Wexistence

Wexistential Crises, Wayward Thoughts, Welcome Distractions and Willful Pursuits

The cost of NOT having an RH law

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So this poster is making its rounds of the social networks and it’s starting to get on my nerves, especially because the lack of funding for education is a problem that I’m much more invested in than the average Facebook pundit.

First of all, the RH bill is about so much more than condoms. It encompasses a whole range of reproductive health services.

Second, as someone who works in the public education sector, I would like to argue that kulang na nga ang pondo sa edukasyon, and bilis pang dumami ng mga mahihirap na mag-aaral na kailangan suportahan ng pampublikong edukasyon.

Third, You’re worried about the budget? You should also be worried about the rapidly growing number of people who rely heavily on public funds for their basic needs such as education and health. Poor families who have more children than they can properly care for need more publicly provided goods and services (which, by the way, means more taxes for the rest of us). In contrast, parents who have only their desired number of children and are able to practice birth spacing are more likely to bear the cost of raising and educating their kids.

You’re concerned about what an RH law will cost us? Consider the costs of NOT having an RH law: the increased risk of illness and premature deaths for both mothers and children that results from having too many babies and births that are too closely-spaced (162 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births which translates to 15 women dying due to birth complications everyday1 and 23 infant deaths per 1,000 live births2), unwanted pregnancies that result in 560,000 risky illegal abortions a year 3(54 percent of all pregnancies are unintended4 but poor women have more unwanted pregnancies than rich women, on average the poorest women have 2 more children than they actually want while rich women only have 0.4 5), 54 teenage pregnancies per 1,000 girls6 (teen mothers are more likely to drop out of school, less able to provide for their children, and more likely to pass the burden onto the government), plus a whole slew of unintended social costs.

____________________

1 Family Health Survey 2011
2 UNICEF, WHO, World Bank, UN DESA, UNPD, Level & Trends in Child Mortality Report 2011
3 Guttmacher Institute and UP Population Institute, “Meeting Women’s Contraceptive Needs in the Philippines,” 2009
4 Ibid.
5 Family Planning Survey 2006
6 Family Health Survey 2011

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