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Women’s bodies more sacred than balikbayan boxes

MANILA (Agencies) : Amid widespread public outcry against a proposal from the Bureau of Customs to open balikbayan boxes, Dolores Octaviano, is asking if the Department of Health is scrutinising imported contraceptive drugs for free distribution under the Reproductive Health Law with the same minute care with which the Bureau of Customs wants to scrutinise the boxes.

Octaviano, a  member of Human Life International and Doctors for Life, asked on August 29, “If the balikbayan box is considered sacred because it is seen as the extension of the humanity of every overseas Filipino worker, how much more the human body that is created as the temple of God?”

CBCP News reported that Octaviano is challenging the Department of Health to comply with the ruling of the Supreme Court on the Reproductive Health Law for testing and evaluation by the Food and Drugs Administration of all contraceptive drugs and devices, including those that are already being distributed to the public, to ensure that these are safe, legal and non-abortifacient.

“The balikbayan box is very dear to every Filipino family, because it bears the fruit of the sacrifices of migrant workers. How much more should the womb of the mother be respected and protected because it is the bearer of new human life?” she queried.

She said that the Department of Health has an important role to play as the leading government agency for the protection of the health and life of every Filipino.

“Does the department examine and study the ingredients of each and every drug, especially contraceptives and vaccines that can potentially harm the human body, especially the womb of the mother?” she asked.

Citing competent clinical studies, Octaviano disclosed, “Birth control drugs and devices distributed by the department, such as pills, intra uterine devices, Depo Povera and Implanon are harmful. Aside from being abortifacient, these have been proven to be carcinogenic especially to the breast, uterus and the liver.”

The doctor warned, “The intra uterine devices is an abortifacient. It is laced with Beta HCG that can induce abortion.”

Octaviano, whose husband, Erlando, worked abroad for many years as a ship’s officer, pointed out, “It is important for government agencies to recognise what is sacred. The balikbayan box represents the blood and the sweat of Filipinos abroad to help their families and the Philippine economy.”