On Feb. 27, over 1,000 women and supporters marched on the CBCP to tell the bishops: “Eleven women die every day from pregnancy and childbirth, a continuing tragedy that can be ended by the RH bill you are blocking. We do expect you to care as fellow Filipinos who preach about love, especially love for the poor. We expect that although all of you are men, you have learned empathy and affection from your mothers, your sisters, and your women friends.”
They brought with them eleven candles: one for each mother who dies every day from RH-related complications. They also brought a picture of Olivia Morato, mother of 10, who died in childbirth in 2009.
“For every women lost, a family is orphaned. Children become motherless. The country loses productive citizens. Even from a purely ulitarian point of view, this means: less human resource for the nation and more financial assistance for the orphaned family. The nation loses if these deaths are continuously ignored,” said Elizabeth Angsioco, National Chair of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines. The DSWP has about 40,000 individual women members mostly in poor communities.
“11 women mostly poor, die daily and yearly, about 400,000 women suffer complications because of lack of access to RH services. Why don’t the bishops care? In our group alone, we have lost quite a number of poor women and almost lost many more. Bishops stress the importance of the right of life. Women also have this right but they do not seem to give this equal importance.” Angsioco added.
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