Provide your email for confirmation

Tell us a bit about yourself

country *

Please provide your email address

welcome to Rappler

Login

To share your thoughts

Don't have an account?

Login with email

Check your inbox

We just sent a link to your inbox. Click the link to continue signing in. Can’t find it? Check your spam & junk mail.

Didn't get a link?

Sign up

Ready to get started

Already have an account?

Sign up with email

By signing up you agree to Rappler’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy

Check your inbox

We just sent a link to your inbox. Click the link to continue registering. Can’t find it? Check your spam & junk mail.

Didn't get a link?

Join Rappler+

How often would you like to pay?

Annual Subscription

Monthly Subscription

Your payment was interrupted

Exiting the registration flow at this point will mean you will loose your progress

Your payment didn’t go through

Exiting the registration flow at this point will mean you will loose your progress

welcome to Rappler+

CBCP: Philippines moving towards legal abortion

MANILA, Philippines - Church leaders in the Philippines said Saturday, December 15, that an impending birth control law aimed at reducing poverty in the conservative nation was one step towards legalising abortion.

In a letter penned by bishops to be read at Sunday mass in churches across the mainly Catholic country, they said the Reproductive Health Bill promoted pre-martial sex and threatened the "moral fibre" of the country.

"The Reproductive Health bill, if passed into law in its present form, will put the moral fibre of our nation at risk.... a contraceptive mentality is the mother of an abortion mentality," they wrote in the pastoral letter, which was posted on the website of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

The bill paves the way for sex education in schools and the provision of free contraceptives in a country with one of Asia's fastest-growing populations.

It was approved by the lower house of the government's legislative branch on Thursday, December 13, and the Senate is expected to vote on it before Christmas.

The bill will be signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III if both houses of Congress agree on a common version. Aquino gave the controversial bill a boost by certifying it as urgent, speeding up the legislative process.

Bill promotes Pre-marital sex?

In addition, the bishops alleged, to being a precursor to allowing abortion, the bill encourages pre-marital sex by giving young unmarried couples contraceptives to help them avoid pregnancy.

"Is this moral? Those who corrupt the minds of children will invoke divine wrath on themselves," said the letter.

Proponents of the bill denied that it promotes abortion, which is expressly banned by the Philippine constitution.

The Aquino government hopes the law will help bring down poverty in a nation of nearly 100 million people, as well as reducing the high maternal mortality rate.

The pastoral letter, however, rubbished the notion.

"It will not be so. The poor can rise from their misery through more accessible education, better hospitals and lesser government corruption," it said.

"Money for contraceptives can be better used for education and authentic health care." -  Agence France-Presse