Sunday, April 1, 2007

Why I Am Absolutely Pro-Life

First a definition of terms. In the US, I was firmly pro-choice because I did not want the government to criminalize a woman's right to a tragic choice. For somebody who was privy to the most private matters on a daily basis I not only felt the deep anguish this decision brought, I also felt that I needed to fully respect a woman's right to follow her conscience.

Here in the Philippines, we don't have a Roe v Wade. Abortion is illegal. There is no choice here. Yet 500,000 abortions are performed each year. Women, mostly in their thirties with 5 or more children, who decide to have an abortion know exactly where to go to. Yet no serious effort to stop this tragic problem appears to be within the horizon. We all need to realize that this is not a population problem. It is a problem of how to prevent any more abortions.

I have been a licensed physician for 18 years now. I have only valued life even more. This is why I have become firmly against human failings that degrade the dignity of human life. When we begin to minimize the value of life, we will soon begin to allow human rights abuses to slip by. We will shortly become apathetic to the inhuman poverty that surrounds us. We will begin to tolerate corruption and compromise in its many forms. We will start rationalizing the use of violence.

I am absolutely Pro-Life.

15 comments:

M said...

Question -- may I ask what your position is on the use of contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies?

More specifically, would you endorse contraceptives as a viable means to "prevent any more abortions"?

If you feel that contraceptives should not be used, may I ask what kind of "serious effort to stop this tragic problem" you intend to propose or support?

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

what are your views on vasectomy?

Anonymous said...

Sir, if some judicial decision similar to Roe v. Wade were to ever be handed down in the Philippines (or some amendment in the Constitution allowing abortion), would you then be pro-choice? I have noticed a glaring inconsistency in your pro-life stand.

I too am pro-life, and I pray that now you will be consistently pro-life. May you have many blessings and may God guide you in your campaign.

Neil Brodsky, MD said...

Martin- You have an amazing zest for life--Neil Brodsky, MD

Anonymous said...

I agree - how can someone who is "pro-life" be "pro-choice"?

Isn't that a contradiction in and of itself?

I, too, would like to know what your position is on the use of contraceptives? If you are not in favor of this (since it is "anti-life"), how would you curb the incidence of abortions?

Thanks.

Martin D. Bautista, M.D. said...

I am absolutely pro-life and I cannot maintain such a conviction without an honest and extensive search for solutions that will prevent any abortion from occurring. As a physician, I am obliged to inform and counsel my patients regarding all the choices that they have. This is a moral duty of every physician. It is not only unethical but it is also ineffective for a physician to impose his/her beliefs on a patient depending on you for enlightened counsel.

ivy said...

This is a moral duty of every physician. It is not only unethical but it is also ineffective for a physician to impose his/her beliefs on a patient depending on you for enlightened counsel.

well-said po! :)

God bless po sa inyong campaign!

i'm rounding up more voters for you...

Cyber Istambay said...

That kind of threw me off, glad I finished this article, lol. You are a man who see reality for what it is and I agree with you and unlike some know it all coming from the west who wish to impose what they see in the west you are firmly grounded on your views and stand.

I am myself pro-choice here in the US and yes it just make sense to be pro-life in the Philippines wherein life is too cheap and hopefully it will send a message to everyone especially the corrupt politicians to value life and put a stop to human rights abuses mostly perpetrated by men in uniform.

Anonymous said...

"I am absolutely pro-life and I cannot maintain such a conviction without an honest and extensive search for solutions that will prevent any abortion from occurring. As a physician, I am obliged to inform and counsel my patients regarding all the choices that they have. This is a moral duty of every physician. It is not only unethical but it is also ineffective for a physician to impose his/her beliefs on a patient depending on you for enlightened counsel..."

Well-said, but it still doesn't answer the questions posed by the first few people. The answer seems a little evasive to me, requires the reader to "read between the lines", and thus, seems like the "politically correct" answer typically given by a politician who doesn't want to give an answer. Correct me if I'm wrong.

nursing1998 said...

Doc, Are there instances when you would agree that a woman will have a right to an abortion? To be clear, this is for the Philippine setting.

I am sure you are aware that each year, tens of thousands of filipinas each year already obtain abortion procedures. Because the procedures are illegal, the held-in-the-Philippine abortion procedures are held behind closed doors in unsanitary facilities with semi-quacks, if not worse. The statistics are horrendous --- hundreds of deaths now occuring and thousands of botched procedures that result in torturous pain to these Filipinas.

Are you against allowing said medical procedures to be allowed to be held in a more controlled and safer setting to prevent the scores of deaths and the thousands of Filina woman butchered by botched procedures?

Gregory said...

The discussion here somehow speaks volumes about the way things operate in the Philippines - - -

The Catholic Church and other religious sects have a very strong influence on the people and woe to those who express a view that is contrary to a Church's/religious group's stand.

It's interesting to see how the issue of contraception is even a controversial one in this day and age - -and a person's stand on the matter - -can make or break a campaign.

Looks like the Philippines is really in the dark ages.

Well - - I'll tell you this - -perhaps the older folks will get shocked if someone says that contraception isn't a big deal - -and the uneducated masses - - who don't use their brains but simply listen to these bishops - -will also be shocked and think poorly of a candidate who says he/she finds nothing wrong with contraception. But I hope someone confronts that issue and just tell it straight - "I have nothing against contraception." There are so many big issues our country has to face - -and the issue of the morality of contraception shouldn't be one of them.

I won't be unfair to Martin. He's running for office. While it is fair for us to ask his stand on contraception, I will not impose a standard on him different from the rest. If his vague answer is a big deal for you - -and you consider the issue of contraception your big issue of this election - -then sure - - -don't vote for him. But come on now - - -there are bigger issues than this one.

And I'll be a political analyst here - - -a person who wants to ingratiate himself/herself to the Church will immediately answer "Yes- -I am anti-contraception - unqualifiedly and absolutely." But here, we have someone who doesn't directly answer it. Now - - -draw your conclusions - - but I'll say this - -Martin's response shouldn't be a big deal unless you consider contraception a big deal.

And here's something for people to think about - - - -a person who uses the natural method and withdraws does so because he wants to prevent having a baby. A man who uses a condom does so to prevent having a baby. They both have the same purpose. So what's the big deal about using the condom. Just because it is rubber doesn't now make the act "sinful".

I stand for a secular government where reason and logic rules, and not a theocratic state where superstitious beliefs and religious dogma are the order of the day.

Gregory said...

This whole pro-life and pro-choice debate uses labels. When one sticks to labels when defining their position - - you can come up with conclusions that really don't mean much such as:

One cannot be pro-life and pro-choice at the same time.

Well - - surely one can.

A person can support a woman's life to abortion but personally prefers that a person resort to adoption rather than abortion. In that case - - a person is both pro-life and pro-choice.

Also, a person may be anti-abortion save in exceptional cases. In that case, a person is pro-life and pro-choice (I am using labels here for simplicity).

To people who think that everything is black or white - -truth is - -it isn't.

And I have read Martin's answer. He wasn't evasive. I think I know what he is saying. And it's up to me to conclude what I can from his statement. For a very controversial issue, I respect him for his views.

I'll give an analogy. Here's this person - -who let's say is physically ugly to me. In public, someone asks me - - -do you consider this lady ugly. Now - - -personally, I consider this person ugly. But hey - - -will any good come out if I say "Yes, I consider this person ugly." No, nothing good comes out. So let's say - - I answer - -well, she's a person whose inner beauty is deeply felt. That's my answer. Now -- - -will you now say - - man - -your answer is so evasive. Tell us - -is she ugly or not. Come on now - - - -

I hope you see the point.

Juan said...

Any politician who are afraid to oppose the itched in stone pro life stand of the catholic church is simply acting like a true politician. Just walk around metro manila you see kids with nothing to eat all over. I guess I have to wait for somebody who really cares for this land

FranCIS said...

Juan, i suppose you care for this land but just because one does not oppose the stand of the catholic church makes one uncaring for this land... i work within a red light district in a so-called "Land of Paradise" south of Manila. A young Filipina barely into her teens was found dead inside a resort, a beer bottle shoved up her private part... perversions of sex and abuse of Filipina women like this are not uncommon because many politicians do not have the will to STOP the sex trade... AIDS and other sexually transmitted illnesses spread NOT really because they are not wearing condoms but because people cannot keep themselves from having sex or from being loyal to their partners... you know many Filipinos are wasting their time masturbating in internet cafes when they can be somewhere spending their time and energies helping street children or making a positive tangible change in the lives of other marginalized Filipinos!

Juan, the solution to not having more children in the streets does not lie on allowing abortion or contraception...

You do not have to wait for that somebody who really cares for this land to change this land for the better when that somebody can be you.

Pedestrian Observer said...

Francis,

Is this true?

"you know many Filipinos are wasting their time masturbating in internet cafes"

are you serious, no please tell me you are joking. I don't even hear of such perversion here in the US and this place is supposed to have "loose" morals.

Anyway, what is it really that we expect from our leaders? We seem to have a very strict requirement on our candidates, It just amazes me that despite all these how come we still end up with the same crooks. I can only wish that they have been and also require the same standards they impose on Martin.

People have their own priorities in life so I guess it does not matter when candidates in a party that is people funded run against trapos squandering hundreds of millions of pesos if not billions (legitimate or dubious source from criminal lords or stolen government funds) will not get their vote over....... a measly rubber. And we wonder why we are the basket case of Asia......

Am I missing the point here or what? I find Martin's stand in the US and in the Philippines as consistent with actual prevailing conditions in the US and The Philippines. The difference here is unlike other balikyabang who sees what is working well in their adopted country he does not come in imposing what is working in the US because these 2 countries and society are not one and the same.