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MANILA, Philippines - Risa Hontiveros joined and left the House of Representatives (2004-2010) pushing for a reproductive health bill. Shortly after she filed her candidacy for senator last year, the measure that she had co-authored in the past Congress was finally enacted.
It wasn't bound to be an instant boost to her senatorial bid under Team PNoy. The Catholic Church, which fiercely fought the now reproductive health law, has included her name on the Team Patay (anti-life) list that it is campaigning against. The Supreme Court, meanwhile, has stopped the implementation of the law.
Meanwhile, cases of teenage -- and therefore, high-risk -- pregnancies are rising in the country, Hontiveros said during the Rappler senatorial debates on Saturday, April 13.
She discussed the RH issue in response to a question sourced from social media: What is the best way to deal with religious groups that meddle in state affairs?
"That's why we are preparing for the oral arguments on the constitutionality of the law before the Supreme Court [to let them know] that the implementation of the reproductive health law will be for the good of all," she said in a mix of English and Filipino during the Rappler Senatorial Debate Saturday, April 13.
"One of the aspects of the RH law is age-appropriate sexual education," she said.
Hontiveros called on the electorate to continue the fight for the highly-divisive law, which took more than a decade to be passed in Congress.
"Hopefully, this would be the last fight before it gets implemented," she said.
She has cried foul over the Catholic Church's "Team Patay" campaign, which urges Filipinos not to vote for senatorial candidates who support the RH law. - Rappler.com
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