Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines says “no way.”
A video news report at youtube.com/unfpaasia shows what is at stake in the debate over a law aiming to strengthen reproductive health services in the Philippines, where over half of all pregnancies are unintended. Congressional leaders say the bill will not be considered in the final two weeks of the current legislative session, which resumed January 18. Rep. Edcel Lagman, lead author, has threatened to block action on other priorities if the bill is not debated.
When Filipino media make reference to the “Catholic” position on family planning and contraception, it usually quotes the opinion of the Catholic hierarchy, disregarding the varied views among Catholics.
Manila’s contraception ban has subjected women to unintended pregnancies even when their health is at risk. Many are being driven further into extreme poverty and are unable to feed and care for their children. President Obama can help.
As hard as it
has become in the US context
to explore common ground in the abortion debate, in places like the Philippines,
even mustering a public discussion about contraception has become increasingly
difficult in recent years.
The Philippines government is championing a form of family planning used by only one percent of women interested in planning their families.
E.J Dionne says Obama should make good on his promise to seek middle ground on abortion; Obama should end federal funding of abstinece-only and fund comprehensive sex ed; Philippine reproductive health bill sparks battle with Catholic Church; Gardasil can prevent genital warts in males.
Exit polls show Obama winning the Catholic vote 53-45, in 2004 Kerry lost Catholics to Bush 52-47; Women gain seats in Congress and two strong advocates in the White House; Poll shows Filipinos broadly support teaching of family planning practices to students.
Women political leaders in the Philippines are nothing new. But examining the close relationship of female Filipino leaders to the Catholic Church reveals that more than gender is required for progressive policies on reproductive health.
Obama seeks middle ground on abortion; McCain slammed for ‘sarcastic air quotes’; Abortion restrictions on the ballot in Colorado, South Dakota and California; Broad support for reproductive health bill in Phillipines; UN says more focus on women needed in fight against HIV; ‘HIV positive’ Muppet educates kids on the disease in South Africa.