Sunday, November 09, 2008

Time is on our side

Manolo Quezon predicts that the Reproductive Health Bill will not pass, or, failing that, be watered down so much as to be insignificant. Nick at the Filipino Voices blog says that the RH Bill is redundant and serves only to spark discussions on population management, contraception, and the separation of church and state – an opinion that MLQ3 agrees with. I am cautiously optimistic but I think they may be right.

It doesn't really matter.

I don't care about the nitty gritty of the bill at all (I've had more than my fair share of helping craft IRRs* for newly-passed laws) or its chances of passing; what concerns me is what people take home from the debates. A bigger war is being waged and this RH debate is just the latest battlefront. Losing this one will be fine as long as kids in high school and college have been subjected to (I hope) sound arguments from both sides.

Of course the RH side IS winning the debate; the question of the bill's passage is more a matter of politics than reason. All the anti-reproductive health advocates can do is spout off nonsense about demographic winters, claim that a bigger population leads to more productivity (just look at China**), and generally lie. Oh, and they claim that it's wrong because “God said so” without considering that the state (not to mention other people) does not subscribe to their particular concept of god (ehem, Kit Tatad, ehem).

I'm hopeful because as one commenter on MLQ3's site said: time is on our side. Which brings to mind a quote from Max Planck on innovation:

“An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents: it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that its opponents gradually die out and that the growing generation is familiar with the idea from the beginning.”

We can wait for Kit Tatad and Bernie Villegas to die.

* Implementing Rules and Regulations
** The irony, of course, escapes them.

No comments: