Condom Queues Incite Church Tensions in Philippines

March 30, 2012 • Family Planning, Reproductive Health, Philippines, Daily Email Recap

Below is a Bloomberg article reporting on the seemingly interminable struggle to pass a Reproductive Health and Rights Bill in that country, where for 14 years the Catholic Church has vigorously led the opposition to passage. See:

Condom Queues Incite Church Tensions in Philippines
By Natasha Khan and Norman P. Aquino – Mar 27, 2012 12:00 PM ET

Lorna Villar gave birth seven times in 14 years. After her last pregnancy pushed the 34-year-old’s blood pressure to dangerous levels, the Manila mom says contraception became a life or death matter.

Villar now lines up in a crowded clinic between an auto repair shop and a kiosk selling sodas to avoid more pregnancies. The intrauterine device she had inserted free by a charity puts her among the 34 percent of Filipino women ages 15 to 49 using modern birth control — about the same proportion as in Myanmar and Iraq, United Nations data show.

“It’s such a relief to know I won’t fall pregnant again,” says Villar, sitting on the concrete floor of her windowless, 20 square meter (215 square feet) home in Tondo, one of Manila’s poorest neighborhoods. The 7,000 pesos ($160) a month her husband makes driving cranes and ferrying people in a tricycle taxi is barely enough to live off, she says.

One in five women of reproductive age in the Philippines have an unmet family planning need, the UN Population Fund says, leading to unintended pregnancies and population growth twice the Asian average. Relief may come from a reproductive health bill backed by President Benigno Aquino that promises free or subsidized contraception, especially for the poor, says Ugochi Daniels, the fund’s country representative in the Philippines.

To read the full article, please click here:

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