Battle over condoms enters Philippine Congress
Some great quotes:
"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."
"God said go forth and multiply. He did not say go and have just one or two children," Pacquiao said after meeting with the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines.
Oh, and just to be clear what is at stake here:
The World Health Organization says condoms are highly effective in preventing AIDS. About 1.4 million people are infected with the AIDS virus in the Asia-Pacific region, more than double the number 10 years ago.
Condoms also are a protection against unwanted pregnancies while abortion remains illegal in the Philippines. Women are left with little choice other than back-alley clinics, where an estimated 560,000 of them seek abortions involving crude and painful methods every year, according to a report by the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights.
About 90,000 women in the Philippines suffer from abortion complications and an estimated 1,000 die each year, said the report, published last year.
So, the Vatican can claim those 1,000 dead a year from their "morality." Way to go, Catholics.
I agree entirely regarding the circumcision issue.
The draft bill which is the subject of the discussion was emailed to me so I can't link it directly to this page and it seems I can't upload the text as a file. I think I need to paste the text to another page such as a blog and link it that way. You only need read the first three paragraphs up to and including the Guiding Principles.
Does anyone know how I can link it ?
The Reproductive Health bill was passed in December of 2012, but in early 2013, in response to petitions challenging its constitutionality, the Supreme Court put it on hold.
Mostly good news:
Last month, the court upheld the core provisions of the RH law, while finding eight provisions fully or partially unconstitutional.
The good (besides upholding most of the law): they struck down an overbroad definition of abortifacients as "primarily" inducing abortion. (Abortion is illegal in the Philippines.)
The bad: they struck down provisions requiring reproductive health providers to give information and referrals, regardless of their own religious beliefs, and provisions eliminating spousal or parental consent requirements for nonemergency RH services.
Still, this is a major step forward in the separation of church and state!