ATIENZA, CHURCH LAY LEADER, DENOUNCE PROPOSED TWO-CHILD POLICY

The Pro-Life Philippines and the Church Council for the Laity today vowed to continue the crusade to protect the rights of the “unborn” and assert he sanctity of human life.

In a joint statement, Pro Life Philippines chairman and Manila Mayor Lito Atienza and Church Council for the Laity of the Philippines president Jose D. Villanueva denounced the proposed House bill mandating a two-child policy as an attempt to curtail the right of couples to choose the number of children they want to have.

Villanueva described the proposed measure as a blatant transgression of the fundamental right of a family to decide in accordance with their faith and morals. “This is anathema to the Church and must never be an option in any population management program of the government.”

Atienza rejected the assertion of population control advocates, including some national leaders and economic managers, that poverty is caused by overpopulation.

“This warped thinking promotes the position that in order to eradicate poverty and achieve economic progress, a country’s population must be reduced and the government must provide incentives for couples that limit the number of children they will have,” Atienza pointed out.

Rather than population control, he said what is needed is to accelerate economic development by providing effective and responsible governance at the national and local level, creating more opportunities for people to be economically productive and pursuing pro-people to be economically productive and pursuing pro-people socio-economic policies.

“History shows that practically all nations that are progressive and wealthy at present started climbing the economic ladder while their populations were booming, and the same declined when their economies flourished. It is simplistic to say that a country is poor because it is overpopulated and therefore must resort to population control through artificial means, including, abortion, as a policy of government,” Atienza noted.

Atienza and Villanueva called upon religious sectors, national and local government officials, businessmen and religious laypeople to oppose any legislation that would threaten the sanctity of human life through so-called reproductive health and abortion-based population control programs.

Both expressed their firm belief that people are a country’s most important resource and can contribute to economic development if government, through effective leadership and good governance, would create opportunities for genuine people’s participation in national development and sustainable growth.

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