Bernardo M. Villegas
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Protecting the Unborn

           The most defenseless human being on this planet is the unborn.  That is why the law should give the unborn the highest protection.  Thanks to a bill being introduced by Congressman Roilo Golez in the Fifteenth Congress, there is hope that finally Philippine society will give the fullest protection to the human being in the womb of his or her mother. 

          House Bill No. 13 is an act providing for the safety and protection of the unborn child. It is a concrete way of enacting into law the constitutional provision that the State shall equally protect the life of  the mother and the life of the unborn child from conception.  In the Declaration of Policy contained in this House Bill, it is also stated that the State recognizes the right to life as the most fundamental right of all, without which all other rights become meaningless.  The Constitutional and natural right to life and protection of the unborn child is an absolute value and norm that cannot be repealed by ordinary legislation, now or in the future.  The humanity of the unborn child is not just a legal principle or philosophical, moral or ethical belief.  It is an established biological fact as recognized by the Constitution and empirically supported by the vast amount of knowledge acquired in the fields of genetics, embryology and fetal development.

        The following are the objectives of the House Bill No. 13:

        -The act aims to promote the safety, protection and welfare of the unborn child from the moment of conception and during all stages of development while inside the mother's womb;   -It acknowledges the unborn child as a human being with human personality and extends the mantle of legal protection to the child from the moment of conception;

        -It ensures that the delivery of health services to the mother during pregnancy shall be done without prejudice to the unborn child;     -It promotes and advances the maturity of the unborn child as a welcome addition and asset of the family;

        -It aims to enhance the health of the mother by avoiding means that may adversely affect the viability of the unborn child in all stages of its maturity.

        The most important provision is contained in Section 6 of the Act which states:  "The unborn child shall be protected from abortive acts including the use, administration, dispensing, injection or delivery by whatever means of substances, medicines in any form, or practices such as massages, which are hereby declared as abortifacients which cause or may recklessly endanger or expose the unborn child to damage, injury or death, whether committed by the mother, a physician or other person, intentionally or not, with or without consent of the mother, or committed with or without violence.

        Under the Act, the unborn child shall be protected from the moment of conception from all outside intervention,  including, but not limited to, intentional intervention that could be medically considered as abortive whether through chemicals, surgical or abdominal massage, during the natural process of growth of the fertilized ovum.

        I enjoin all members of the Fifteenth Congress to support the passage of this Bill.  It will demonstrate to the whole world that the Philippines has one of the most comprehensive legal framework

for the protection of human  rights.  It cannot be repeated too often that all human rights become meaningless if the right to life is not respected from conception to natural death.  We should resist all the anti-life lobby from all over the world that I am sure will be mobilized to oppose the passage of this Bill.  This is our chance to prevent once and for all the insidious entry of the culture of death into our society. For comments, my email address is