AN appeal based on liberation theology is among the least likely to convince the mostly conservative bishops of the Catholic Church to end their campaign against the Reproductive Health bills now pending in Congress. (The Senate version is SB 2865, “An act providing for a national policy on reproductive health and population and development.” Currently being debated is the House of Representatives version, HB 4244.)

In Part 1 (is there a Part 2?) of her sponsorship speech for SB 2865, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago initially described reproductive health as “a non-issue” in the context of the more urgent problems the Philippines has. But she later argued that a reproductive health law is needed to liberate the poor from social injustice. In her effort to convince the bishops that rather than opposing the RH bills they should instead support it, Santiago described the passage of SB 2865 as in conformity with liberation theology. “The RH bill,” said Santiago, “is an enterprise in social justice and in love for the poor.”

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