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Philippines Supreme Court Temporarily Halts Implementation Of Reproductive Health Law

“The Philippines Supreme Court temporarily halted the implementation of a law that provides state funding for contraceptives, legislation opposed by the dominant Roman Catholic Church but supported by reproductive health activists,” the Associated Press reports, adding, “The Responsible Parenthood Law was passed by lawmakers late last year despite the church’s opposition but petitioners questioned its legality on several grounds, saying it offends religious beliefs and fosters abortion, which remains illegal in the country” (3/19). “In a 10-to-5 ruling, the court froze for 120 days when the law could take effect,” the New York Times writes, adding, “Supporters and opponents of the legislation will argue their cases before the Supreme Court on June 18, said a court spokesman, Theodore Te” (Whaley, 3/19). The law “was expected to take effect by the end of March,” IRIN notes. The news service discusses maternal mortality in the country and details arguments for and against the law (3/20).