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Politicians back church on health bill

Cebu governor says government officials are united in opposition

Protesters in Cebu march in opposition to proposed reproductive health legislation. (Photo courtesy of Don Bosco-Pasil) Protesters in Cebu march in opposition to proposed reproductive health legislation. (Photo courtesy of Don Bosco-Pasil)
  • Betty Perdon, Cebu City
  • Philippines
  • June 20, 2011
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Politicians here have vowed to support the Catholic Church in its campaign to prevent passage of controversial reproductive health legislation now pending in Congress.
Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said government officials were united in opposition to the reproductive health (RH) bill.
“What is right is to be pro-life and to stand up firmly and steadfastly against the RH bill,” she said during a meeting with Church leaders on Friday, which included Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu.
“On behalf of all [local government units] of the province of Cebu, all of our seven cities and 44 municipalities, may I express, your excellency, our firm stand against the RH bill.”
Congressman Pablo Garcia, the governor’s brother, said passage of the bill was unlikely, as “anti-RH bill legislators” have the numbers to block passage.
“There is a change in Congress because of the non-compromising stand of the bishops,” the legislator said, adding that the bill was “against God, against the family, against religion, particularly the Catholic Church.
Archbishop Palma expressed his gratitude at Friday’s meeting for support from political leaders.
“It is mostly assuring and inspiring that our politicians are truly reflecting the sentiments and the spirituality of the Cebuano people, who are very religious and strong in their conviction.”
He added that he would pray for the enlightenment of other legislators who have not yet decided on their stand on the issue.
“Many have not seen the many dimensions of the bill, which in the final analysis are dimensions against development and morality, and will not be for the good of the people,” he said.
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