12.18.12 - A landmark reproductive health bill that has been in the making for more than a decade was passed just days ago in both the Philippines House of Representatives and the Senate, according to the New York Times :
The measure passed on Monday would stock government health centers, including those in remote areas, with free or subsidized birth control options for the poor. It would require sex education in public schools and family-planning training for community health officers. The Philippines has one of the highest birthrates in Asia, but backers of the legislation, including the Aquino administration, have said repeatedly that its purpose is not to limit population growth. Rather, they say, the bill is meant to offer poor families the same reproductive health options that wealthier people in the country enjoy.
This legislation is a powerful victory for the human rights of Filipino women and their families over religious ideology, and the Center urges the government to quickly embrace and enforce it.