Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Plans By 2018 To Provide All Poor Women Access to Contraception

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte just signed an executive order that implements long-languishing legislation known as the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Act of 2012. The law could aid some 6 million women in the Philippines, 2 million of those being poor, providing them access to birth control which they don’t already have now, Fortune reports.

The Philippines is the only Asian country, according to the United Nations, where the pregnancy rate has risen in the last two decades.

Duterte hopes that by 2018 all poor women will have access to contraception.

Eighty percent of the nation observes a Roman Catholic faith, their values opposing birth control. In 2015, Pope Francis took a large stand against artificial contraception urging those Philippine families to be “sanctuaries of respect for life,” Forbes reports.

Duterte, who is Catholic, has been accused of pushing “anti-life” measures by the Catholic bishops, Reuters reports.

Currently, birthday control is only affordable to those wealthy or middle class Filipinos and abortion is illegal in the Philippines.

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Photo Credit: Reuters