Family planning in the Philippines is gaining more ground recently, due to the efforts of President Benigno Aquino, who is battling the country’s highly influential body of Catholic priests. Now Aquino is declaring his intention to provide birth control to poor families in the region. And despite the opposition, Aquino is declaring he will not back down.
From GMA News:
President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III will not change his stand on responsible parenthood despite the Catholic Church’s opposition to the use of artificial birth control methods, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
In an interview with reporters in Malacañang, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino, a Catholic, has always supported responsible parenthood and informed choice in family planning.
“Even during the [the presidential] campaign the president already stated his position on the matter. It’s more of responsible parenthood, we believe that parents should be the one to decide on the size of their family, the manner and the method by which the planning should be done,” Lacierda said.
The presidential spokesman said Aquino respects that parents are “the ultimate decision-maker on the size of the family.”
Now the Catholic church believes he is selling out souls for cash from the United States.
In Manila, Fr. Melvin Castro, executive director of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, linked Mr. Aquino’s statements to the US grant of a $434-million (P19 billion) financial assistance to the Philippines.
“It’s just a small amount compared to the moral values that we are going to lose,” Castro said. “Apparently for that measly sum of money in the name of fighting poverty, here we are again, selling out the Filipino soul. It’s just sad.”
“We prayed and hope that the President would see through it, that he would not tie the country to a US ideology in exchange for this grant,” he added.
Castro said the Church was “hurt more than being disappointed” with Mr. Aquino’s pronouncement.
To be sure no one is lead astray by the President’s statement over the weekend that he will find a way to provide birth control to those who are too poor to obtain it themselves, the Church has declared it will begin protests and letter-writing campaigns.
Preliminary consultative meetings among lay leaders, most of whom supported Aquino during the elections, were to take place in the capital within the week, said Fr. Melvin Castro, executive director of the Catholic bishops’ Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.
Castro said the Catholic clergy, including the bishops, would back such protests, which would later trickle down to the provinces.
“Our lay leaders, who have their own families, see the need to be very visible in this protest and we respect their freedom,” Castro told the Inquirer over the phone on Tuesday. “On the side of the clergy, we will simply support them in this initiative.”
The protest would initially take the form of letters to legislators and national leaders and, later, members will take to the streets to send a stronger message to Aquino.
“This is not to be confrontational with the President, but among them are people who really supported him during the elections, so I hope he would listen to them because these are the people who elected him into office,” said Castro.
“We have to react no matter how we respect the President because this is a serious matter… it is the Filipino family at stake here,” he added.
Aquino is providing support to some powerful politicians in his country over this issue as well, who hope that this is a sign that he will be taking a stronger stance on the country’s reproductive health bill, as the Manila Bulletin reports:
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday threw their support behind the controversial position of President Benigno S. Aquino III backing a family planning bill and in the process locking horns with the Catholic Church.
Aquino, while on his way home from his US trip, had stirred a hornet’s nest when he sided with forces that favor the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, also known as family planning measure, in the wake of the country’s runaway population that is expected to increase to close to 100 million Filipinos in the next few years.
Marcos, a member of the House of Representatives in the last 14th Congress, said the President’s support for the bill is “good” even as the President, in the May 10, 2010 presidential election, “got a big support from the Catholic Church.”
As a co-author of the RH bill when he was a Lower House member, Marcos said passage of the measure is a welcome development and a big boost to the Aquino administration’s pro-family planning position.
Once family planning becomes a reality, can the country get to work on legalizing divorce? In a country “that views the number of mistresses a man keeps as a reflection of his social status and power,” one can only hope so.
Mini Roundup: Abusing power? A Wisconsin DA resigns for making allegedly making sexual advances at women who’s domestic abuse cases he’s trying, and a California cop does a “fake” arrest on a teen having sex with his step-daughter.
September 28, 2010
- Pennsylvania: Pat Toomey vs. Joe Sestak, Tom Corbett vs. Dan Onorato – TIME
- Medical Abortion Debate Continues As 10-Year Anniversary Approaches – Medical News Today (press release)
- Family Planning Unites Aquino, Enrile, Marcos – Manila Bulletin
- Health experts call on private sector to increase HIV funding – Myanmar Times
- Catholic groups gear up vs Aquino policy on contraceptives – Inquirer.net
- More HIV care for pregnant women in poor countries – Anderson Independent Mail
- Same-sex marriage ruling marks our decay – Port Huron Times Herald
- One-Child Policy in China: No End in Sight – The Epoch Times
- Pro-abortion Chilean to lead major UN agency on women – Catholic Culture
- Column: Sexual Health Education 101 – Wausau Daily Herald
- Chicago women lag in breast cancer screening – Chicago Sun-Times
- Philippine church hits president on contraception – The Associated Press
- Aquino opposes Church on birth control issue – GMANews.TV
- National Right to Life Committee endorses Barletta – Standard Speaker
- World Contraception Day 2010 intends to reduce teenage pregnancy – HealthJockey.com
- We live in Trudeau’s Canada – Ottawa Citizen
- Why Pro-Abortion Is Anti-Science – Human Events
- RU-486: Ten Years After – Human Events
- FORUM: Talk sex: It’ll save teens – North County Times
- 20% with HIV don’t know it – Long Beach Press-Telegram
- 'Majority of women in lower income group affected by cervical cancer' – Daily News & Analysis
- Abortion dominates race for state attorney general – SILive.com
- Charles Donovan: Ending a major conflict over abortion – The Union Leader
- Rape in Congo Can Be Death Sentence to Women – The Women’s International Perspective
September 27, 2010
- Birth Control With Birth Defect-Fighting Nutrient – CalorieLab Calorie Counter News
- What Is Paladino About? – New York Times
- Anoka-Hennepin schools implored to protect GLBT students – Minneapolis Star Tribune
- Coalition of 100 Black Women’s 1st Annual Luncheon – WMNF
- Bennet refuses to pull “misleading” ad, asks Buck to violate campaign finance laws – Greeley Gazette
- Congress Motions Toward Early Departure — Expected Exodus by Week’s End – FOXNews
- Decade after abortion pill’s OK, it’s not used as often as expected – USA Today
- Zimbabwe Deputy PM Khupe Says Poverty Biggest Challenge In Stopping HIV – Voice of America
- Utah joins court case supporting California gay marriage ban – Deseret News
- Study says abortion does not trigger mental health problems among adolescents – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (blog)
- Some good, some bad in the state of women’s health – Scope (blog)
- TX Restricts Informed Consent Laws for Abortion Clinics – Ms. Magazine
- Abortion and the Gubernatorial Race – Michigan Policy Network (blog)
- Walz receives Mass. NOW PAC endorsement – Wicked Local
- Highly Populated, West Jakarta Intensifies Family Planning Program – BeritaJakarta.com
- Romney, NH GOP declare war on Democrats – The New American
- Make protecting women’s lives a priority – Baltimore Sun
- Better sexual safety awareness needed – Global Times
- Fasting Against the Violence at Home: Domestic Violence Awareness Month – Huffington Post (blog)
- Lessons From the Womb – Slate Magazine
- ACLU files suit to get IHS records from Cheyenne River Sioux reservation – Rapid City Journal
- Understanding The Latest Health Care Changes – NPR
- Two rallies, one set of steps – Politics on the Hudson (blog)
- International Violence Against Women Act Prompts Abortion Promotion Concerns – LifeNews.com
- ‘Birth control over baldness’ says NYT columnist – Atlantic Drugs
- Aquino bucks Church, backs birth control – Inquirer.net
- Teen Sex Ed Covers the Birds and the Bees, Minus the Birth Control – ParentDish
- An HIV vaccine is within sight but the field is threatened by funding cuts – The Guardian
- Implant to prevent teen pregnancies – Stuff.co.nz
- Mission: Improving maternal and child health in Sarangani – Philippine Star
- Arkansas abortion doctor dies at 75 – UPI.com
- State Roundup: NY Small Businesses Protest Health Insurance Premium Hikes … – Kaiser Health News
- Michelle Bachelet, New Head of UN Women: Where There Is Poverty, ‘The State … – The Nation.
- Chicago churches screen parishioners for HIV – Los Angeles Times
- Cop “Arrests” Teen Who Had Sex with Stepdaughter – CBS News
- The Complicated Link Between Abortion and Mental Health – TIME
- Zambian women ‘most vulnerable to HIV and AIDS’ – VSO International
- Bill and Melinda look on the bright side – The Guardian
- Children, maternal mortality rate decrease in Afghanistan – ReliefWeb (press release)
- HIV Care Providers Call on State Legislators to Make HIV Testing More Easily … – PR Newswire (press release)
- Termination of pregnancy does not fuel depression in teens– study – The Money Times
- Sex ed bill likely issue in 2011 – Hattiesburg American
- HIV treatment is costly, especially for the sickest patients1 hour ago – Aidsmap
- U.S. FDA Approves New Oral Contraceptive That Also Raises Folate Levels – PR Newswire (press release)
- Hear Them Growl – Newsweek
- Study: Abortion Not Linked With Teen Depression And Low Self-Esteem – AHN | All Headline News
- China to Stick With One-Child Policy ‘In the Coming Decades’ – 2point6billion
- Divorced from reality in the Philippines – Asia Times Online
- Researchers: Young Girls Undergoing Abortion Do not Suffer from Depression – TopNews United Kingdom
- Blogs Comment On New Emergency Contraception, GOP ‘Pledge,’ Other Topics – Medical News Today (press release)
- Pledge to end abortion funding wars – Waterbury Republican American