RA 10354, also known as “The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012”, has been signed into a law and took effect last January 17, amidst continued opposition and doubt by certain sectors of the society.
Many have expressed their opinions of the Act, while a bigger segment of the population remains in the dark on what it truly decrees. If you belong to the majority of Filipinos who are unfamiliar with the Reproductive Health Law, this article aims to enlighten you on its basic premise and the issues surrounding it from a legal standpoint.
As with most laws, RA 10354 begins with a declaration of the State’s policies, which acts as the basis for the law and its provisions. In particular, RA 10354 recognizes and promotes human rights, such as:
1. Their right to equality, and nondiscrimination of these rights
2. The right to sustainable human development
3. The right to health, which includes reproductive health
4. The right to education and information, and
5. The right to choose and make decisions for themselves in accordance with their religious convictions, ethics, cultural beliefs, and the demands of responsible parenthood.
6. The right to health of women, especially mothers in particular, and of the people in general, and instill health consciousness among them.
7. The right of families in particular and the people in general to a balanced and healthful environment in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
8. The welfare and rights of children, the youth, and the unborn.
9. Gender equality, gender equity, women empowerment and dignity as a health and human rights concern and as a social responsibility.
10. The right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood.
11. The right of children to assistance, including proper care and nutrition, and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their development.
12. The right of the family to a family living wage and income; and
13. The right of families or family associations to participate in the planning and implementation of policies and programs