Philippines: Group welcomes President Duterte’s vow for full Reproductive Health law implementation

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07:50 PM July 25th, 2016

A GROUP that advances women’s rights welcomed President Duterte’s announcement on the full implementation of the Republic Act 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (RH Law).Atty. Clara Rita Padilla, executive director of the non-government organization EnGendeRights, in a statement said it is about time that the RH Law be fully implemented.

The President, in his first State of the Nation Address (Sona) announced that the RH Law must be implemented to curb the population growth and assist the poor in family planning.

“The implementation of the Reproductive Health Law must be put in full force and effect so that couples especially the poor will have freedom of informed choice on the number and spacing of children,” Duterte said.

The RH Law guarantees universal access to methods of contraception, fertility control, sexual education and maternal care.

“We really need the provisions of the RH Law to be implemented fully. We badly need the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) should implement a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum from elementary through college,” Padilla said.

She noted that one out of every 10 adolescent women aged 15-19 is already a mother and there are 25 new HIV cases a day while the unintended pregnancy is high with three in ten births unwanted or mistimed and only 38 percent of women aged 15-49 use modern contraceptives.

Due to high unintended pregnancy, she said “high incidence of rape with one woman raped every 71 minutes, unavailability of emergency contraception, lack of access to safe and legal abortion and even lack of access to humane, nonjudgmental, compassionate post-abortion care, we have three women dying every day from complications from unsafe abortion.”

“That’s why we are hopeful that under President Duterte’s administration, we will have access to the full range of comprehensive methods including emergency contraception, comprehensive sexuality education, and access to humane, nonjudgmental, and compassionate post-abortion care,” she added.

Source: Inquirer.net (Philippines)