After over a decade of debate, the Philippines’ Legislative body recently passed a Reproductive Health (RH) bill that allows the government to fund sex education and contraceptives.
The amount of time it took for the Philippines to finally pass RH is due to a strong Catholic Church that previously ousted two national presidents in a revolt dubbed “people power.” Bishops and nuns are continuing to protest against the new law, claiming that it will lead to a legislation of abortion and that it encourages premarital sex. However, with contraceptives now deemed a universal human right by the UN, the passing of the legislature strengthens the Philippines’ democracy. Contraception does not only affect premarital sex; it also affects married couples who wish to control when and if they have children. It impacts the lives of all sexually active people who could be at risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
The Philippines is heavily Catholic country (over 80% of its people are Catholic), but surveys have found that a majority of the population is open to the idea of contraception. To the Catholic church, condoms have been likened to abortion, with birth control banned in public clinics across Manila. Those who are able to acquire birth control are those who have access to private clinics, thereby socially dividing the rich and the poor…
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Can’t believe I wrote this succinctly, but there you go.