Freethought Today · November 2012

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Catholic Church’s heavy hand weighs down Philippines

manila

Above, a photo of Filipinos living in festering slums in Manila, snapped last spring by FFRF Co-President Dan Barker while on a tour of the Philippine capital as part of an atheist conference. Many families live in the huge dump.

FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor recently blogged about the longstanding opposition of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines to a bill which would provide contraception and require sex education.

The New York Times (Nov. 10), reporting on new interest in the bill, quoted Jose Palma, Catholic Conference president, insisting that “a positive birthrate and a population composed of mostly young people … fuel the economy.”

The story quoted Dr. Esmeraldo Ilem: “Family planning in the Philippines is not about population control. It is a health intervention. We are focusing on women who are too young, too old, too poor or too sick to have babies, but their situation does not allow them to stop.”

The birthrate in the Catholic Philippines is 24.98 out of 1,000 (compared to 13.7 in the United States). 

“The Catholic Church has much to answer for,” Gaylor wrote. Read the entire blog at ffrf.org/news/blog/ (scroll to Nov. 13, 2012).

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