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Category Archives: Sex Education

Foul: SC SQAOs RH LAW

(photo courtesy of www.pogsinc.org)

(photo courtesy of http://www.pogsinc.org)

UN resident representative described the Philippines as the “worst performer” in Asia as far as achievement of Millenium Development Goals (MDG) are concerned. This, as far as lowering of child mortality, decreasing maternal morbidity and mortality as well as HIV prevention are concerned.

These three are included in the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Law that was already signed, implementing rules and regulations signed as well, but put on hold by the “status quo ante order” issued by the Supreme Court on March 19, 2013.

This law went through hurdles for about 16 years before being finally passed by the 15th Congress. It aims to empower people by making them a responsible parent. By this, it will allow parents to determine the number of their offspring they can responsibly have – those that they can feed, vaccinate, send to school and be a responsible citizens of the country. This can be achieved through sexuality education, which will be taught while the children are young, and employment of safe and acceptable contraceptive methods, depending on the couple’s choice, heightened HIV education and awareness especially to population at risk.

Recently, there was a scandal about an adolescent college student who claimed her life after, bottom line, cannot afford to pay her tuition. They are 4 siblings and yet the father cannot afford her tuition fee. And how does this relate to the RH Law? I am not saying the father is irresponsible. BUT, had he considered that he could only afford to rear one or two children, providing all their needs, then his daughter wouldn’t have suffered this problem at such a young and tender age. He could still have his brilliant daughter this very minute with him.

I am the eldest of 4 children. My parents used pills and condoms. We don’t own a house and we had been renting up to this date. When I was about to enter the school of medicine, the 4 of us were already simultaneously going to college. With my father’s income, he couldn’t afford to send us altogether. He talked to me that he cannot afford my tuition. If he would, my other siblings wont be able to enrol. I on the other hand has graduated from college already, so perhaps I could already work and save up for my tuition. I was heartbroken as my aspiration of being a physician was imperiled. I won’t be graduating with my batch mates. I felt it was so unfair for me. I was selfish as I didn’t want to trash my dreams to happen at the right time that I want it to, and without considering my other siblings’ welfare too. But my selfishness was my motivation and determination to find myself a scholarship that can fuel my ambition. My youngest sister as well was able to secure a scholarship for her. So basically, my father was only supporting two of my other siblings as far as tuition and miscellaneous fees are concerned. It was very very difficult time. Sometimes we have to make do with our meager allowance. But one thing I salute my parents for was that we were never delayed in paying our tuition. My parents didn’t want as much as possible for us to be delayed from graduating. They didn’t want as much as possible for us to be working scholars in order for us to afford college. As much as possible, they wanted to shoulder the entire burden of sending us to college as it is their obligation to do so. They believed it was was their duty and responsibility. My parents admitted that they won’t be able to give us land, house or any property for inheritance but our education that will help us build our own future. Now, if my parents who practiced family planning were still hard up to give us good and quality education, how much more for those who had not?

I am aware of that it will be a long time before the concrete effects of RH Law will be experienced by our fellowmen. But delaying it or even preventing it from being implemented, considering our country’s situation right now, is a violation of our rights to access to reproductive health care. We need an immediate tangible effect such as in the following case.

Small for Gestational Infant

A mother conceived, she was hypertensive even at the early stages of her pregnancy. After reaching 20 weeks, her blood pressure all the more shoot up. Even with medical care from a private obstetrician, still the blood pressure wasn’t adequately controlled. At 36 weeks, she came to the hospital in active labor. The baby’s heart beat was erratic and had to be delivered immediately, or else we will lose the baby.

The baby came out without spontaneous breath and crying, and the heart beat was very slow. He had to be resuscitated, a tube was inserted into his trachea to assist him breathing. He was small for his age of 36 weeks, with respect to his weight, length and head circumference (an indirect indicator of brain growth). This only means that the baby was chronically “undernourished” inside the mother’s uterus that’s why all of his anthropometric measurements were below normal.

Adequate blood glucose and oxygen supply from the placenta to the baby is necessary for optimum brain and body growth. Normal or good glucose level stimulates the production of more insulin-like growth factor 2, which is responsible for increasing the number of neurons and oligodendrocytes, and increasing the communications between neurons through dendrites and axon. An increased communication between these two parts of neurons leads to faster transmission of signals. Bottom line, intelligent kid. The opposite, “bobo.” I am not saying this is always the case but the risk, a very high risk at that, to being one is undeniably there.

So this baby already suffered an injury biochemically and physiologically inside the womb, even if he was born alive. So it’s true no mother died in this case. It’s true, no baby died in this case. But the impact of the chronic uncontrolled hypertension to the baby’s brain, IS permanent, and may be debilitating. This thing is still happening among our pregnant mothers, even if they are under the care of able obstetricians. But what about those who have no access to obstetricians? And mind you, this is just one aspect of issues surrounding a pregnant woman. There are more other pressing equally important concerns.

One anti-RH bill argues that there is no more need for RH law as there is already an existing Magna Carta Law for Women. Let me throw back the question to you. With the MCW in place, how come, we still have this high incidence of maternal morbidity and death? With the MCW in place, how come we are not achieving the millenium development goals? And what about HIV which is not included in the MCW, neonates? With the SQAO against implementation of the RH Law, aren’t we not endangering further our poor constituents? Is it right to issue this SQAO at this time?

 

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The Filipino Adolescents 2012

(Photo courtesy of http://reynthology.blogspot.com/2012/06/pinoy-teen-smokers-on-rise.html)

A woman recently gained attention after she performed cesarean section on her OWN SELF, delivering her own baby. As of this time we don’t know what drove her to do this. Did she use anesthesia, what kind and how, to avoid pain; or did she do it without any anesthetics at all? What drove her to do this when the baby is term and she could just have waited to labour? She sew herself with a regular needle and thread.

I remember another case of abortion that I came across with, though not as violent as that top story. She was in her early 20s, student. She was impregnated by her boyfriend; they’re unmarried. She looked frail, like someone who’s so meek enough to who raise her point when they’d argue. She seemed like she’ll say yes to everything.

At about 28 weeks, her boyfriend told her to take they need to do something about the pregnancy. They bought some abortifacient from the witches selling “pamparegla” (menstruation regulating substance/concoctions) outside Quiapo Church. (Yes, that iconic church that seems not to do anything about those witches around her, and allowing them to bastardize her with their merchandize, even on a Sunday). She took in 5 tablets of the drug, and inserted another 10 tablets into her vagina. Presto, preterm labor instantly.

She delivered to a 28 weeks preterm baby boy, who eventually needed mechanical ventilator to breath. They cannot afford surfactant so it was not given to the baby.

I talked to the mother of the baby as well as her mother about the incident.

First, I asked her why she committed that act. She blankly said, her boyfriend told her to do it.

Second, I asked her if she knew that taking the drug and inserting them as well to her vagina will cause labor pains, she just said “no.”

Then I told her, “are you aware that what you did is a form of killing?” She just said “no.”

My next question was “do you know that what you did is a crime?” Again, blankly, she said “no.”

Lastly, I told her, “did you know that I can call a police right now and have you arrested for what you did to your baby?” That was the only time she seemed to have realized the gravity of her crime, and so was her mother, and they broke down.

It is overwhelming and alarming that young people nowadays are not abreast with the different things they are doing. Only after the crime as been consummated will they come to realize that such an act was criminal.  What have you there… bullying classmates until the victim falls in a manhole and die, joking about holding/pointing a gun to a playmate and then accidentally shoot and kill him, daredevil stunts with a bike or skateboard just because they saw it was cool on youtube videos and then they get the worse fracture an orthopedics would almost object attending to, and many more.

Adolescence is a time of big confusion during a person’s life; they’re no longer kids, but they’re not yet adults. Hormones are raging making them ambivalent or confused, seeking identity or roles to portray, explore their sexuality, among other else. Peer influence is strong enough thus the high probability to form gangs during this age.

Parents have the biggest responsibility to guide their children until they can become totally independent and live on their own. It’s not the teachers at school, nor the religious at church. But how could the parents attend to all of their children’s needs when there are too many of them? Guidance and proper education can also fill in the void these adolescents quest.

A very matter of fact education that these teens need these days is age-appropriate sex education. This does not teach students to foreplay and have orgasm. Rather, sexuality education that will teach them about their body parts, how it functions, how pregnancy occurs, what are the sequela of being pregnant, responsible parenthood, contraceptives, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), etc. With the advent of information technology, a person can easily access these information, but without guidance, they will not understand it clearly. Still guidance is what these young people need so as to avoid unwanted “excursions.”

A study done has already shown that sexuality education has significantly delayed the first sexual intercourse among teenagers, lesser incidence of STIs, lesser incidence of early pregnancy and increased use of contraceptives.

Another sad facts that have plagued the young people recently are: (1) Philippines has been ranked no. 1 having the most number of teenage pregnancies in Asia, (2) increasing incidence since 1984 of HIV/AIDS among the 15-24 age bracket (2282/9669 or 23.6% cummulative incidence as of May 2012, http://www.doh.gov.ph/sites/default/files/NEC_HIV_May-AIDSreg2012.pdf), and (3) the very high incidence of smoking among the Filipino teenagers. These must have caught the attention of those in the palace.

Will you just be startled there?

 

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CBCP: Science Facts on the RH Bills (In Plain Language) — DEBUNKED!

Once again, the CBCP has denounced the RH Bill based on several baseless claims.

(Source: http://cbcpforlife.com/?p=164&fb_source=message)

1. RH Bills will kill children.

When does human life begin? At fertilization, when the sperm penetrates the egg. This was the unanimous response of medical experts (including doctors from Harvard Medical School and the Mayo Clinic) at an eight day hearing of the US Senate.[1]

Do birth control pills and the IUD kill the embryo? Yes, the pill has a secondary “postfertilization effect”, according to the scientific journal of the American Medical Association.[2] The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology pronounced that the intrauterine device brings about the “destruction of the early embryo.”[3]

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When a parents opt to employ a contraceptive, the parents engage in a sexual activity but responsibly avoiding the woman to get pregnant. Whether it be a natural or artificial contraceptive method, it will not result to pregnancy, thus no fertilized ovum is killed.

Even among embryologists, the definition of the origin of life remains controversial. Not everyone of them are in unison when does life exactly begin. If FERTILIZATION is taken as the beginning of life, what life will be killed when a contraceptive will prevent ovulation (thus no egg is released to be fertilized), or fertilization (where sperm and egg cannot meet, and thus no life is formed to be killed?)? How can there be a post-fertilization effect of the pill when the pill does not allow eggs to be released to be fertilized in the first place? A simple logic and rational thinking is in order.

IUD has different levels of contraceptive effect. 1) the copper serves as spermicide, 2) it serves as physical barrier for the union of sperm and ovum, and 3) it MAY prevent implantation of fertilized ovum. First, the woman should have regular consultation with the health care provider to check if the device is in its PROPER place. Failures of IUD often is due to the woman’s poor compliance with regular check-ups.

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2. The RH Bills will injure women’s health.

Is the pill safe? The International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2007 reported that the pill causes cancer, giving it the highest level of carcinogenicity, the same as cigarettes and asbestos.[4] It also causes stroke,[5] and significantly increases the risk of heart attacks.[6]

Given: All medications have a side and adverse effect, no matter how safe they may be. A person can have an idiosyncratic reaction even to the safest drug, such as acetaminophen.

Is the contraceptive pill safe? What does the contraceptive pill contain? The latest available contraceptive pill contains either pure progesterone, or combined estrogen-progesterone pill (at a low dose). The estrogen level s at a low concentration so as to avoid persistent spotting from pure progesterone pill.

Breast Cancer: Which component of the pill causes cancer? Estrogen does. Estrogen may cause breast cancer, myoma, etc. So if a woman has a regular menstrual cycle, meaning every month beginning menarche (1st menstruation) until menopause, it means that every month, she has estrogen elevation. This estrogen elevation is a risk factor for a woman to develop disorders related to elevation of estrogen, like breast cancer (in SOME, NOT ALL), myoma because the estrogen is “unopposed.” On the other hand, if the woman get’s pregnant, wherein, in a span of 9 months, she will not have menstruation, it means that there is also a 9-month period that she will be free from estrogen level elevation, this will be protective for her, thus lesser gynecologic cancers.

If the woman is on contraceptive pill where she becomes amenorrheic (no menstruation), then there is no estrogen elevation. This then protects the woman from generating breast cancer and the like.

A family history of breast cancer however is a very strong risk for developing breast cancer. Please remember these snippets:

  1. Not all breast cancer patients took contraceptive/hormonal pills. In fact, a colleague of mine, single, virgin, never got pregnant, never took contraceptive pills, died from breast cancer.
  2. Not all who took contraceptive/hormonal pills developed breast cancer.
  3. Males, who dont consume contraceptive pills, can still develop breast cancer.

Hypertension as a result of contraceptive pills is DOSE-RELATED. That was the older formulation. The newer contraceptive pills have lower concentration of estrogen.

Venous thrombosis: use of oral contraceptives is not associated with detectable hypercoagulable state, users at a greater risk for thromboembolism include women who smoke heavily, women with high or abnormal blood lipids, women with severe diabetes with damage to the arteries, women with consistently elevated blood pressures, and women who are obese.

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3. The RH Bills will destroy the family.

Will the greater availability of contraception improve the conditions of the family?Contraceptives bring about the downgrading of marriage, more extramarital sex, more fatherless children, more single mothers, according to the studies of Nobel prize winner, George Akerlof.[7]

Lack of appropriate sex education brought about the sudden increase in teenage sex and pregnancies. Philippines is now the leading country as far as teenage pregnancy is concerned. What have the church done instead to decrease this incidence? Banning girls to wear sleeveless, short skirts when attending church? Boy, it was and is still very effective.

Contraceptives can bring downgrading of marriage? When couples plan their family, they will have limited number of children. This will then empower them and be responsible parent. Families are the basic unit of a society. An empowered family means empowered society.

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4. The RH Bills will promote the spread of AIDS.

Will the use of condoms lower the rate of HIV/AIDS in a country? It will increase it, according to the “best evidence” in the world, concluded Harvard Director for AIDS Prevention, Edward C. Green. Availability of condoms makes people take wilder sexual risks, thus worsening the spread of the disease.[8]

Lack of appropriate sexuality education in the Philippines, lack of use of contraceptives, especially barriers (condom) has significantly lead to dramatic increase of HIV-AIDS cases in the country. Introduction of condom has lead to the dramatic decline of spread. Porn stars, who works by having entertainment sex, are not the ones with the most HIV-AIDS affliction due to condom use.

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5. The RH Bills are based on wrong economic.

Is there a correlation between population growth and economic development? “No correlation” is the answer of Simon Kuznets, Nobel Prize winner in the science of economics.[9]

Is population control one of the ingredients for high economic growth? No. This is the conclusion of the 2008 Commission on Growth and Development headed by Nobel prize winner Michael Spence. The factors for high growth are: leadership, openness to knowledge, stable finances, market allocation, investment and savings.

Is there a correlation between population growth and economic development? Is population control one of the ingredients for high economic growth? What I know is, if a father earns 500 pesos daily, and he has 8 kids to feed, each will have a share of 50pesos/day. If a father who earns also 500 pesos daily, has 2 kids, each family member will have 125pesos/day share. The bigger the share, the more resources to use.
Philippines has 300,000 sq km geographic area, but not all is inhabitable as some parts should be maintained as a forest reserve, some agricultural land. According to WB report of 2011, the current population density is 302/sqkm. (http://www.tradingeconomics.com/philippines/population-density-people-per-sq-km-wb-data.html). Ideally, the best population density should only be 50-100 persons/sqkm.
Will population control affect the economic growth of a nation? Do tell me.
 
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Posted by on July 5, 2012 in RHBill, Sex Education

 

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For Your Entertainment

For Your Entertainment.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2012 in Pregnancy, RHBill, Sex Education

 

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Early Marriages, Adolescents and Young Pregnancies

Early Marriages, Adolescents and Young Pregnancies.

 

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Early Marriages, Adolescents and Young Pregnancies

(These are curated tweets by WHO during the World Health Assembly 65 at Geneva Switzerland, dated May 25, 2012)

  • In 2008, mothers aged 15-19 years gave birth to 16m babies, representing 11% of all births worldwide.
  • About 95% of births in 2008 by mothers aged 15-19 years occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Progresss has been made: worldwide, the adolescent birth rate has declined from 60 per 1000 in 1990 to 48 per 1000 in 2007.
  • Discrepancy between regions in adolescent birth rates is wide, eg 5 per 1000 women in eastern Asia to 121 per 1000 in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • What contributes to adolescent pregnancy? Most people initiate sexual activity between 15 and 19 years of age.
  • In poorer countries, sexual activity for girls is often initiated in marriage, or due to coercion, frequently with older men.
  • Rates of use of contraception by adolescents are often low, hence adolescent girls may become pregnant.
  • Early marriage also contributes to adolescent pregnancy. Worldwide, 60m+ women aged 20-24 years were married before age 18.
  • Gender norms can also contribute to adolescent pregnancy; eg social norms that condone violence against women, girls put them at risk
  • Not knowing much about sex, family planning contributes to early pregnancy. Effective sexuality education is lacking in many countries.
  • Education in general is important: the more years of schooling, the fewer early pregnancies.
  • All couples should have access to safe, effective, affordable, acceptable methods of family planning.
  • Women have the right to access appropriate health-care services that enable them to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Many countries have laws that prohibit adolescents from accessing sexual and reproductive health services without parental, spousal consent.
  • What are the consequences of early pregnancy? A first pregnancy at an early age is risky. It can lead to disease and death.
  • Early, unwanted pregnancies can lead to induced abortion which can lead to severe health risks, death when carried out in unsafe conditions.
  • Up to 65% of women with obstetric fistula develped this during adolescence, with dire consequences for their lives.
  • Adolescent pregnancy is dangerous for the child. The younger the mother, the higher the risk of stillbirth and death of the infant.
  • Social consequences of adolescent pregnancy can be severe: school drop out, lack of subsequent income, violence against unmarried girls…
  • How can too-early pregnancies be prevented in developing countries? WHO has issued 6 recommendations.
  • 1) Reducing marriage prior to age 18; 2) Reducing pregnancy before the age of 20 years.
  • 3) Increase the use of contraception by adolescents at risk of unwanted pregnancy
  • 4) Reducing coerced sex among adolescents
  • 5) Reducing unsafe abortion among adolescents to prevent too-early pregnancies.
  • 6) Increasing the use of skilled antenatal, childbirth, postnatal care among adolescents to prevent too-early pregnancies.

For complete copy on the report of the WHO Secretariat on Early Marriages, Adolescents and Young Pregnancies, please feel free to read this article http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA65/A65_13-en.pdf

 

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While You Were Sleeping (On Reproductive Health Issues)

While You Were Sleeping (On Reproductive Health Issues).

 

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