Family-planning bill fails to gain quick passage in Philippines
March 29, 2011
Proponents of aggressive family-planning legislation in the Philippines failed to gain parliamentary approval as a legislative session ended. But the measure will be on the docket when lawmakers return for a new session in May.
The Reproductive Health Bill had heavy support from international organizations, but faced unexpectedly strong opposition from the Catholic Church. The bill's sponsor angrily denounced that opposition, charging that it was a form of violence against women.
An estimated 40,000 people rallied in Manila last week to show opposition to the bill, which would provide for a massive condom-distribution campaign, legalize sale of abortifacient pills, and eliminate "conscience clause" support for health-care workers.