SORSOGON CITY, 28May2013 – Several months after the passage of the controversial Reproductive Health Law, the women’s group GABRIELA reminded the Aquino government that responding to women’s health means more than just teaching family planning and distributing contraceptives. Joms Salvador, Secretary General of GABRIELA said that women’s health care, while requiring particular attention concerning their reproductive health needs, must also be viewed as part of any health care program for the whole populace.
“Poor women’s health stems mainly from the abandonment of government responsibility in people’s health through privatization of public health care services, budget cuts in health and general lack of access to universal health care,” said Salvador. “Worse, the reproductive health law passed by the Aquino government is essentially merely a contraceptive and family planning law that further leaves women’s health to the mercy of foreign pharmaceuticals and health care businesses.”
The statement was made in line with the commemoration of the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, in which other women’s organizations focus on the theme: “Access to Contraceptive is a Human Right”.
Salvador said that problems such as lack of maternal and child health facilities and services, the dearth in health workers and professionals at the community level coupled with the “no home birthing” policy that punishes local “hilots” who assist home births, and the compulsory Philhealth payment policy, will not be resolved by the Reproductive Health Law. “The RH Law is not the end all and be all of women’s health. In fact the RH Law was propelled not a genuine concern for women’s health but by the interest and push of pharmaceuticals and businesses and by the Aquino government’s narrow objective of achieving the millennium development goals.”
“GABRIELA will continue to advocate, inside and outside Congress, for the interest of women’s health, and expose the continuing abandonment of public health care by the Aquino government through its neo-liberal policies of privatization and denationalization,” ended Salvador.