Philippine President Signs Family Planning Bill Into Law

“The Philippine President has signed into law a family-planning bill that was blocked by the Catholic Church for more than a decade,” Al Jazeera reports (12/28). “President Benigno Aquino III signed into a law a bill that promotes contraception and sex education in schools,” the Wall Street Journal writes, adding, “On Saturday, a deputy presidential spokeswoman confirmed in a statement that Mr. Aquino had quietly signed the act into law on Dec. 21, and it will take effect in January, guaranteeing contraceptives will be available to the poorest Filipinos” (Sandique-Carlos, 12/29).

“The measure is expected to widen public access to reproductive health services, including both natural and artificial family planning,” according to Yahoo! News (Patria, 12/29). “Passage of the bill closed a divisive chapter in the country’s history, [deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said in a statement], according to the official Philippines News Agency,” CNN notes, adding, “Lawmakers nearly two weeks ago approved the legislation, and a reconciliation committee was tasked with working out differences in the versions passed by the two houses” (12/29).