Without RH law, contraceptives will run out in Payatas
MANILA, Philippines – “Pigilan yung pagdami ng anak. Yun ba yun? Baka mali ako.” (Stop the increase of the number of children. Is that it? I may be wrong.)
Marife Zaragoza, 36, only hears about the Reproductive Health (RH) law from television. She doesn’t know it’s a law that took almost 14 years to pass. Nor does she know it’s a law that has been stalled in the Supreme Court since a year ago.
After this writer explained it to her briefly, she smiled and agreed with health advocates the RH law is needed. She’s tired of giving birth, she said, even if one more baby – her 5th child – is still on the way.
Her disposition on child birth today is a far cry from when she was 19. She was then living with her boyfriend, and very happy about being pregnant – so happy that even if she lost her first, unplanned baby to a miscarriage, it took only a month before she was pregnant again.
When they met, her boyfriend was a security guard. Today, 17 years after, he is still a security guard, only now he’s providing not only for Marife, but also for 3 daughters, a son, and the baby in her womb.
“Aminin ko hindi lahat maibigay [ko] sa kanila. Kaya nagdesisyon ako ngayon, nitong panghuli, gusto kong ma-ligate na,” Marife said. (I will admit I can’t give my children everything. That’s why I decided that after this last child, I want to be ligated already.)
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