Sunday, May 8, 2022

May 9 A Distinct Date to Remember in World Events

In the US News dominates the leaked draft opinion of the United States Supreme Court on Abortion Rights. The same court ruled on the famous Roe v. Wade case in 1973 to legalize Abortion rights for women in the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court recognized the constitutional right to abortion in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and has reaffirmed that right in subsequent decisions.

Timeline 2010. Abortion rights has started to be restrictive in various States in the US. With this leaked draft opinion getting finalized in a month if ever signifies the pro-life movement seemed have to have won. The started with parental consent and notifications requiring counselling, waiting periods with a goal to dissuade abortion. It's also interesting to note that at some point some of these states where conservative states and religion played a big part, Catholics for example.  It is a common fact that there are other medical reasons why abortions are necessary in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest, etc. However, it maybe it should be a person choice of what they want to do with their body or their own decision. 

Politically, on this draft leaked opinion we know how we have arrived to this. The conservative justices that are presumed to be authors of this final opinion was appointed exactly for this purpose. This decision is just the beginning saga towards the series of what to expect. 

In one of the restrictive states, if this draft became final and went to effect, If a health care provider attempts to perform or induce an abortion in the state, they will be charged with a federal crime and could face up to five years in prison. Health care providers who attempt to perform or assist with an abortion could also have their licenses suspended for six months, upon the first offense, and revoked upon future offenses.  In another state according to the ACLU, The first time, the patient is given state-mandated counseling and information; and the second visit is for the actual procedure.  When did a pregnant mother dealing with so many things in daily life have to get permission going to counseling sessions on what they want to do with their health and their decisions?

The US Supreme Court has not change over the years. Its' the composition of the justices that has change followed by the last 4 years and then Jan. 6, 2020.  

Let me sidetrack in another part of world, Great Patriotic War, in which more than 20 million Soviet citizens died at home and abroad. Celebrations and parades take place in dozens of Russian cities on May 9. According to NPR, It appears Moscow's military display on Monday may be scaled down from those in previous years to reflect the fight in Ukraine, based on statements from Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Still, Shoigu said the parade would include 11,000 soldiers and show off 77 aircraft and 131 vehicles, including Russia's newest rocket launchers. Victory will come until they defeat the Nazi's in Ukraine? This are their talking points in the disinformation propaganda in the state owned television and media.

We all know the facts on Russia and Ukraine these past months on the devastations and War Crimes that has been committed. In 1988, The Soviet Union had experienced internal stagnation and ethnic separatism. The USSR, although a highly centralized state, was made up of 15 Republics that served as homelands for different ethnicities. By 1991, there was a major political crisis where several of these republics departing from the Union dissolving it. This pave the way of a new Russia marking the end of the Cold War. The Belovezh Accords were signed on December 8 by President Boris Yeltsin of RussiaPresident Kravchuk of Ukraine, and Chairman Shushkevich of Belarus, recognising each other's independence and creating the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) instead of the Soviet Union, Ukraine ended its participation in CIS statutory bodies in 2018, due to prolonged tensions with Russia.[5]

President Vladimir Putin's grand plan to DE nazify Ukraine is the mere ambition of the making Ukraine once again as a sovereign state of Russia aka USSR. His main goal is to stay in power as Russia's dictator. 

Now as we go to Asia, May 9 polls closing in the Philippines as well as the regime of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte. As of writing this article the ballots as being counted on 2 major contenders, Former Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr, son the late dictator's son and Vice President Leni Robredo. 

Maria Leonor "Leni" Gerona Robredo is a Filipina lawyer, politician, and social activist who is the 14th and incumbent vice president of the Philippines. Robredo was the wife of the late Jesse Robredo, who was interior secretary from 2010 to 2012.Robredo, who is running as an independent, is still perceived as an outsider, because she doesn’t come from one of the political dynasties that have dominated the Philippines for decades. Robredo was awarded by the government of Thailand in 2016 for her work and advocacy in women's empowerment and gender equality.

Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., commonly referred to as Bongbong Marcos, is a Filipino politician who served as a senator from 2010 to 2016. He is the second child and only son of former president, dictator, and kleptocrat Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and former first lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos.The Marcoses' remarkable return from pariahs to the peak of political power has been fuelled by public anger over corruption and poverty that persisted under governments that followed the dictatorship.Hundreds of thousands of red-clad Marcos supporters on Saturday amassed on a dusty wasteland overlooked by a gleaming luxury casino resort - a stark reminder of the country's vast income gap.

In February 22, 1986, "People Power" in the Philippines was the result of the downfall of the Marcos dictatorship. An era also ending when Marcos declared Martial Law in Sept. 1971 where the military took over democracy and he ruled as an authoritarian dictator until the People Power revolution of 1986.  Does this sound familiar? As noted above, The USSR revolt also started in 1988 then in 1991, the Soviet Union fell making the new Russia. Today Putin's Russia has started to invade since 2014, and now Ukraine and what's next?

Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 took 3 decades over 50 years for changes in the US Supreme Court justices to be appointed by the US Presidents and confirmed by the US Senate.  Likewise, as we watch the news there's Ballistic missiles being tested on North Korea and worries on Taiwan. Then last but not the least as mentioned the Philippines is about to elect a new President. Whether it maybe a rebut of a new Marcos era which may be entirely different for the Marcos senior, there are some similarities on the 3 mentioned. 

The 3 similar traits are on propaganda. We all know how Russia and China can manipulate their state owned media. Jail, Alexei  Navalny for example and the others, shut down independent journalist, etc., In the last four years of Trump, we all know what "fake news" is all about in the United States and how devastating tweets  and ads can do to what people see on TV and online. And in the Philippines, the youth today, I guess are more on social media like Tik tok which of course was not there during the Marcos senior years. It was PTV channel 4, the government channel dedicated to President and Mrs. Marcos. Even as a kid, I already knew how to switch the channels clockwise of an old Zenith Black and White TV and it only plays the same propaganda over and over. Then on that February was the arrival of then Sen. Benigno Aquino was shot in the tarmac of the Manila International Airport after his return.

As I was watching the CNN special 2 Sundays ago on Navalny, it gave me the same memories. The good thing was Alexei was not shot but jailed, still was good and hopefully someday he has hope. Aquino was in exile in the US for years and made the same decision to come back. After people power history prevailed by having Aquino's widow sworn as President Corazon Aquino. Cory Aquino and then later their son Noynoy who also became President are both deceased. I'm writing this to give a little history to the Filipino youth of today.  

From the People Power Revolution in the Philippines also was the promise of depicting graft and corruption which was the central accusation about the Marcos dynasty and cronies. Yet today, the so called billions and gold has not been fully recovered and not all human rights victims has been awarded what is due to them. Likewise, the Marcos case also was during the regime their accomplishments on infrastructures and landmarks still stands today. They claim that following administrations did not accomplished as much. Some constitutional scholars are fearing that if Marcos Jr. wins there might be an attempt to restructure the 1987 constitution after the People Power Revolt to scrap the Presidency's one term limit. Does this sound familiar? Sara Duterte, Marcos running mate as Vice President  is the incumbent president’s daughter, who is currently a mayor of of the southern city of Davao.

What's my take on this. Culture and Religion are fundamental inherent traits in Filipinos that goes beyond deep. In retrospect you can also change someone's orientation towards the way they conduct their work, daily life routine and beliefs. But faith and how someone was raise will always prevail unfortunately. 

  • In the deeply religious nation, abortion is a taboo, a crime and a sin. Yet hundreds of thousands of unsafe procedures happen every year, with sometimes horrific results.. This is how Abortion is perceived for example in the majority Catholic Philippines. There has been numerous attempts and bills to decriminalize Abortion in the Philippines 
  • But conservatives continue to make it hard for debate to take place over whether women should be allowed the life-saving procedure.

Countries in which abortion is completely illegal/prohibited:

Abortion is completely illegal in the following countries: Andorra, Aruba (territory), Republic of the Congo, CuraƧao (territory), Dominican RepublicEgyptEl SalvadorHaitiHondurasIraqJamaicaLaosMadagascarMaltaMauritaniaNicaraguaPalauPhilippinesSan MarinoSenegalSierra LeoneSurinameTonga, and West Bank & Gaza Strip (Palestinian territories).

If Roe v. Wade becomes overturn on a final decision next month, the US may join the list above like Philippines. Why am I explicit on this. In the Philippines, the Catholic Church hierarchy wields strong influence on society and on government officials. The church not only condemns abortion, but forbids the use of modern contraceptives. Despite this opposition, recent legislative developments have been supportive of reproductive health.5 In contrast to former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who opposed public provision of modern contraceptives in favor of promoting natural methods approved by the Vatican, the Fomer President, Benigno S. Aquino III, endorsed the highly debated Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (commonly known as the Reproductive Health Law),8 which provides modern contraceptive services, counseling and sex education, particularly for rural and poor Filipinos.9 This policy was (and still is) strongly opposed by the church hierarchy; however, it is generally supported by the Philippine public. In December 2012, lawmakers passed the bill and President Aquino signed it into law. As of early 2013, implementation of the law was delayed by the Philippines Supreme Court. Nonetheless, passage of the bill represents a historic milestone. Guttmacher is one the organizations in the US states that will be required for a pregnant woman to get counseling. 

IN spite of the above, Abortion is common in the Philippines. It is the same graft and corruption that is the hindrance to implementation. The same which is why I mentioned two things you cannot change - Culture and Religion. This is one reason why there are a lot of Filipinos immigrating to various countries around the world. Yes, Immigration for family reunification, economics but there's also this factor to have a better future for themselves and their families and how they can contribute.

In the United States, unfortunately, laws are decrees and followed, So if you look at the case examples above, it is clear that this Roe v. Wade draft should it be final being overturn next month is a golden key opening a chest of other rights being overturn. And from then on what's next.

On this administration, and what's going on, are we happy? Not really they have not really delivered to what we expected. They now have gone back to playing politics than when they started with the promise of hope. They have not even answered calls from us the common laymen. Yes, inflation is hard to fight yet were giving billions to the war. Yes, lives are suffering and they need help for asylum but what about the front line workers who are the remaining heroes that had been waiting for interviews of the US Embassies still closed overseas due to Covid-19 to get our green cards or those needing immigration exceptions. All we hear is Title 42 and exception from the Wars but none about the Millions waiting for decades contributing to the US economy.

So May 9 is such a distinct day. Time will tell what happens next.