World

Philippines passes family planning law

MANILA: A long-awaited Philippine family planning law to provide free hormonal contraceptives is finally going ahead, health officials said yesterday.

It ended a two-year impasse in which the Supreme Court demanded proof that they did not cause abortions.

The announcement marked a victory over the influential Catholic church, which counts most of the Philippine population as followers and opposes all forms of artificial contraception.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque said 51 types of contraceptive pills, coils and injectables could now be distributed to the public after the Food and Drug Administration certified they did not cause abortions, defeating a petition filed by a Catholic group.

"It is now all systems go for us in the Department of Health to implement the (Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health) law," Dr Duque said. - AFP

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