Philippines Weighing In On Controversial Reproductive Health Care Bill

The United States is not the only country to experience fierce battles over health care legislation and the availability of contraception and sex education. The Phiippines House of Representatives are meant to vote on a new health care bill that would make contraceptives and family planning information more widely available, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines stands as a formidable presence in the island archipelago nation. Over 10,000 people rallied over the weekend against the bill that many Catholics feel encourages lower moral standards and allows more people to engage in promiscuous activity. Many protesters over the weekend urged people to turn away from contraception, divorce and same-sex marriage, which are all frowned upon by the Catholic Church in the Philippines.

Supporters of the bill have pushed the legislation forward in the hopes of curving serious population growth that many feel is untenable. Economists have stated that the extremely high birth rate in the Philippines, nearly double that of the United States on a yearly basis, contributes to poverty and a strained infrastructure.

Catholic protesters of the new bill, which should be voted on in the House of Representatives in the next several weeks before going to a much more challenging vote in the Senate, have blamed the current President Benigno Aquino III for allowing such legislation to be considered. Many people want to revise the new bill to remove elements of family planning and contraceptive resources from it altogether.

Unfortunately, many of the people that would benefit most from the legislation, mainly the country’s poor population in which many women bear around six children in their lifetimes, have no way of hearing about or weighing in on the current debate.  Malaya Business Insight notes that a Universal Health Care unit is attempting to spread information about what the bill would mean for the population at large, but the work is slow and difficult.

President Aquino’s health care politics haven’t only drawn ire from the conservative factions in the Philippines but also from LGBT activists who feel that this same bill does not account for fair practice towards gay, lesbian and transgender people. Critics have noted that an early version of the bill, House Bill 4244, included a clause that prohibited discrimination based upon sex, age, religion and sexual orientation.

Queerty notes that a newer draft of the bill put the phrase “sexual orientation” in brackets for future removal, stirring activists to speak out against a long tradition of ignoring LGBT discrimination on the legal platform. Commentators have noted that Aquino’s move to remove the LGBT clause is an effort to appease a conservative population and get the bill to pass through the House and Senate. Opponents of the president feel that he is refusing to push for LGBT human rights.

The LGBT community in the Philippines has been struggling for political recognition in recent years, demanding that President Aquino take into account the discrimination and unique challenges faced by those who are not embraced in the strong Catholic hierarchy of the nation.

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Photo Credit: Westcrosse


Alvin S.
Alvin Solas5 years ago

In addition, I just really envy (but it’s no hate) cause I see the other side of the World is better than my country Philippines that still beggars are rampant in the streets, robbery, unsafe country from the eyes of foreigner. We belong the only Catholic country in Asia but we are also belongs as poor country as if you will compare nowadays in Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.
If you’re affiliate with Church or Politician (ask yourself) looked around the World how to upgrade the needs of individual people in the Philippines, sure you know that.
“Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines” is just simple one problem to be solved in this country, anyway many things to be considered to upgrade the living of standards.
I will ask you my friend "Who help to develop the living standards, Infrastructure projects, health bill, etc. my answer my friend "Marked of people in this earth cannot understand the heart of me”

Kind Regards,
Alvin Solas

Alvin S.
Alvin Solas5 years ago

I’m compliant with you, however as I had mentioned before this problem must be passed directly to the Philippine government with proper documentation for approval. It is not necessary to destroy the peaceful heart of the city just making rallied, noise, etc., just to use unconditional people without exactly have the knowledge why they are joined together with the rally about the “Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines”.
The reasons is because there is no use about this kind of strategy inherited from Catholic upbringing in the country, for me if I’m billionaire and connected from IMF or International bank ohh my friend it is easy to approved this kind of “Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines” but I’m not so I just passed to you my opinion.
Now Philippines politician is influenced by Church or are you belong to Church so please endorse my suggestion from rich people in the World cause even President Nonoy Aquino cannot solved about this problem, unless IMF, US, EU will make the reproduction of much money with the face of Noynoy Aquino and this money will be used for “all kind of Health bills” infrastructure project, etc. So after that Noynoy can easily get a better solution I think but because nobody cares still cannot be solved yes my friend?
In addition, I just really envy (but it’s no hate) cause I see the other side of the World is better than my country Philippines that still beggars are rampant in t

Victory A.
Victory A.5 years ago

That issue about the Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines has been heating up since last year. The ones for it are thinking about giving people a choice on how they will plan their future families. The ones who are against it are mostly saying that implementing it is not necessary since there are other bills that cover it. The ones against it (especially the politicians) are also influenced by the Church (since they need the Church to endorse them during elections. It is quite a mess.

Frances C.
Frances C5 years ago

The Catholic church has done so much harm to the world. Starting with the inquisition, torture, and wars over religion. In third world countries where they tell poor women not to use birth control (sin) then they have babies that are ill, and starving. Now they are in America in the twenty first century tellling women what we can and can't do. At least in this country hardly anyone pays any attention to them. Well, maybe the tea party.

Alvin S.
Alvin Solas5 years ago

Really sorry that i don't agree that you use the phrases "Promiscuity can cause lasting emotional damage" the reasons is you belong as one of those "Promiscuity" since you were born in this world.

Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Juliet Defarge
judith sanders5 years ago

"Promiscuity can cause lasting emotional damage"
So can celibacy and making people feel guilty for having completely natural desires.

Bette M.
Bette M5 years ago

To answer the question......The catholic church is rich in furs, jewels, gold this and that all because there are so many poor who believe in the hope the church keeps spouting non stop.
The church knows the poor will give their last penny to support whatever utterance the priest dribbles along with the collection plate.
Of all the religions known to man the catholic church is the scandalous & full of trickery especially toward the poor.
The bottom line is the more babies the more servant fools for the future to keep them rich in furs & jewels.
Finally, the church is ruled by men who literally know nothing about women period. All they do know is to use them for the churches pot of gold.
Time to pass out the PILL and not the blessings.

Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.

Polarbeargal A.
Georgia a5 years ago

Is the Catholic Church going to start supporting all the babies it insist be born? Families in deep poverty that would have a problem supporting one child sure as hell do not need to conceive four, six, eight, ten children. It just continues the cycle of poverty, crime, murder, etc. The planet is so overburdened now with people our resources are greatly strained and it cannot continue. What happens when there is such a number of people on earth they all cannot be fed? Will the Catholic Church then open it's rich coffers to do so? I know this is just the tip of the ice berg as far as problems for the planet but overpopulation ranks right up top.

Paula M.
Paula M5 years ago

Promiscuity can cause lasting emotional damage, particularly to young men and women, and it is reasonable that Filipinos would want to promote family planning in a way that does not weaken social deterrents to promiscuous behavior.