Divorce and Reproductive Health Essay
Divorce and Reproductive Health
Divorce (or the dissolution of marriage) is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties (unlike annulment, which declares the marriage null and void). Divorce laws vary considerably around the world, but in most countries it requires the sanction of a court or other authority in a legal process. The legal process of divorce may also involve issues of alimony (spousal support), child custody, child support, distribution of property, and division of debt. Where monogamy is law, divorce allows each former partner to marry another; where polygyny is legal but polyandry is not, divorce allows the woman to marry another. Between 1971 and 2011, several countries legalized divorce, the last one being Malta in 2011.
The majority Catholic Philippines is the last officially secular country that does not have civil divorce for the whole population; Muslims, however, are granted divorce rights as per their religion. Vatican City, a ecclesiastical sovereign city-state, also has no procedure for divorce. “Divorcing one’s parents” is a term sometimes used to refer to emancipation of minors. Divorce in the Philippines is planning to take over Filipino values and culture. It’s all over the news, the Philippine Congress is now pushing forward the Divorce Bill right after they have put forward the Reproductive Health Bill. This is exactly what I have been worrying about.
Just a couple of weeks ago, when I attended our Baptist Convention Meeting here in the Visayas, this issue was brought up. And just as what I have stated, “RH Bill can also lead to the Divorce Bill” because they have the same proponents. I know lots of Evangelical Christians are pro-RH Bill. But what they don’t know is that the proponents of RH Bill are also the proponents of Divorce Bill. And now that they almost got what they want, they are now preparing for another wave of controversial bill which will open a highway for immorality and degradation of Philippine culture and religious standards and beliefs.
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines remains the only nation in the world that does not have a law legalizing divorce. Is the country ready for such a law? Gabriela Party Rep. Luz Ilagan believes that it is time that the country moves forward and help couples who can no longer live together. Ilagan and fellow lawmaker Emmi de Jesus have filed a House bill introducing divorce in the Philippines that is now with the House committee on revision of laws. She said they are now waiting for the committee to schedule hearings to ask the sponsors and resource persons to explain the pros and cons of the proposed legislation. House Speaker Sonny Belmonte on Wednesday said the divorce bill will be among the priority measures that will be tackled when Congress opens its 3rd regular session in late July. Belmonte said he is supporting the enactment of a divorce law in the country. Ilagan, in an interview with radio dzMM Thursday, said the country is ready for a divorce law.
PH only country without divorce
“We are ready and we are the only country left now. Two years ago, we still had Malta,” she said. “But when Malta had a referendum last year, na kahit iyung presidente nila was reluctant to grant divorce, noong makita niya iyung results ng kanilang referendum ay pumayag. Kaya ang Philippines na lang ang natitirang bansa na walang divorce,” she said. She said Italy, where the Vatican City is located, allows divorce. The Vatican, which is technically a sovereign city-state, does not allow divorce. Current Philippine laws only allow annulment of marriage — a long, expensive, and painful legal process for estranged couples who no longer want to live together as man and wife.
Not Vegas-style divorce
Ilagan said the conservatives in the Philippines should not compare the proposed legislation with lax laws on divorce in other countries such as the United States. “May kaibahan, sa Amerika kaya tinatawag natin na divorce Las Vegas-style, puwedeng mag-asawa ngayon, tapos kapag hindi nila type, kahit mababaw lang ang dahilan, puwede na mag-divorce,” she said. “Sa atin naman, Pinoy style, mayroong mga kondisyon. Hindi madali na makuha rin iyung divorce. May mga kundisyon tayong inilagay sa isinusulong nating panukalang batas,” she explained.
5 grounds for divorce
Ilagan’s bill proposes 5 grounds for divorce.
Couples who want to avail of divorce will need to fulfill at least one of the conditions set forth in the bill, if it becomes law. According to the measure, couples who may apply for divorce include those who have been separated in fact for 5 years or those already legally separated for 2 years. “Number 3, is when the couple have the situation na nandoon iyung condition for legal separation such as marital infidelity, abandonment, one of the spouses has been convicted for more than 6 years, and domestic violence,” she said. “Ito naman ang mga basis for legal separation. Kung nandiyan iyan, puwede nang mag-file din ng divorce.”
Grounds for legal separation may also apply when these same grounds have already caused the irreparable breakdown of the marriage. In addition, psychological incapacity, causing one’s failure to comply with essential marital obligations, and irreconcilable differences causing the irreparable breakdown of the marriage, will also be recognized as grounds for divorce. Ilagan said under the proposed law, it will be the courts that will determine if couples are qualified to apply for divorce. “It has to be proven in court, kasi hindi naman just because you filed for a divorce, you automatically get it,” she said. “Siyempre ang korte ang magwe-weigh.”
Divorce less expensive
She said the proposed divorce process will not be as financially, emotionally, and legally taxing as annulment. “Mas hindi mahal pero hindi siya murang-mura naman na this will become very, very easy that people will avail of,” she said. “Kasi, mayroon pa ring effort, mayroon pa ring proseso na susndin to reconcile.” “There will still be some expenses to be incurred dahil magha-hire ka pa rin ng lawyer pero this will not be as difficult or expensive as annulment,” she added. Ilagan cited data from the Office of the Solicitor General that says in Metro Manila alone, around 800 cases are being filed in courts for legal separation and annulment every month. “Majority of these (annulment petitioners) are women, and 92% are Catholic. Kailangan talaga, harapin na natin ang problemang ito,” she said. Support from lawmakers
Even as the head of the lower House is supporting the proposal, Ilagan said the Senate is also likely to throw its weight behind a divorce bill. She cited the cases of 4 senators who either have annulled marriages or are undergoing the process. They are Senators Francis Escudero, Pia Cayetano, Loren Legarda, and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III. Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, during the renewal of her wedding vows last year, alsoexpressed support for divorce to be legalized in the Philippines. “I think divorce should be available to people who become homicidal at the sight of each other. That’s so much better than making each other miserable for the rest of their lives and impacting the lives of their children as well. I’ve always made known my views since I was RTC (Regional Trial Court) judge,” she said. “I am in favor of a divorce bill provided that grounds for divorce are very strict so that we will not encourage young people to rush into marriage and then rush out by divorce,” Santiago said. “I think the Senate is more open,” Ilagan said.
“They (senators) have revealed situations na they would be sympathetic to people who would like to have divorce.” “I’m sure marami din naman sa lower House na nakakaintindi. Itong bill na ito, inisip para tugunan ang pangangailangan ng atin mga kababayan,” she added. Just before the intense debate on the Reproductive Health bill, Filipinos are once more at odds with each other in considering another controversial piece of legislation: the Divorce bill. The debate on legalizing divorce took a kick-start when news of Maltese referendum favoring divorce reached the Philippines a few days ago. This has prompted progressive groups to make a bolder call for the country to follow in Malta’s steps and legalize divorce in a predominantly Catholic nation. The debate on divorce is nothing new, see here AttyatWork’s round-up of talking points on the issue from last year.
Filipino Thinkers has a great digest of how the debate was settled and how the referendum unfolded in Malta. More importantly, it provides a side by side comparison of the issue between the Philippines and Malta: Aside from the happy ending, which left the Philippines the only country without divorce1, the story of Malta’s divorce referendum shares similarities with our own reproductive health (RH) debates: both countries are last bastions of Catholicism: Malta in Europe, the Philippines in Asia; both countries are predominantly Catholic: 95% in Malta, 80% in the Philippines; and both battles are primarily between progressive Catholics and conservative bishops. And in both cases, the conservative bishops use fear mongering to keep their flock in line. For a quick refresher on the differences between divorce, annulment and legal separation, Lyle R. Santos has a quick guide in layman’s terms.
With Malta’s approval of divorce, the Philippines is now the lone country in the world that prohibits it. For Blue Dela Kanluran, the debate on divorce should not be framed on this fact alone: As i had stated earlier my stand is against divorce however, I will not begrudge a sovereign nation of their right to decide whats best for their country and themselves as Malta has displayed here. (See, that is an example of the separation of Church and State). Which leads me to wonder, what effects will the stigma of the only country which outlaws divorce have on the Philippines? Personally, I think this will make pro-divorce legislation in the future more difficult not only because of the meddling of the Church but with the stigma earlier stated as well (Which is not how legislation should be argued). Cocoy views the near-approval of the Reproductive Health and now the Divorce bill as a ‘reboot‘ of the Philippines, moving from a predominantly religious state in a secular one: If the Reproductive Health bill becomes law, and it is followed by a divorce bill? That would be one continuity reboot for the Philippines.
It signals that the nation is slowly becoming secular and less under the thrall of the Vatican. As a Catholic, for me, it presents an opportunity for the Church to focus on the spiritual. I want sermons and direction that make me a better person. I don’t need the Church to tell me what is wrong with government. Filipinos everywhere already know what’s wrong with our nation. It is that time in history that we fix it. I need my church to help guide that poor maid who is always beaten up by her husband. I need a Church that guides street children away from the streets, and into education. I need this church to be relevant. Dreamwalker takes delight in the fact that this proposed laws, no matter how dividing and controversial, sparks debate among society, thus encouraging everyone to take part in the national discourse: I continue to be amazed by how Filipinos seem to be more aware of what is happening in the country and how we seek to be more informed about our laws – both proposed and existing. In my opinion, this can only lead to more good.
Never mind that there will always b Maju brings forward a valid point in cautioning that our lawmakers should take up the divorce law with a keener eye: We should also get onto considerations on how good or bad are existing divorce laws. In many countries, notably those under the Sharia, the rights of women and men in divorce are not the same. Lastly, here’s a good discussion by a lawyer, Connie Veneracion, about annulment, legal separation under current Philippine laws and how divorce could plug the holes in the current Family Code: Later on, however, it became clear that despite the leeway allowed by the concept of psychological incapacity, there was a huge gaping hole in the law. Annulment is a very expensive legal procedure beyond the financial capacity of majority of the Filipinos.
The laundrywoman living in the slums who is physically abused by the drunken jobless husband could not afford it. In addition to the expense, the process was a long and tedious one. Eventually, the divorce advocates started making noise again. As expected, the Catholic church is getting more imaginative in coming up with arguments against divorce. It is sad that most Filipinos cannot view marriage independently from its religious context. It is even more sad that most Filipinos do not consider themselves validly married unless married in church. Very sad indeed. So, will the passage of a divorce law patch the loopholes in the Family Code? It depends on what the law will allow as valid grounds for divorce and what the required procedure will be. It has happened before that a law is passed as some sort of pacifier.
Congress can pass a “divorce” law which such narrow grounds and complex process that it will effectively negate the very purpose of a divorce. You know, just so it can be said that a divorce law has been passed. I doubt if that will satisfy the progressives and the divorce advocates. I’m not in favor that Divorce will be legalized in the Philippines. I believe its illegal and against the law of God. Philippines is a Christian culture country and we are the largest Christian Culture of all Asia. I don’t like Divorce at all and it has many disadvantages, of course Divorce ends your marriage that invest nothing at end, Divorce cost money and hurts children and also it changes personal relationships.
Many people just don’t know the real importance of marriage even before planning of the wedding. Many of us are very religious and follow strict rules. We Filipinos believe that marriage is sacred in the eyes of God. Divorce is not the solution to the problems of many couple having their difficulties, they should put in their mind that they should save the relationship. They both promise in front of God that they will be as one in dealing life through ups and downs.
We should see the other side of the situation and not be selfish. Children is the number one reason to keep the family together and bravely face all the problems. We should stand as the last standing country that did not legalized divorce and fight our dignity as a Filipino and as a person. Love of the family is the Filipino cultural identity. Family is very important and we should not give the evil an opportunity to destroy our gift of life which is our family. I Hope that many people realized the true essence of having a Family. I Will end up this with my deep and brief thought that In time of test, Family is the best.
Below is a free essay on “Anti Divorce” from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples. 1
Divorce: a threat against the Filipino family
A number of House Bills seeking to introduce divorce in the Philippines has sparked a nationwide debate. Moral, social, economic, and psychological issues pose valid considerations in resolving the debate. Various concern groups passionately argue and defend their respective viewpoints. The proponents of divorce led by groups advocating women’s rights argued that the reliefs provided by the Family Code are no longer adequate in the modern and present time. Further, these reliefs are prohibitive in nature due to the high cost of the legal procedure and its strict guidelines. They further contended that in reality, many couples especially those in the marginalized sector are stuck in unhappy and irreparable marriages because the relief that is applicable for their situation is not provided by any law in our country.
While rich Filipinos can afford to have their respective marriages annulled, those who are poor are trapped in an abusive marriage for years. However, this proposition has been met with strong opposition. Being devout Christians, many Filipinos believed that “what God has put together, let no man put asunder.” They opined that divorce could lead to the breakdown of families. Divorce, they say would be detrimental in the Filipino culture which is primarily centered on a strong foundation in the family. Moreover, they contended that the said bill is unconstitutional because it is a threat against the family which the constitution pledged to protect as an inviolable institution. This paper seeks to address whether or not there is a need to legalize divorce in the Philippines as necessary relief for those marriages that has broken apart and its effects.
Divorce, also called the dissolution of marriage is the final termination of a marital union. It cancels the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolves the bonds of matrimony between the parties. In effect,…