Sex and Religion

Finding Religion and Spirituality in Population, Gender, Sexuality, and Reproductive Health Advocacy in the Philippines.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


News about Sec. Atienza saying that 92% of Filipinos are against the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill was received by the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP) with a lot of questions. Elizabeth Angsioco, DSWP National Chair asserts, “Before we believe Sec. Atienza’s allegations, we want to know a number of things: 1. Is it credible? Who did the survey? Does the firm that conducted it have the credibility and objectivity that are very important in such an undertaking? Why did Atienza’s group choose this firm over those used by all politicians and organizations such as the Social Weather Station (SWS) or Pulse Asia? 2. What was the methodology used? How were respondents chosen? What were the questions asked? We would like to know whether these were leading questions or not. And, 3. Why not publish the full results?”

“We believe that Sec. Atienza’s motivation at this point is political in nature. It is election season. The RH Bill may not be passed by this Congress. However, Atienza fully knows that survey results in his City, Manila, showed a huge 86% support for RH among his constituents. He wants to come back as Mayor and needs to be in the limelight and at the same time counter the results to put him in the right side of the fence. He knows that despite the possibility of non-passage, RH is now a mainstream national electoral issue and candidates are measured by voters significantly based on their position on this. He also knows that the popular position despite his and the Catholic hierarchy’s protestations is to be supportive of RH. He knows that more and more candidates are coming out as pro-RH. These may very well explain his actions”, Angsioco added.

“If Sec. Atienza thinks that doing this increases his chances of again being elected as Manila Mayor, he should think again. We, in the DSWP have decided to only support pro-RH candidates. This is the first of our 8-point criteria for selection of candidates. We have thousands of members in Atienza’s City and they will NOT vote for him. More than this, we will campaign against him. Our members, together with the other women in Manila have had enough of the problems brought about by Atienza’s anti-women, anti-poor and anti-RH policies as exemplified by his EO 003. We will fight for our rights and will support Manila candidates who will address our needs. This is NOT Atienza,” Angsioco concluded.