Philippines’ Catholic medics urged not to issue birth control

Members of the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network rally near the Malacanang Palace in Manila on October 1, 2010 in support of Philippine President Benigno Aquino's policy on family planningThe Catholic Church in the Philippines is encouraging members who are medical workers to refuse to implement a newly-approved birth control law, an official said Thursday. It is the latest move by the powerful church hierarchy in the largely Catholic Philippines against a law that took effect this year, compelling the state for the first time to provide free condoms and contraceptive pills. "Pastoral guidance" issued by bishops this week explains how government health workers can legally refuse to dish out contraceptives on ethical or religious grounds, Marvin Mejia, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, told AFP. "Obviously, Catholics should not, on moral grounds, seek employment in the very government agencies that promote artificial contraception," reads the guidance, obtained by AFP.

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