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Philippines Passes Reproductive Health Bill On Second Reading

“After fourteen years of being stuck in Congress, legislators [in the Philippines] finally put to a historic vote and passed the Reproductive Health Bill before dawn Thursday,” Inquirer.net reports. “With 113 votes on affirmative, 104 negative and three abstentions, the RH Bill was approved on second reading, the most critical voting period for a [piece of] legislation,” the news service writes. “The Reproductive Health Bill gives the national government the mandate to make reproductive health services accessible to poor families through information and education and the provision of free contraceptives,” Inquirer.net notes. The news service recaps the vote, quoting several officials, and adds, “The RH Bill has not been certified as urgent by President Benigno Aquino III and will take three days before it is put to a vote for third and final reading” (Boncocan, 12/13).