In the Philippines, the Catholic Church opposes birth control. In the meantime, President Duterte is pushing for more free access to birth control.
Per Fox News, “President Rodrigo Duterte mandated free birth control for women in an effort to decrease poverty rates in the country and help economically stricken communities. Duterte issued an executive order in January declaring free access to contraception as part of ‘modern’ family planning.”
Duterte’s “concern” was for the poor millions in his country who were too poor for birth control.
The Malaysian Digest reports, “In January, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte issued an executive order calling for the full implementation of the so-called Reproductive Health Law that would give an estimated 6 million women in need access to birth control. According to government data, an estimated 2 million of those women are poor and require government assistance to access contraceptives.”
In 2012, the Supreme Court passed an amendment that required free birth control in the Philippines.
Fox News explains, “In 2012, officials passed the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law. It required free birth control distribution, reproductive health services offered at public hospitals, and sex education mandated in schools. But a Supreme Court temporary restraining order prevented full implementation of the reproductive health law.”
There has been a 16- year long battle between the Catholic Church and health advocates.
The Malaysian Digest states, “When the new law takes effect on March 31st, it will be the culmination of a nearly 16-year long battle, between health advocates and the Catholic Church and their respective sympathizers in the Philippines parliament. The Archdiocese of Manila has been an outspoken critic of the legislation, claiming that it will encourage promiscuity and lead to more out of wedlock pregnancies.”
About 80 percent of the population is Catholic, yet President Duterte said religion doesn’t play a role in politics.
Fox News reports, “The Catholic Church opposes birth control; roughly 80 percent of Filipino people identify as Roman Catholic. Yet the president ‘claimed that religion is not attuned to current realities,’ said The Philippine Star.”
Ethnos 360 works among those who have never heard of Christ’s hope in the Philippines. One of the tribes they shared Christ’s hope with is the Manobos
Per Ethnos 360, “‘People were shocked and angry as we talked about His betrayal, trial, beating and crucifixion,’ wrote missionaries Grant and Marianne Bayfield. “They all wanted to jump in and save Jesus! … [But when we] talked about Jesus rising from the dead, their faces brightened and smiles broke out… Death could not keep Jesus down. He is so powerful. He rose again!’”
Pray for an end to birth control in the Philippines. Pray for the Christians in the Philippines not to compromise. Pray for new believers in the Philippines to share Christ’s hope with others.
Fox News: Church fights free birth control in the Philippines
Malaysian Digest: Filipino Women Struggle For Birth Control
Ethnos 360: Christmas Meant Nothing to Them