Philippine Archbishop Acknowledges Partial Blame for Rapid Population Growth
In an unusual statement from a high Church official, Philippine Archbishop Guadencio Rosales acknowledged that the Catholic Church must share the blame for the rapid increase in population growth in the midst of widespread poverty in the country. Twenty-seven million people in the Philippines (more than a third of the population) live on a dollar a day and struggle to meet even the basic needs for food and shelter. Rosales rejects all but “natural” family planning methods and totally ignores the importance of empowering women as a solution.
In his statement to foreign press correspondents, Rosales’ suggested that the solution is to motivate people to plan their families the natural way and exercise discipline in the bedroom according to the China Post. Rosales not only rejected artificial family planning, he didn’t even acknowledge any role for women in planning their own families as he said that it is wrong to tell people “here is the solution, take a rubber”… "a person who cannot discipline himself in the bedroom will not properly discipline himself in traffic.”
The Philippines, a primarily Catholic country, has an annual population growth rate of 2.36 percent, resulting in 1.7 million new births a year, making it one of the highest in Asia. The country’s population is expected to double from 84 million to 168 million over the next thirty years reports Agence France-Presse. Bolivia and Kenya, poor counties where the Catholic Church has a great deal of influence, also have extremely high annual population growth rates of 2.2 and 3.2 percent respectively. Yet Italy, even with the Vatican ever present, has the lowest fertility rate in the world.
The Philippines is a signatory of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) that called on all countries to take the necessary steps to meet the family planning needs of their populations and to provide, by 2015, universal access to a full range of safe and reliable family planning methods, according to the UNFPA.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .