MANILA, Philippines — The Ateneo de Manila University Press, in partnership with Rappler, the Philippine Center for Population and Development, and the Philippine Legislator’s Committee on Population and Development, will launch The RH Bill Story: Contentions and Compromises by Marilen J. Dañguilan on Friday afternoon, October 19, at the Rappler office in Estancia Mall, Pasig City.
Dañguilan is a medical doctor trained in policymaking, and has worked in UNICEF as senior adviser on maternal health and in the Philippine Senate as head of the technical staff for the committee on health.
She is also the author of Making Choices in Good Faith: A Challenge to the Catholic Church’s Teachings on Sexuality and Contraception, which won the National Book Award in 1993, and Women in Brackets: A Chronicle of Vatican Power and Control, which was shortlisted for the National Book Award in 1997.
In this book, Dañguilan tells the fascinating account of the long and stormy process behind the ultimate enactment of the Reproductive Health law.
“When I talked with Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani about this book, she said, 'Go beyond the RH Bill. Make it a book on how our democracy works,'" said Dañguilan.
Dañguilan traces the RH law’s legislative history, and deftly weaves into her narrative the various factors and groups that framed, informed, and influenced the debates around one of the most divisive laws in recent history.
“This is the first book – a valuable resource – that chronicles the sage of the RPRH Law…Marilen unearths the dynamics between the progressive groups and the conservative sector – with the vigorous backing of the Catholic Church hierarchy – and brings to life the protracted debates in Congress,” said Ernesto M. Pernia, Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority.
Key speakers at the launch aside from Dañguilan are Senator Risa Hontiveros; Rep. Edcel C. Lagman, 1st District of Albay Representative and main author of the Reproductive Health Law; Dr. Esperanza I. Cabral, chair of the National Team for the RH Law and Convenor of the Purple Ribbon for RH; and Dr. Junice L.D. Melgar, Executive Director of the Likhaan Center for Women’s Health.