The Reproductive Health Bill is a measure that is urgent and long overdue. It is both timely and meaningful that the House of Representatives take up this very important piece of legislation today, March 8, International Women’s Day. We hope that our colleagues in Congress as well as President Aquino in Malacanang sees this as an opportunity to uplift the situation of poor Filipino women by ensuring women’s full access to reproductive healthcare services, Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan said.
Ilagan pushed for women’s rights, access to healthcare and government responsibility in calling for the approval of the Reproductive Health Bill.
In her sponsorship speech, Ilagan stressed the urgency of the bill.
It is a measure whose urgency we cannot emphasize enough as statistics show that 11 women die everyday due to easily preventable childbirth complications. Maternal, neonatal and child deaths are highest among 20% of the poorest Filipinos. It is lowest among 20% of the richest Filipinos. Out of 19.4 million Filipino women of child ebaring age, an estimated 1.73 million (8.9%) do not have access to prenatal care from skilled birth attendants.”
Ilagan explained, the government should see how important it is for poor families to have access to healthcare service. Poor women are less likely to spend on healthcare as their family budget diminishes.
A woman waits nine months before her child is born. Nine months since President Aquino took the helm we have yet to see his administration give birth to a policy that will give poor women much needed respite from high prices and poverty. We have yet to see how his government intends to uphold women’s basic right to social services and prioritize the delivery of healthcare to poor women, Ilagan ended.