14 Aug Abortion and the Role of Government
Ideally, the reason why you, as a citizen, have to contribute to the government budget is because you too will benefit from the policies and services that your government provides.
What duties does the government have? For one, the government must ensure that its citizens’ needs for security and safety are met. The reason why there is a police force and a military is to add national security.
The government is also supposed to help its citizens achieve a certain level of self-actualization, by making education and jobs available.
Another important role the government is supposed to play is to make sure that its programs are economically sustainable, in the long term. They do this by monitoring their own population and preparing for unanticipated crises.
A pregnancy is a blessing for some people, and an actual threat to others. A person who is not financially secure, isn’t physically fit, or is too young to be a mother, can suffer from being forced to carry a pregnancy to term. It’s the government’s job to make sure that people in such situations are given safe and legal means to end an unwanted or unintended pregnancy.
A woman who is pregnant will have to put her education or her career on hold. She will need time to recuperate from the delivery. And unless she can afford a babysitter, she has to take care of the child herself. A woman who does not want to put her education or her career on hold, because of an unwanted or unintended pregnancy, should not be forced to do so. And, again, it’s the government’s job to make sure that its citizens are in the best position to thrive academically and professionally.
Finally, the Philippine capital, Metro Manila, is already an overpopulated region. Public transportation is a mess, government services can’t keep up with the amount of people who need them, public education is in shambles, and job availability is low.
In 2016, Sara Soliven De Guzman wrote an article for Philstar entitled, “Population Explosion.” In the article, she mentions that:
“In 1990, population density of the Philippines was 202 persons per square kilometer. In 2000 it rose to 255 per square kilometer and 308 per square kilometer in 2010. As of January 2016, population density has increased to 347.6 per square kilometer. We must understand that a rising population results in increasing congestion, pollution and environmental degradation.”
She implies that many of the country’s problems can be traced back to overpopulation.
The appropriate government response would have been to make sustainable development, sex education, and reproductive health a priority.
Instead, there have been delays on RH Law implementation, and abortion is still illegal in all cases – even to save the life of the woman.
Simply put, the government is neglecting some of its crucial duties. If the government truly wants to protect the welfare of women, abortion would now be legal, at least in certain cases. It’s a simple as that. It cannot be stated any clearer.
It is not the government’s role to decide which religion its citizens should follow. It’s not the government’s job to decide on policies based on verses from the Bible. It’s not the government’s job to ignore scientific information, and favor religious arguments to pander to religious voters.
The people who support freedom of choice, women’s rights, and human rights in general should clamor for the legalization, or at the very least, the decriminalization of safe and legal abortion. It’s the government’s job to make these services available. Citizens should not settle for anything less.
De Guzman, S. S. (2016, January). “Population Explosion.” Philstar. Retrieved on: June 1, 2017.