Distinguished members of the board of Judges, our esteemed moderator; worthy opponents, my colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
Reproductive Health Bill is not anti-life. It is pro-quality life!
Allow me first to define Reproductive health to set the parameters of this debate, Reproductive health is the state, of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and its function and process.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this bill promotes and addresses the uncontained population escalation that aggravates the debt menace, hampers delivery of reproductive health care services and derails sustainable development. Thus, it is beneficial and necessary for the following main reasons:
1. Help couples/ parents achieve their desired fertility size in the context of responsible parenthood and reproductive rights.
2. Improve reproductive health of individuals and contribute to decreased maternal mortality and early child mortality rate.
3. Reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancy and other reproductive health problems through reproductive health education...
As to the first argument, the bill will give couples the freedom to decide to plan their families and also have the freedom to choose what method of contraception is best suited for them. Thus, it will help and empower couples with the information and opportunity to plan and space their children that will certainly result to strengthening of family as the basic unit of the society and also optimizes care for the children’s rights, thus allowing more opportunities to the offspring to be educated, healthy and productive individual.
To shed light in my second argument, UN Human Development Reports show that countries with higher population growth invariably score lower in human development. Moreover, statistics reveals that the infant mortality has a high rate of 36 for every 1000 live births, it also shows that the maternal mortality rate is of 172 for every 100,000 live births and 10 women die very 24 hours from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. (NSO). From these factual evidence we can argue, that these high mortality rate of women and infant is due to the lack of access to adequate information on reproductive health and regular and timely dispensation of reproductive health care services. One best way to alleviate this lofty mortality rates is through natural and modern family planning method which includes the use of contraceptives. Contraceptives do not have life threatening side effects, Medical and scientific evidences show that al the possible medical risks connected with contraceptives is infinitely lower than the risk of an actual pregnancy. The risk of dying within a year of using pills is 1 in 200,000, while in vasectomy is 1 in 1 million, in IUD is 1 in 10 million. The probability of dying from condom use is absolutely zero. Compare to the risk from a pregnancy is 1 in 10,000.
Third, we should also take into consideration that approximately 280,000 teenaged girl every year end up becoming mothers before they reach the age of 20 and this problem will also be addressed by the bill through its main provision in Reproductive health education which will include core subjects in responsible parenthood, natural and modern family planning, proscription and hazards of abortion, reproductive health and sexual rights, abstinence before marriage and responsible sexuality. Sexuality education will neither spawn “a generation of maniacs nor breed of promiscuity. Age-appropriate RH education promotes correct sexual values. The UN and countries which have youth sexuality education document its beneficial results: understanding of proper sexual values is promoted; early initiation into sexual relations is delayed; abstinence before marriage is encouraged; a multiple-sex partner is avoided; and the spread of STD is prevented.
From the following arguments, I stand firm that Reproductive Health Bill should be approved. Justifying to the present scenario of our lives today is not I guess a sin, but having more children whom parent can ill-afford to feed, educate, medicate, guide love makes them irresponsible regardless of their religion. Open our minds, reject contrived criticisms, expose barefaced lies, refuse malicious innuendoes, and resist menacing threats towards a more sustainable human development.