Press Release
January 25, 2014

Sen. Pia hails junking of TRO, hits brazen attempt
by Pro-Life groups to stop int'l RH conference

"I welcome the order of the Pasay City court that junked the petition for TRO (temporary restraining order) filed by some Catholic groups to stop the 7th Asia-Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Rights and Health (APCRSHR).

"I feel greatly relieved that logic and reason and the adherence to time-honored constitutional principles on freedom of speech and assembly have prevailed over this underhanded attempt to suppress an open discussion of reproductive health issues that are relevant to us and to many of our neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Petitioners claimed that the APCRSHR is an 'abortionists' conference.' But discussions on reproductive health will necessarily include abortion, and as the counsel for the conference organizers correctly pointed out, no abortion is taking place at the conference.

"The sad reality is that around 500,000 unsafe abortions happen in the country. It is only responsible for us to acknowledge this reality and deal with it. But to say that we should prevent discussions on the matter is clearly illogical and has no basis in law.

"Democracy flourishes from freedom of thought, expression and assembly, which should be enjoyed by everyone. But the brazenness with which these groups tried to violate the rights of the conference organizers and delegates only exposes their intolerance and contempt for the beliefs of others.

"This will not stop reproductive health advocates from pursuing their advocacy and commitment to serve the people."

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