Delaying RH bill puts women at risk - HRW
MANILA, Philippines - Pushing back the implementation of the Reproductive Health law puts women at risk, Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned on Wednesday, March 20.
"By delaying the implementation of the law for at least 4 months -- a long time for an interim order -- the Supreme Court is putting an untold number of women and girls at unnecessary risk," HRW director for Asia Brad Adams said in a statement.
The RH bill, Adams stressed, "was passed by Congress to address the many grave health risks faced by Filipino women."
"While we respect the judicial process in the Philippines, Filipino women and families have waited and suffered long enough,” he added.
HRW's statement comes a day after the Supreme Court issued a status quo ante order that could delay the implementation of the RH law for up to 4 months.
After more than a decade of opposition by the influential Catholic Church, legislators passed the measure in December 2012.
But various individuals and groups went to the High Court to question its constitutionality.
In response to the petitions, the Court issued a status quo ante order, which would allow the justices more time -- 120 days -- to hear and study arguments related to the issue.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has since called for a "morality vote" in the May mid-term elections against legislators who voted for the passage of the law. - with reports from Carlos Santamaria/Rappler.com