Lawmakers In The Philippines Working To Negotiate Compromise On Reproductive Health Bill

“After 14 years in limbo,” legislation being considered by the Philippines Congress would “requir[e] the government to provide contraceptives, information on modern family planning methods at public health centers, and comprehensive reproductive health curriculum in schools,” CNN reports. “National surveys show 65-70 percent of Filipinos support the bill, but it faces fierce opposition by the country’s Roman Catholic Church leaders,” according to the news service (Lichauco de Leon, 9/4). “When Philippines President Benigno Aquino III delivered his annual state of the union address in July, he appealed to the country’s lawmakers to break a deadlock” on the reproductive health bill, Inter Press Service writes (Macan-Markar, 9/4).

“Lawmakers are trying to negotiate a compromise, by addressing some of the strongest objections to the bill,” including adding an amendment that clarifies services “would be geared to the ‘poorest and most marginalized households,'” according to CNN. “The bill in its previous five attempts at passage, has languished in Congress,” the news service notes (9/4). “But, as the reproductive health (RH) bill makes its way through the Senate and the House for amendments, its sponsors face filibustering by a vocal minority trying to delay passage of the bill before Oct. 15 when the term of the current Congress expires,” IPS writes (9/4).

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