Philippines: bishops ready to risk arrest in opposing birth-control law
February 04, 2011
The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have endorsed a campaign of civil disobedience against aggressive family-planning legislation that is due to go into effect in February.
“We, together with our priests, are willing to go to jail to protest this immoral action,” said Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorgoson.
Bishop Nereo Odchimar of Tandag, the president of the bishops’ conference, has written a pastoral letter urging public opposition to the new legislation. Although he says that the faithful must choose for themselves whether or not to join in public protests, the AsiaNews service reports that the Filipino bishops are united in a willingness to challenge the law.
The new legislation, which is subject to final legislative approval this month, allows for the sale of abortifacient pills, promotes family-planning programs in schools, and offers no conscience protection for health-care workers.