Imbong v, Ochoa DIGEST-2

September 26, 2017 | Author: Junsi Agas | Category: Fertilisation, Birth Control, Sexual Health, Fertility, Human Rights
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Imbong v. Ochoa Facts: On Dec 21 2012, Congress enacted the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (RH Law) as a response to the exponential rise in the population. Shortly after the President signed it into law, challengers from different sectors of society sought to strike down the said law. The 14 petitioners and 2 petitioners-in-intervention assail the constitutionality of the law on the following grounds (included only the issue relevant to Art. II § 12): The RH La violates the right to life of the unborn because, notwithstanding its declared policy against abortion, the implementation of the RH Law would authorize the purchase of hormonal contraceptives, intra-uterine devices, and injectables which are abortive, in violation of § 12 which guarantees protection for both the life of the mother and the life of the unborn child from conception. Petitioners contend that the law considers contraceptives that prevent the fertilized ovum to reach and be implanted in the mother’s womb as an abortifacent thereby sanctioning contraceptives that take effect after fertilization and prior to implantation. Issue: Whether or not the RH Law violates the right to life and health of the unborn child under Art. II § 12 of the Constitution. Held: NO. RH Law does not sanction abortion. The traditional meaning of “conception” means that life begins at fertilization. This is also reflected through the intent of the Framers — that the moment of conception is when the ovum is fertilized by the sperm. This shows that it was intended that the State shall provide equal protection to both mother and unborn child from the earliest opportunity of life, that is, upon fertilization. Thus, contraceptives that kill or destroy the fertilized ovum should be deemed an abortive and thus prohibited. Conversely, contraceptives that prevent the union of the sperm and ovum, and those that similarly take action prior to fertilization is constitutionally permissible. (e.g. tubal ligation, vasectomy, condoms). Thus, the undeniable conclusion is that a zygote is a human organism and that the life of a new human being commences at a scientifically well-defined moment of conception, that is, upon fertilization. The clear intent of the 1987 Consti in protecting the life of the unborn from conception was to prevent the Legislature from enacting a measure legalizing abortion as well as abortifacents. A reading of the law would show that it is in line with this intent and actually proscribes abortion. The law itself clearly mandates that protection be afforded from the time of fertilization. Contrary to petitioners’ assertions, the Court finds that the RH Law recognizes that the fertilized ovum has life and that the State has a bounden duty to protect it. The law recognizes that (a) there is a need to protect the fertilized ovum which already has life, and (b) the fertilized ovum must be protected the moment it becomes existent.

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