Filipino Women Face Strong Opposition to Family Planning

Women in the Philippines lack access to contraceptives, according to the New York Times. Despite an explosion in the nation’s population, the government has restricted public education about contraception. In fact, the Church has warned that it would oppose politicians that support family planning, calling them “adulterers, fornicators and terrorists,” UN Wire reports.

The President of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, stated her support of the use of the rhythm method as a form of natural contraception last week, reports UN Wire. The New York Times reports that local surveys indicate that only 23 percent of sexually active men use condoms and only 4 percent said they use condoms regularly. Women who seek contraceptives often do not have access to them or cannot afford them. In fact, two-thirds of Filipinos cannot even afford condoms, the Times reports.

The Philippine fertility rate is among the highest in the world outside of Africa at 3.4 births per woman, according to UNICEF.

LEARN MORE Click here to read women’s narratives about barriers or successes in accessing reproductive health and family planning services.


New York Times 3/21/03; UN Wire 3/21/03, UNICEF Country Statistics

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