Tags: duterte | birth control | free | catholic

Duterte: Birth Control Now Free for 6M Women in Very Catholic Country

Image: Duterte: Birth Control Now Free for 6M Women in Very Catholic Country

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte makes a speech during the Philippines-China Trade and Investment Forum at the Great Hall of the People on Oct. 20, 2016, in Beijing, China. (Wu Hong-Pool/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 05:02 PM

In an executive order Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made birth control and other reproductive health services available to up to 6 million Filipino women who currently don’t have access to it.

The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 was signed by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2012 to give poor women free access to the services, but the mostly Catholic country has fought against the law and tried to block its implementation, The Washington Post reported.

Duterte’s executive order implements the previous legislation, which was mostly upheld by the Supreme Court in 2014.

The order provides for reproductive services including education in the schools and other educational programs, in addition to birth control. Representatives will be doing house-to-house visits to find out who needs the services, The Washington Post reported.

The Philippines is about 80 percent Roman Catholic, which teaches that using birth control is wrong. Last July, Duterte asserted the Catholic Church was keeping people “in total ignorance” on the issue of birth control and trying to scare them by telling them they will go to hell for using it.

“You tell the children that they will go to hell. You always use that to scare them. But that is not true. Hell is here,” Duterte said on a TV show, speaking of the poverty-stricken conditions that often plague women and children in poor families who have no way of controlling how many children they have, the Post reported.

The annual birth rate in the Philippines averages 24 births per 1,000 people, a higher rate than in many Asian countries, the Post reported.

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In an executive order Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made birth control and other reproductive health services available to up to 6 million Filipino women who currently don't have access to it.
duterte, birth control, free, catholic
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2017-02-12
Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 05:02 PM
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