Philippines: Manila’s Aquino risks Church ire on contraception bill

June 6, 2011 • Family Planning, Philippines, Daily Email Recap

From Reuters.  See See two related items below.

Philippines: Manila’s Aquino risks Church ire on contraception bill

Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:21am EDT

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine President Benigno Aquino pledged on Sunday to push for the passage of a reproductive health bill in Congress as a tool to fight poverty even at the risk of excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church.

Efforts to enact a law that would promote access to sex education and contraception have been blocked since the 1990s by powerful Roman Catholic bishops. Around 80 percent of the country’s 94 million people are Catholic.

“I remain committed to push the passage of a law for responsible parenthood,” Aquino told graduates of the country’s premier state university.

“I know there are those who oppose it. At risk of excommunication, it is my obligation as leader to explain my principles to them, even if their minds are already closed. But, in the end, I must listen to my conscience and do what is right.”

Last year, Catholic bishops denied threatening to impose canonical sanction against the president due to his plans but reminded him to consider church’s position.

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