Manila (AsiaNews) Contraceptives are a "first step" towards "killing the unborn" and are "instruments that favour abortion", this according to Mgr Oscar Cruz, Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan.
The Archbishop's intervention comes in the midst of a national debate over a birth control bill. Supporters of family planning consider contraceptives a means for population control. Archbishop Cruz argues instead that "the more contraceptives are used, the more abortions are done." This, he maintains, has been demonstrated in countries where population control has been 'successful'. "To abhor the birth of children, to use contraceptives to avoid having children or unwanted pregnancies, this is the tripod of abortion," Archbishop Cruz said. "This is the launching pad for murdering the unborn."
Family planning supporters argue that contraceptives can prevent unwanted pregnancies and possibly abortion For Archbishop Cruz, "the opposite is however true. Contraceptives are the instruments of abortion". By way of proof, the prelate cites "the National Security Memorandum No. 200 of the U.S. government [which] is candid enough to mention contraceptives and abortion in one breath," he said. The reason is self-evident, namely the two options form but one composite whole. "Those who conceived and wrote the memorandum," Archbishop Cruz pointed out, "were wise enough to know that one usually leads to the other: when contraceptives fail, abortion is the recourse."
In the last few months, the issue of population increase has generated much debate in the Philippines. Congressman Edcel Lagman has introduced a bill in Congress the Reproductive Health Actalso known as the 'two-child policy'. If adopted, the law would promote population control by encouraging couples to have no more than two children. It would also provide tax incentives to companies manufacturing contraceptive devices and to families that would adhere to it.
The Philippines' Catholic Church has come out against the two-child law arguing that it is a "veiled attempt at coercion" against families' freedom of conscience. Archbishop Cruz and the entire Filipino Church maintain that the country's poverty does not lie in the increase of its population as the two-child policy implies; poverty is the result of mismanagement of the national economy.
Proponents of the two-child policy also believe that population increase contributes to the rising crime rate and environmental degradation. However, rising crime is more likely the result of inadequate law enforcement whilst environmental problems stem from insufficient commitment to environmental protection.
"Population control advocates may have good intentions. Those proposing the ready and easy access to contraceptives could have honest motives," Archbishop Cruz said. But, "intentions and motives cannot overturn the truth and argue against facts." (SE)
A Catholic MP told AsiaNews about the limitations, contradictions and risks inherent in laws controlling family planning: "Look at the West or Japan. They are rich nations but without youth.