Philippines president signs law easing access to contraceptives
By Kenneth R. Weiss and Sol VanziDecember 29, 2012, 1:18 p.m.
MANILA – Philippines President Benigno Aquino III has signed legislation that will provide modern contraceptives to the nation’s poorest people and mandate sex education in public schools, a spokeswoman announced Saturday.
Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines immediately vowed to challenge the new law in the nation’s Supreme Court and rally demonstrations in the streets, alluding to the bishops’ role in inspiring the “People Power” revolution in 1986 that helped topple former President Ferdinand Marcos.
“The fight is far from over,” said Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, a vice chairman of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, in a radio interview Saturday. “The church will continue to protect and defend life. The church will not stop.”
The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act was passed by the Philippines Congress this month after the bishops and their supporters had successfully blocked it for 14 years.
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