HFT / Just buy the damn thing

12:00:00 AM

For a long time, Philippine cyberspace has been flooded with talk on the Reproductive Health Bill, which has recently been passed into law. I am a proponent of the bill for a lot of reasons, the strongest of which is my own family. I became a grandmother of sorts when I was 23 - my cousin's daughter, who was 14 at the time, became a mother, herself. When I found out about it, I went nuts.

I'm sure you'll agree with me that 14 is just way too young. Her body hasn't even matured enough to handle the pregnancy let alone childbirth, and more importantly, I don't think she's emotionally ready to become a mother. It's not that I'm underestimating her, and to be fair to her, she's doing quite fine. I just couldn't help but worry about her and her child, and their future. I'm certain that my niece's story isn't an isolated case; I'm exposed enough to the world to know that.

Even if kids are blessings, you have to be ready for them, too.
(photo from the internet)
And even if I don't want kids, I consider them to be a blessing. My brother's daughters are a result of unprotected sexual intercourse, and even if they came at an inopportune time, having them in our lives has made everything quite awesome. But be that as it may, I'm still constantly afraid that they're not getting the best of everything because of the circumstances into which they were born, and I hope I could do more for them. Kids are blessings, yes, but they're the kind you prepare for.

My mother was the most incredible woman I knew, know, and will ever know. Months before she passed away, she told me that despite everything she had to endure, the best part about her life was having us. She, too, got pregnant before she got married, and I think this was why she taught me at a very early age that I needed to be safe. By 'very early,' I mean very early. And yes, she meant 'safe' in the sexual context. It didn't take long for me to understand what she meant.

Being an avid reader, I stumbled upon the human reproductive system a couple of years before we even learned about it in school. The difference between me and my 14-year-old niece is that I had access to encyclopedias and other reading materials. And I had the desire to learn. Not everyone has access, and not everyone has the drive to educate themselves. I don't actually know if sex education in schools is among the provisions in the RH Law, but if it isn't, then it should be.
(photo from the internet)
So my sex education is a great mix of my mother's advice, access to correct information, and the personal determination to not become a statistic. The third bit is partly a result of the first two and partly of genetic stubbornness. But it's precisely because of this that I'm able to to walk into a store and buy a pack of condoms without minding how people look at me. Sometimes I'd even buy for friends who are embarrassed to do so. I don't need a bag of chips to hide it with.
Protect yourself.
(photo from the internet)
Basically, what I'm telling you is this: just buy the damn condom if you need it! Be safe! I know that men should be the ones to do this, but it can't ever hurt to be ready. What people behind the line at the convenience store will think should be the least of your worries. You need to look out for yourself, for your health, for your future. And more importantly, for the future of your future children, should you decide to have any. Even blessings require good timing.

Not everyone has what I had, I know, which is why I decided to write this at the risk of further judgment from a conservative society. I was raised a Catholic; I even attended a Catholic university. I'm anti-abortion, as well. But I can't ignore the reality of the world around me, and if my pragmatism paints me a harlot in the eyes of the Church, then so be it. I know that I care about human life as much as the next person. The difference is I care about the quality of human life as much as life, itself.

P.S. I was having second thoughts about posting this on a Tuesday because of how I spun this piece. But at the end of the day, unprotected sex is a major health issue, so I guess it's still appropriate to publish this today.


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