MANILA, Philippines – Family planning equals the holocaust?
This is the intent of the reproductive health (RH) law, as interpreted by anti-RH Supreme Court Associate Justice Roberto Abad during the third round of oral arguments on the law Tuesday, August 6.
In a heated interpellation, Abad said pro-RH petitioners who want to bring reproductive health services to the poor could be likened to German dictator Adolf Hitler hating the Jews – the intent, he said, is annihilation.
“Your target is the poor so that they will not produce,” Abad said during his interpellation of Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, who was defending the RH law. “You know, in the time of Hitler, the target [were] the Jews so there [would] be less production of Jews.”
Abad added: “[You are saying] ‘the poor is an inconvenience to us. We want to eliminate their size.'”
Jardeleza countered: “This Congress is pro-poor. We are not pro-Hitler.”
Abad uttered the words in the last few minutes of the 5-hour session, which saw pro-RH petitioners take the podium for the first time.
In an ambush interview after the session, Jardeleza said it was not fair to the government, Congress, and the President to be compared to Hitler.
“Congress is doing its best,” Jardeleza said. “We can disagree, everyone has a right to disagree. But to compare to Hitler, with all due respect, that’s not right.”
The justice grilled Jardeleza on the side effects of the contraceptives, and questioned the credibility of claims made by the World Health Organization and a group of 24 Filipino medical experts stating that contraceptives are not abortifacients.
Over the course of the session, Jardeleza harped on what he said are the lawmakers’ intent on the law – to make contraceptives that had long been available in the market accessible to poorer citizens.
“For the past 50 years contraceptives have been available to the market for the wealthy,” Jardeleza said. “The only thing that changed is the government wants to subsidize access to the same contraceptives for the poor.”
The next round of oral arguments will be heard on Tuesday, August 13. – Rappler.com