The Straits Times
Published on Dec 17, 2012

Philippines moves closer to controversial birth control law


MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines moved closer to a controversial birth control law on Monday as lawmakers passed a Bill paving the way for increased sex education and free contraceptives, despite intense lobbying by the Catholic church.

The Senate, or upper house, passed the Bill during its crucial second reading, in a move bitterly opposed by the politically influential church which is against the use of contraceptives, including condoms and birth control pills.

President Benigno Aquino has been pushing for the law, which is seen as a way of moderating the Catholic-majority nation's population growth, reducing poverty and bringing down its high maternal mortality rate.

The proposed legislation would come into force after both houses of parliament agree on a common version that would be signed into law by Mr Aquino.