Bishop Gabriel Reyes of Antipolo in the Philippines warned of a "Pandora's box of social and spiritual disasters" stemming from the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Law in the Philippines. Oral arguments on the disputed law are set to begin today in the Supreme Court of the country.
The RH Law allows for universal access to contraceptives, birth control and intrauterine devices (IUD) and enforces "sexual education" on children starting at the 5th grade level.
Health care services that provide reproductive health, along with health care administrators could face fines or imprisonment if they refuse to provide services such as tubal ligation and vasectomies. Employers could face the same penalties if they refuse to provide free services to their employees.
Bishop Reyes stated during a homily at the Archdiocesan Shrine of Nuestra Se�ora de Guia, the approval of the law paves the way for euthanasia, not only for the elderly but even children. The Filipino bishop cited how the country of Belgium is now considering a law that would allow minors, who don't have the right to drink, vote or marry, to decide to end their lives.
"Aren't we like animals this way? When a leg gets broken, we just end its life. But we are not animals, we are human beings," Bishop Reyes said. In explaining the link between the RH Law and euthanasia, Reyes said, a distaste for life in utero, as exemplified by the law, can only open the doors for other anti-life and anti-family laws.
Reyes, who also heads the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, explained how tenuous the definition of 'deciding to die' would be in the case of euthanasia for minors and how the decision to end their lives would probably be made by other older individuals for them.
"It's unimaginable...Where will it end?" he asked, noting how the trend of anti-life legislations is quickly advancing to conquer Philippine society and policy-making, beginning with the passage of the RH Law.
Reyes was clearly troubled by the state of some Western countries without mentioning that since 2005, Netherlands has been euthanizing newborns with birth defects like spina bifida, which causes a deformity in the spine, but which, most often, does not affect intelligence or cognitive skills.
Concluding his homily, Bishop Reyes told faithful that the only answer to such inhuman practices is to go back to the social teachings of the Catholic Church, which include the protection of all human life and the promotion of human dignity.
"Ultimately, we have to act according to our conscience. We believe that a correct conscience is one that is in accordance with the moral teachings of the Catholic Church,"