Weekly global roundup: Philippines’ Reproductive Health Bill could finally pass; Saudi Arabia makes moves to let women play in the Olympics; first national abortion study in Rwanda released; anti-choice zealots in the UK get a bit louder.
Today is World Contraception Day. It’s actually a day just like any other, because it’s a day when so many women worldwide remain without access to birth control or other reproductive health services, and in which reproductive choice for all women remains an elusive goal.
There’s a sticker, unpeeled, on my father’s office desk. I don’t know where it’s from, but it’s meant to demonstrate one’s opposition to the Reproductive Health Bill now in Congress in the Philippines. “Say no,” the sticker reads, a thick red diagonal line dashing across the glossy sheet of vinyl.
Despite pressure from the Catholic Church, voters in Malta asked for the legal right to divorce. This leaves the Philippines as the only country where divorce is illegal, but maybe not for long.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines adds their support to a bill meant to stop the new reproductive health bill being considered in the country.
Virginia is poised to enact regulations that would close all but five abortion clinics in that state, a town in the Philippines now requires a prescription for condoms, Medicaid considers STD screenings for the elderly, and an anti-choice plea to John Boehner.
Is the Catholic Church beginning to lose a little of its rigid grasp that it has held over numerous countries when it comes to family planning, birth control, reproductive justice, and even infertility treatments?
Pop Quiz: Match the country with its government’s birth control news:
1) In Country A, the president pledges to provide birth control to poor couples who want it.
2) In Country B, the legislature hedges on making any commitments to providing low-cost birth control to women who want it, in the face of loud opposition from Catholic Bishops.
The “Guanajuato Seven” are freed, family planning becomes a focus in more countries, and why do Dutch teens have less pregnancy and STIs?
In another global roundup, a quick look at access to family planning around the world.