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Philippines: God will provide, says Catholic church…

November 12, 2012

…because we sure as hell won’t.

…The children huddle together waiting for breakfast, which on a good day is pan de sal, or Filipino salt bread, which they dip into hot instant coffee. Mrs Cabiya-an works part-time as a laundry woman and home help.

”It’s tough when you have so many children,” she says, with a shy smile. ”I have to count them before I go to sleep to make sure no one’s missing.”

At one time Mrs Cabiya-an had access to contraceptives but the Manila mayor, Jose Atienza, a devout Catholic, swept them off the shelves of city-run clinics in 2000. Since then she has struggled to limit the size of her family, resorting to illegal abortion more than once.

Mr Aquino, a Catholic, is strongly backing a reproductive health bill before the Philippines Senate that aims to give poor couples free access to family planning methods, including contraceptives and condoms, and would require schools to teach sex education.

The legislation was first drafted 14 years ago but proved too difficult for previous governments as the country has grown to be the world’s 12th most populous nation with almost 100 million people…

But the Catholic Bishops Conference has vowed to oppose the bill, even though legislators have watered it down to appease the church, removing references to a two child per family policy. ”We are still for scrapping the bill. It is not necessary,” Archbishop Jose Palma, the conference president, says. Some priests have even branded support for the bill a ”serious sin” punishable with excommunication, reflecting how conservative the church has remained in the Philippines, the sole Catholic nation without a divorce law.


  1. corio37 permalink

    It ‘works’ in the sense that you can prevent yourself from having children by abstaining from sex, sometimes or all the time. But that’s never been particularly popular, partly because the God you apparently believe in has given people a strong sex drive that actually gets stronger when the female partner is ovulating. Denying the demands of our God-given sex drive hardly seems a very natural or pious or Catholic thing to do, does it?

    Isn’t it better to have the sex lives that your God apparently intended for us, and rely on modern medicine to prevent undesirable outcomes? How is that morally different from, say, relying on malaria vaccinations to allow us to enjoy travelling in countries where we would otherwise be at risk?

  2. Natural Family Planning does work. Its not always easy, but it works.

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