitals of women with complications from unsafe abortions. Elsewhere, Australian philosopher Peter Singer's book Rethinking Life and Death is published. Singer replaces the sanctity-of-life ethic with a quality-of-life ethic that, in his view, has a more solid and realistic foundation.

2004 - The Department of Health introduces the Philippines Contraceptive Self-Reliance Strategy, arranging for the replacement of these donations with domestically provided contraception. The Waray-Waray Youth Advocates (WARAYA)is established as youth arm of Youth Innovation Fund of Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP). Forum for Family Planning and Development Inc (FFPD) starts its operations with the belief that prominent steps need to be taken to raise concerns on family planning and development . The objective of such move is to attract key stakeholders ready to plunge with the operations, after an influential group spearheads the movement. In an international conference conducted by the International Consortium for Medical Abortion (ICMA) titled "Medical Abortion: An International Forum on Policies, Programmes and Services," Dr. Junice Melgar is a participant, particularly on Oct 19 when she co-chairs on Research and Terminology. (2004 Details)

2005 - UNFPA works “to ensure the improvement of reproductive health of the people of Masbate.” The United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) Report is released. UNFPA Mountain Province is established. RHAN YOUTH is established. Lanao del Sur is included in UNFPA’s 6th Country Programme of Assistance in 2005, as it belongs to the 10 poorest provinces in the Philippines. In a Statement of Support, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo joins “the community of nations in expressing support for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).” The statement also reiterates the principles that guide the Philippine government in the implementation of population program. These principles are based on the four (4) pillars of Responsible Parenthood, Respect for Life, Birth Spacing, and Informed Choice. Health services, including Reproductive Health services, are devolved by the Local Government Code to the local government units, which have the responsibility of providing couples and individuals with information and services to enable them to exercise Responsible Parenthood.

2006 – Ifugao becomes the first among the UNFPA provinces to pass a Reproductive Health Ordinance at the provincial level in July 2006. It is followed by the passage of the Gender and Development Code the following year. “Contraceptive use in Sultan Kudarat [is] 48.9% in 2005, almost equal to the 49% national average. This is still a long way to the 60 per cent contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) target by 2012.” On October 10, 2006, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issues guidelines and directive for the DOH, POPCOM, and local government units to take full charge of the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning Program. The Responsible Parenthood and Natural Family Planning Program’s primary policy objective is to promote natural family planning, birth spacing (three years birth spacing), and breastfeeding, which are good for the health of the mother, child, family, and community. While LGUs can promote artificial family planning because of local autonomy, the national government advocates natural family planning.

2007 – Olongapo becomes the first city to pass a Reproductive Health Code, providing a P3 million annual budget to cover procurement of contraceptives, among others. The UNFPA Youth is established. The UN-initiated Youth Association of the Philippines starts its formal operation in October. The International Planned Parenthood Federation’s Comprehensive Sexuality Education Framework is released. Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WNGRR) transfers its Coordinating Office to the Philippines from Amsterdam. Dr. Sylvia “Guy” Claudio Estrada of the Philippines serves as the Board Chair of WNGRR. (2007 Details)

2008 - Contraceptive use goes down mainly due to non-availability of free contraceptives. Sulu becomes the first province in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the entire Mindanao to have its own Provincial Reproductive Health Ordinance. 37 participants from 13 countries meet in Kuala Lumpur in March and form the Asia Safe Abortion Partnership (ASAP), facilitated by the International Consortium for Medical Abortion. “A Study of Knowledge, Attitudes and Understanding of Legal Professionals about Safe Abortion as a Women’s Right” is conducted by ASAP in 2008-2009, with WomenLEAD. Atty. Claire Luczon, Executive Director of WomenLead, is part of the Steering Committee for ASAP on the said meeting. (ARROW and Fr. Bernas are also involved.) In October, a reproductive health bill is introduced by Cong. Edcel C. Lagman and reaches plenary debate on the House floor for the first time. (2008 Details)

2009 - The International Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders (AYNLA) is established, to “advocate for the UN MDGs and nurses' rights that started in the Philippines.” The United Nations Youth Association of the Philippines Cagayan de Oro Chapter is established. A UNFPA video is released. In the 14th Congress, RH bill passes first reading and stalls in second. Caritas in Veritate is published, the Encyclical letter by Pope Benedict XVI which expresses the importance of adopting an authentic human ecology, one that includes a genuine respect for nature while placing humanity at the center of development. He directly states that: “To consider population increase as the primary cause of underdevelopment is mistaken, even from an economic point of view”. Guttmacher Institute publishes a report, "Abortion Worldwide: A Decade of Uneven Progress," with Dr. Junice Melgar as one of the colleagues referred to by the authors who contributed, made suggestions and offered advice. (2009 Details) Former US First Lady Hillary Clinton confirms what pro-lifers have known all along about the pro-choice movement: access to reproductive health means access to abortion.

2010 – Dr. Esperanza Cabral is appointed by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as Secretary of Department of Health. Sen. Benigno Aquino III and Sen. Mar Roxas run in the national elections, with the RH Bill in their platform; Aquino wins as president. Cabral expresses support for the RH Bill. Pres. Aquino replaces Cabral with Sec. Enrique Ona as Department of Health Secretary. Pres. Aquino vows to sign the Bill into law. Reproductive Health Practitioners Network of the Philippines (RHPN) is established, involving nurse Prof. Alvin Cloyd Dakis, founder and national president of the AYNLA and representative of RHAN Youth. IPPF Report calls for youth sex rights and reveals new UN funding. The Intercollegiate Asian Parliamentary Debate Tournament is held, to stir youth action on MDGs. WARAYA receives funding from IPPF (Planned Parenthood). The Summit on the Millennium Development Goals is held. LGBT Philippines is on Facebook. The Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WNGRR) publishes "Recommitting to the Struggle for Safe, Legal Abortion" for its members and partners, which includes Likhaan. (2010 Details) Dr. Elard Koch's studies show that legalizing abortion isn't necessary to reduce maternal and infant deaths.10

2011 - The Young People for the Passage of RH Bill is founded. Other women NGOs are established. In the 15th Congress, five similar bills are introduced to the House and consolidated in January 2011 by the House Committee on Population and Family Relations. The consolidated bill is scheduled for plenary session in mid-February.


12 Adler, Robert E. Medical Firsts: from Hippocrates to the Human Genome. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2004. Print.
13 Sanger, Margaret, Esther Katz, Cathy Moran. Hajo, and Peter Engelman. The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger. Urbana: University of Illinois, 2003. Print.
14 Franks, Angela. Margaret Sanger's Eugenic Legacy: the Control of Female Fertility. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2005. Print.
15 Adler 150.
16 Robinson 278.
17 Sexual & Reproductive Health - Sex Education - Planned Parenthood. Web. 13 May 2011.
18 Connelly 163.
19 Robinson 278.
20 "Birth Control Pills: Contraceptive or Abortifacient?" American Life League: The Nation's Largest Grassroots Catholic Pro-Life Organization . N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2011.
21 Adler 155.
22 Robinson 279.


  1. Great entry. Thanks for this very informative post. Though I would like to express my opinion about RH bill.

    First, I did not know that the RH bill is the platform of Pres. Aquino. He did not answer it during the debate when a scholar asked him about his stand of the Bill. I wonder what the Church now is thinking since most of them campaigned for his candidacy.

    Second, the statement "Dr. Elard Koch's studies show that legalizing abortion isn't necessary to reduce maternal and infant death" is very true.

    Third, I object this RH bill. Why won't the government just focus on terminating corruption in our country.

  2. @cagayan de oro people

    Well said. All this RH Bill brouhaha is but a huge and well-funded campaign by influential lobbyists to institutionalize abortion in our country and promote their selfish agenda and business.

    The RH bill is not the solution to our problems.

  3. nice post... kill RH bill