Abortion is illegal in the Philippines, though birth control and related health services have long been available to those who can afford to pay for them through the private medical system. But 70 percent of the population is too poor and depends on heavily subsidized care through the public health system. In 1991, prime responsibility for delivering public health services shifted from the central government to the local authorities, who have broad discretion over which services are dispensed. Many communities responded by making birth control unavailable.
More recently, however, family planning advocates have been making headway in their campaign to change this. Legislation before the Philippine Congress, called the Reproductive Health and Population Development Act, would require governments down to the local level to provide free or low-cost reproductive health services — from condoms and birth control pills to tubal ligation and vasectomy. It would also mandate sex education in all schools, public and private, from fifth grade through high school.
So who is against this? Yup. You guessed it: the Roman Catholic Church is once again getting involved in secular democracy’s business.
The main opposition in this overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country has come from the church and affiliated lay organizations, which say the proposed law would legalize abortion.
Read the article here.
If the Church is okay with getting involved in local politics and funding campaigns to affect public policies – and it obviously is more than just okay with the notion – then isn’t it high time the Church and all it properties – like any other business that funds lobby group to act on its behalf – be taxed?