Protection of Conscience Project
Protection of Conscience Project
Service, not Servitude

Service, not Servitude
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Republic Act 10354

Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012

Note:  The following sections of the RPRH Act provide for conscientious objection by hospitals owned and operated by religious groups (Section 7) and by health care service providers (Section 8).  The Act demands that objectors refer patients for the morally contested services, something which some objectors are unwilling to do because they hold that referral makes them morally complicit in the act that follows.  Objectors who refuse to refer patients are threatened with up to 6 months imprisonment and a fines of up to 100,000 pesos ($2,436 USD), or both.  However, the Supreme Court of the Philippines ruled in 2014 that the requirement for referral is unconstitutional

Section 7:  Access to Family Planning

All accredited public health facilities shall provide a full range of modern family planning methods, which shall also included medical consultations, supplies and necessary and reasonable procedures for poor and marginalized couples having infertility issues who destire to have children:  Provided, That family planning services shall likewise be extended by private health facilities to paying patients with the option to grant free care and services to indigents, except in the case of non-maternity specialty hospitals and hospitals owned and operated by a religious group, but they have the option to provide such full range of modern family planning methods.  Provided further, That these hospitals shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another health facility which is conveniently accessible: Provided, finally, That the person is not in an emergency condition or serious case as defined in Republic Act No. 8344.

No person shall be denied information and access to family planning services, whether natural or artificial: Provided, That minors will not be allowed access to modern methods of family planning without written consent from their parents or guardians, except when the minor is already a parent or has had a miscarriage.

Section 23: Prohibited Acts

The following acts are prohibited:

a)  Any health care service provider, whether public or private, who shall . . .

(3) Refuse to extend quality health care services and information on account of the person's marital status, gender, age, religious convictions, personal circumstances or nature of work:  Provided, That the conscientious objection of a health care services provider based on his/her ethical or religious beliefs shall be respected; however, the conscientious objector shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another health care service provider within the same facility or one which is conveniently accessible.  Provided further, That the person is not in an emergency condition or serious case as defined in Republic Act No. 8344, which penalizes the refusal of hospitals and medical clinics to administer appropriate initial medical treatment and support in emergency and serious cases;

Section 24: Penalities

Any violation of this Act or commission of the foregoing prohibited acts shall be penalized by imprisonment ranging from one (1) month to six (6) months or a find of Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) to One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the competent court. . .

If the offender is a juridical person, the penalty shall be imposed upon the president or any responsible officer . . .