Iglesia Ni Cristo supports artificial family planning methods
By Maila Ager
First Posted 12:25:00 04/25/2011
Filed Under: Population, Family planning, Conflicts (general), Legislation, Religion & Belief
MANILA, Philippines -- The influential Iglesia Ni Cristo has thrown its support behind the use of artificial methods but not on the natural family planning method, calling it "immoral."
"Since modern methods of contraception, by preventing married couples from having any unplanned pregnancies, assist in supporting this Christian principle, we support their use as long as these methods are empirically not abortifacient," it said in a letter to the House committee on population and family relations.
The letter dated October 12, 2010 was signed by INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo.
"Abortion and the use of abortifacients involve the taking of life, which God explicitly forbids," the letter said.
But while it supports the use of artificial methods, the INC categorically declared its position against the natural family planning method "and all its variants."
" These so- called birth control methods depend upon abstinence on the part of the married couple when the woman is fertile but allows marital relations only when she is not," it said.
"These methods are not only unnatural and ineffective but they also are immoral since they contradict the commandment that God has given to married couples," it pointed out.
The Bible, the INC said, instructs married couples not to deprive one another intimate marital relations "for long, extended periods of time."
"Further, any abstinence at all for a married couple is supposed to be with the mutual consent of husband and wife and not for the purpose of preventing pregnancy," it added.
But in supporting the RH bill, the INC said parents have a moral obligation to plan and control the number of their children.
"The Bible states that a parent who does not provide for the needs of his own household is worse than an unbeliever," it added.
RH BILL AWARENESS: Contrary to the misinformation campaign being spread by some, the Reproductive Health (RH) - Responsible Parenthood (R) Bill does not allow abortion and will not force any contraceptive methods on anyone.
It will not dictate the number of children a family can have.
The Bill will respect the moral convictions and religious beliefs of all, but at the same time, protect the unborn child by providing health services for the pregnant mother and likewise save the lives of mother from dying at childbirth.
RH-RP Bill will protect, provide and access a full range of safe and effective family planning methods (both natural and artificial) to Filipinos regardless of their belief and non-belief.
The Bill is pro-quality life for the whole family. It ensures that more children will grow up secure in the knowledge that they were wanted because their births were planned.
It is not against the birth of children and does not advocate that couples stop having children. Rather, it only claims to help them achieve their fertility goals - to have the number and proper spacing of children that they desire.
Under the Philippine Law, abortion is illegal. The RH-RP Bill does not, in any way, legalize abortion.
In fact, this Bill will help reduce the instances of illegal abortions.
Currently 11 mothers unnecessarily die from giving birth daily as per latest estimates of the United Nations.
This Bill is committed to protect the health and lives of mothers.
It is committed to reduce maternal deaths and infant mortality.
It is committed to save babies.