News Videos
World
International Edition

Monday

September 25, 2017

Breaking News, World News and Taiwan News.
About Us
E-Newsletter
Advertise
Contact Us

Reformers, Catholic establishment battle over use of condoms in Philippines

MANILA, Philippines -- The president of the Philippines says he is ready to face excommunication from the Catholic Church for advocating free access to condoms. A boxing champion says he is the best example why contraceptives should never be allowed.

After simmering for months, a wide-ranging and acrimonious debate over government-funded access to contraceptives in the Philippines has entered the country's Congress.

The issue pits the powerful and conservative Catholic establishment, which says contraceptives are as sinful as abortions, against reformers who want more openness about condoms and other birth control methods in the impoverished Southeast Asian nation to slow population growth and help prevent disease.

The reproductive health bill introduced Tuesday in the House of Representatives would require the government to provide information on family planning methods, make contraceptives available free of charge and introduce reproductive health and sexuality classes in schools.

President Benigno Aquino III, still widely popular a year after a landslide election victory, has backed artificial birth control even if it means going against the dominant Catholic church. He said last month he was ready to face the consequences and if necessary risk excommunication.

"I have been taught in school, which was a Catholic institution, that the final arbiter really is our conscience," Aquino told reporters Wednesday. "We are not looking for a fight with the church. This is on the record. I have invited them many times so that we can have discussions, and we have focused on areas where we can agree on."

Supporters believe the measure will slow the Philippines' rapid population growth that some believe contributes to the country's crushing poverty. About a third of the country's 94 million people live on US$1 a day.

Church leaders have lashed out at Aquino and mobilized a formidable public campaign to defeat the bill, with some bishops threatening to launch civil disobedience protests.

MOST POPULAR OF THIS SECTION
Advertise  |   RSS Feed  |   About Us  |   Contact Us
Home  |   Taiwan  |   China  |   Business  |   Asia  |   World  |   Sports  |   Life  |  
Arts & Leisure  |   Health  |   Editorial  |   Commentary Travel  |   Movies  |   Guide Post  |   Terms of Use  |  
  chinapost search