The first popcorn

29 Jul

A blogger tries to reason with her readers why her stand on Reproductive Health is right. She figures that by writing about the great emotional and physical agony a woman must undergo under the hand of an abusive husband and her 8th pregnancy, people will see how these things are really meant to help women — how fewer mouths mean better lives for her, her husband, and her children.

She is pleased with her writing. She holds no grudge against the Church as an institution. She loves Pope Francis and his ideas about social justice, the Church being a Church of the poor. Though she had thoughts of reading the Catechism, she stows it away together with the pile of books she’s been reading (or hopes to read). “Hey, I know more about being a true Catholic than our parish priest! I help better the lives of the poor by joining Gawad Kalinga projects! I actually do something about the poor and not just say some words, lifting up a piece of bread and that gold cup inside a huge cathedral.”

She calls her boyfriend on her brand-new HTC One “Red” (just because everyone, even rank-and-file employees, now own iPhones. But she still feels the satisfaction of having to say in her head, “yuck, prepaid!”) You can’t buy that in the Philippines. You have to go through ‘other channels’ to get that — go to Europe or order online. She wants to hang out with him at the Starbucks in that green and uncrowded part of the metropolis at the corner of 32nd Street and 7th Avenue. Away from the suffocating traffic and pollution of Pasig City.

On the way to Bonifacio Global City, a young woman, almost just her age, wearing a sling with what appears to be a months-old baby approaches her compact car and raps on the windows. She is heart-broken seeing the pretty face behind the grime in her hair and dirt on her face and how fortunate she is to not have to go through her poverty. She checks her bag to get her sandwich she was supposed to have for breakfast to give to the lady knocking at her car window. She put her hand in her bag and pulls out a condom — the one she keeps in her bag at all times for those ’emergencies’ she has with her boyfriend.

She rolls down her window ever so slightly, lest the smoke of the jeepney in front  of her get into her car, and hands the woman the condom. She is proud of her decision.

That will keep her from dying. That will keep her from going hungry. That will keep her from being just another statistic.

=====

Yes, I may not be a good writer, even less so as a debater, but Patricia Evangelista’s latest article on Rappler has some truth in it regarding Atty. Liban — he doesn’t choose his words well enough. I listened to the oral arguments and I will say I was disappointed with Atty. Liban’s representation that would come across as him telling a woman dying of maternal complications, “you are just a statistic.” On this matter, I will defer to Miss. Evangelista’s side. But she must not simply dwell on this matter as a topic for her article. From reading it, I quickly understand how she must have no knowledge of the Doctrines of the Catholic Church.

She seems to distance Church Doctrine from what Atty. Liban says — always saying “By Liban’s defniition,” “In the Church of Liban,” (vague) — instead of ascertaining what the Church really says. She has no problem identifying the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics but fails to quote official Church teaching. Why? Is it because she thinks the Catechism actually makes sense? Is it because she doesn’t want to go against the Church? Is it because she likes some part of the Church and not just all of it? Is it because she is against Atty. Liban and not what he quotes from the Catechism? I don’t know.

“The men and women who are true Catholics believe that there is no price too high for their virtue.” she says and this is true. This is one way how one  becomes sanctified. However, her next statement is puzzling and actually disturbing: “They will protect the imaginary unborn, but they will wash their hands when it comes to living women. Perhaps the choice to ignore the suffering is justified by the weight of the women’s sins.”

This presumes that the Church or rather the likes of Atty. Liban wishes harm on women: that by protecting the unborn, women are immediately in danger — treating pregnancy as if it were a disease! Let us be clear: Magna Carta for Women takes care of this — it is the implementation, like so many laws, that’s necessary.

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