Thursday, January 3, 2013

Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012

By Lilybeth G. Ison

Malacanang welcomed the filing of petition before the Supreme Court to stop the implementation of Republic Act No. 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.

"Well, maganda po 'yung ginawa nila at least umakyat na sila sa Supreme Court. Alam naman natin na that was expected from our friends who were opposing the RH Law," said Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda during a press briefing on Thursday.

Lacierda said the government, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), is prepared to defend the new law.

"Now that it is before the Supreme Court, the government through the OSG will be prepared to defend the RH Law," he said.

A Catholic couple has asked the High Tribunal to stop the RH Law.

The petition was filed Wednesday before the Supreme Court by lawyer James Imbong and his wife, who claim the law signed by President Benigno Aquino III last month was unconstitutional.

The couple also urged the SC to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or writ of preliminary injunction to prevent respondents Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, Education Secretary Armin Luistro, and Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas II from implementing the RH Law.

Lacierda said the arguments raised by the petitioner are "not something new" and have already been brought up during the congressional debates.

"The contention that was raised by Mr. James Imbong is not something new. It has already been raised during the debates," he said.

On the other hand, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman insists that RA 10354 is constitutional and will pass any test on this score.

"The Imbong petition before the Supreme Court is premature because it seeks to prevent the implementation of a law which is not yet effective," said Lagman in a statement.

Lagman, one of the proponents of the controversial measure at the House of Representatives, said the law does not run counter to the constitutional principles proscribing abortion and protecting the unborn, religious freedom, family life, marriage and responsible parenthood.

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