Letters to the International Herald Tribune
Regarding “Church and state in Manila” by Philip Bowring (Views, Oct. 22): While the Catholic Church battles secular society in the Philippines, it’s important to remember that a woman’s right to family planning is a fundamental human right. Any attempt to take it away constitutes discrimination.
One need only walk through the streets of Manila to see how women suffer disproportionately when they can’t control their fertility. In 2000, the mayor effectively banned modern contraceptives. Rates of unintended pregnancy are high. Poor women struggle to feed numerous children while living in abject poverty. Public hospitals are a hub for those who resort to unsafe abortion.
Contraception helps save lives and that is what everyone in the Philippines should care about.
Melissa Upreti, New York
Regional manager and legal adviser, Asia program, Center for Reproductive Rights