The Philippine Supreme Court on Tuesday temporarily blocked the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood Bill to allow for the opposition to present arguments against the law. The bill would provide access to state-funded contraception and would provide it free of charge to those who cannot afford to pay. Requirements for comprehensive sex and family planning education in schools are also included in the bill. According to a spokesperson for the Supreme Court, the law is blocked until June 18, at which time the court will hear arguments on the bill.
The Responsible Parenthood Bill was signed into law late last year. The measure was heavily contested by pro-life advocates, especially the Catholic Church, which argued that the bill promotes abortion (abortion is illegal in the Philippines.) However, a spokesperson for President Benigno Aquino told the press “We will observe the resolution issued by the Supreme Court and we are confident that the government will be able to defend the merits of the law.”