As keynote speaker for the first ever March for Life organized by the Diocese of Caceres in Naga City, Philippines, I was amazed at the overwhelming number of participants. 1,500 marchers exceeded expectations! The event was organized in response to the growing threats to life and family: a significant rise in abortions, teenage pregnancies, suicides, and HIV/AIDS cases. These problems, witnessed all over the Philippines, were made worse by the forced passage of the anti-life Reproductive Health (RH) Law.
Prior to my talk, Sorsogon City Mayor Sally Lee shared her experience of recently declaring her city a “Pro-Life City.” Inspired by her attendance at HLI’s ASPAC in Kota Kinabalu, she said HLI guided and helped her conduct a series of pro-life orientation trainings for her staff and stakeholders in January 2015. After hearing her inspiring speech, Naga Mayor Valdemar Chiong declared publicly that if the mayor of Sorsogon City can do it, then he will also do the same in Naga City, which elicited loud cheers from the throng of participants!
In my talk, I discussed how the RH law has created an illusion that children are burdens to society. I shared inspiring true stories of large, but poor, families whose children eventually saved the family from poverty. The fact that I am the 9th of 11 children from a poor family was an inspiration for many. Despite being poor, I thank God for my parents’ generosity in accepting all the children God granted them. Imagine if they were not open to life for I would not be present to give this talk! The Catholic Church’s teaching on openness to life is providential. Even if a child is conceived under very difficult circumstances, like rape, they will realize how the child is a splendid gift from God.
This is why abortion is the worst murder of all because the mother has chosen to kill her own baby. Abortion does not only kill a baby, it also poses so many harmful risks to the woman, including the proven abortion-breast cancer link. Perhaps nobody has told them the truth about health hazards? Perhaps nobody supported them in their crisis pregnancy? I spoke about the evils of contraceptives using scientific studies which demonstrate catastrophic side effects.
To the young present, I emphasized the value of chastity, and that “true love waits until marriage.” True love is worth being chaste. HIV/AIDS is a very real concern to Filipinos, which is why I implored them to abstain from sex before marriage and be faithful to their spouses. Death peddlers do not want people to be chaste because their business is to sell contraceptives, a multi-billion dollar industry, and the abortion industry grows from this same root.
Today, people have been coerced to believe the myth of overpopulation. A major portion of the real global anti-life agenda was exposed when National Security Study Memorandum 200, also called The Kissinger Report, was declassified in 1990 by the US government. NSSM 200 demonstrates the tactics used to implement population control programs including the legalization of abortion in countries, followed by financial incentives for countries to increase abortion, sterilization, and contraception usage of their citizens. The Filipino RH law has cleared the way for the government to provide access to contraception, a disastrous policy that leads to declining fertility rates. This truth can be seen in the developed world: In Europe they are profoundly and undeniably below replacement levels because of anti-life policies.
Though Catholicism remains strong here, as I told those gathered, we must follow God’s commandments and learn our faith and live by it. Only through God, the author of life, can we experience true joy, peace, and contentment. With God’s amazing grace, Human Life International will continue to affirm the Gospel of Life here in the Philippines and around the world.
May everything we do glorify the Lord!