In an unprecedented move to influence Philippine laws on human life, the family and marriage, the British government, together with the United Nations Fund for Population Activities and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, hosted a “family planning summit” in Manila on November 15. The summit, held at the Philippine International Conference Center, tried to mobilize public support for the Reproductive Health Bill, which is facing possible sudden death in Congress as its members, especially those in the House of Representatives, prepare for the May 2013 elections.

Led by Philippine-based foreign pharmaceutical firms engaged in the manufacture and sale of contraceptives, and responding to the foreign group’s initiative, the country’s biggest business groups were reported to have signed a “Manifesto of Support” for family planning. Undaunted by the odious implications of foreign intervention and support for such intervention in the internal affairs of the country, but appearing to be rather emboldened by it, the business groups called on the Senate and the House to pass the highly toxic and divisive RH bill without further delay.

These included the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, Financial Executives of the Philippines, and Philippine Business for Social Progress. There was no effort on their part to refute the constitutional, moral and scientific objections mounted by a large and growing portion of the population against the bill. They simply called for the bill’s passage on the basis of their presumed strength as “leaders” of big business.

It remains to be seen how Congress and the rest of the nation will ultimately respond. But far from ensuring the bill’s passage, the summit could achieve the exact opposite – exposing the bill’s real foreign authorship. Opponents of the bill have consistently denounced it as an imposition of the global population controllers, but this had been disowned with equal consistency by its local sponsors and primary supporters.

Imperialists’ puppets?

“The cat is now out of the bag,” a statement from a big Human Life International meeting in Cebu pointed out last Friday. “Everything we have been saying about the alien origin and design of the RH bill—which many may have found too outlandish to believe before—has now been confirmed. The truth can no longer be denied. The summit unmasked the Filipino authors, sponsors and primary supporters of the bill, who had been posturing as nationalists and progressives, champions of poverty eradication, women’s rights and maternal health as puppets and petty agents of a foreign consortium on population control.”

After this open show of foreign intervention, not even President Benigno S. Aquino III, who had earlier announced his support for the bill after receiving from U.S. President Obama a grant of $454 million, might risk being officially tagged as an “imperialists’ puppet.”

Neither would Speaker Feliciano Belmonte want to be so identified, despite his being a rabid advocate of population control through reproductive health. As mayor of Quezon City before his present term in Congress, Belmonte had allowed foreign governments to run their own population control program in the city, even without a national law authorizing it. But he may not want to wage his re-election campaign a as one who tried to push the enactment of the RH bill on the say-so of foreign “interlopers”.

The foreign lobby is usually blamed by its critics for the highly controversial US National Security Study Memorandum 200 of 1974, also known as the Kissinger Report, which looks at continued population growth in developing countries as a threat to the US security and economic interests overseas.

The document is popularly described in pro-life circles as the one that provided the template for the U.S. global population policy of reducing the size of the family to two children per, by the year 2000. It set in motion the drive for universal contraception and sterilization, and the US move to promote abortion all over the world. To avoid any possible backlash against the imperial powers, NSSM 200 requires that foreign government leaders be encouraged to claim authorship of the population control programs that are to be imposed on their own peoples.

The British-UNFPA-Gates initiative openly violates that original prescription of the Kissinger document. That makes it impossible for those trying to push the RH bill against the constitutional, moral and scientific objections of its opponents to insist that the RH bill is truly their own, free from any foreign dictate or influence.

Hundreds of foreign-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are actively campaigning for the RH bill, without making a full disclosure of their real interests, as required by law. Some of these NGO workers have succeeded in infiltrating the polling agencies and the media. They have been largely responsible for claiming, without any verifiable basis, large public support for the RH bill even among practicing Catholics, despite the firm and unequivocal opposition of the Catholic Church, which condemns contraception and sterilization as “intrinsically evil”.

In the House of Representatives, many congressmen who were initially reported to be in support of the RH bill are seen to have distanced themselves from the bill as they prepare to campaign for votes in the next election. “We are not going to die for the RH bill,” said one such congressman. In an effort to salvage the bill, Belmonte has tried to propose certain “amendments” that would result in a “watered-down version” of the original. The proposed amendments, however, have failed to remove the original objectionable provisions of the bill.

Bill raises fundamental constitutional and moral issues

The objections involve many issues, but ultimately have to do with fundamental constitutional and moral issues, namely:

* Does the State have the right or the duty to prescribe birth control for all, in the face of the Constitutional provision which proclaims the sanctity of family life, the inviolability of marriage as an autonomous social institution, and the duty of the State to equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception? Can the State remain the constitutional protector of the unborn while simultaneously providing universal contraception, whose purpose is to eliminate the prospect of conception?

* Does the State have the right or the duty to mandate a compulsory sex education for all schoolchildren from Grade V up to Fourth Year High School, without parental consent, in the face of the constitutional provision which recognizes parents, not the State, as the primary educators of their children?

* Does the State have the right or the duty to pass judgement upon the validity or propriety of any set of religious or moral beliefs of any religious community and to impose its own set of beliefs in place of the religious or moral beliefs of that community? In the case of Catholics, who constitute the overwhelming majority of the population, does the State have the right to tell them not to follow what their Church is teaching them about contraception and sterilization, but to follow instead what the US and British governments, the UNFPA, the Gates Foundation and their local hirelings are telling them?

Although members of the Church hierarchy and numerous Catholic laymen have tried to explain to the RH proponents the reasons why contraception and sterilization are intrinsically evil, under the principle of separation of Church and State and the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion, they have no duty, strictly speaking, to explain to any politician why they believe what they believe. Sufficient for them to state what they believe as a matter of moral conviction or religious belief, and to demand that the State respect and protect their belief.

In like manner, Muslims may not be required to explain to the government why they abstain from eating pork. Congress cannot require them to eat pork to meet any perceived or actual shortage of protein in the Muslim areas, without violating their religious belief.

Contraceptives are already legal; the bill is about population control

Despite the Catholic opposition to the RH bill on religious grounds, there is no law that prohibits contraception or sterilization. Everyone who believes contraception and sterilization is good for the human being is free to practice contraception and sterilization, as more than 50 percent of Filipino women have been doing for years, with the help of the Department of Health and the Population Commission.

In fact, the existence of the program under DOH and Popcom is proof that the RH bill is completely unnecessary if its sole purpose is to allow women and men to practice contraception and sterilization. But its real purpose is obviously state-run population control.

The present “family planning summit” series began on July 11 when Melinda Gates flew to London to raise $4.6 billion to fund reproductive health programs for over 200 million women in at least six developing countries. It followed the second Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro the month before, when that conference, known as Rio + 20, which came 20 years after the first Rio conference on sustainable development, deleted “reproductive rights” from the outcome document.

Instead of submitting to the established consensus in that biggest of all international conferences ever held, the population controllers decided to wage its present battle. Since then similar “summits” have been held in other parts of the world, including Indonesia and Africa. In Africa, some African women groups said the African poor needed food, clean water, education, shelter and real health protection against certain dreaded diseases, but not condoms and contraceptives.

All over the world today, the wisest statesmen have expressed high hopes and faith in the future of the Philippines because of its robust and dynamic young population. From Singapore to Japan to Korea to Belgium to Italy to Russia to Israel, this is the common theme about the Philippines.

In a recent meeting in Brussels, six presidents of African nations tried to echo the same point with respect to the African continent. By the year 2050, one of them said, most of the world’s population will be 65 years old and above. The future will then belong to Africa because it will have the biggest number of young people in the world.

But based on what is being heard from the remaining supporters of the RH bill, including the six big business groups that have been trotted out to support it at the PICC summit, this priceless population resource is precisely what they are trying very hard to extinguish.

This is not because of faulty science or bad economics. It is simply the result of antiquated politics. Racial imperialism is still very much around, and it has not run out of recruits. And because the “superior races” are dying out, they believe that what the eugenicists have called the “socially unfit” should not be allowed to reproduce and inherit the earth.

Francisco S. Tatad is a former Senate majority leader in the Philippines Legislature and, recently, a signatory to the San Jose Articles. He sits on the board of the International Right to Life Federation. A journalist by profession, he writes a column three times a week for the Manila Standard, and a weekly cable-TV program on Global News Network (GNN). He has authored several books.

Francisco S. Tatad is a former Philippines senator. He served in the Cabinet for ten years and in the Legislature for 15 years, mostly as Senate Majority Leader. He has authored a number...