Philippine court upholds contraceptive law as constitutional

An NGO health worker holds contraceptive pills during a family planning session with housewives availing free pills in Tondo, ManilaThe Philippines Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a family planning law but ruled out provisions to punish health workers who do not inform people about contraceptive options. In a country where more than 80 percent of a population of about 97 million is Roman Catholic, the Church had opposed the law, effectively blocking its passage for 13 years, for fear it would lead to a spike in abortions. The Philippines has one of the highest birth rates in Asia, standing at 24.98 per 1,000 of population in 2012. Congress passed the reproductive health law in December 2012, allowing public health centers to hand out contraceptives, such as condoms and pills, and teach sex education in schools.

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