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(11/05/08) -

Filipinos Back Family Planning Lessons

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Three quarters of Filipino adults think the country’s younger generation should learn about family planning, according to a poll by Social Weather Stations. 76 per cent of respondents agree with a law that would require the government to teach family planning to the youth.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Three quarters of Filipino adults think the country’s younger generation should learn about family planning, according to a poll by Social Weather Stations. 76 per cent of respondents agree with a law that would require the government to teach family planning to the youth.

With more than 80 per cent of the population following Catholicism, the Philippines is the third largest Catholic nation in the world. Currently, abortion is illegal and the Roman Catholic Church—which exercises a great deal of influence in the Asian country—opposes all forms of contraception that are not classified as "natural" family planning. Many attempts to pass laws requesting government funding for family planning services and HIV/AIDS prevention have been shot down by the government.

Currently, a Reproductive Health Bill is being debated in Congress. The proposed legislation would promote information about family planning, offer counseling, treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and treatment and prevention of infertility, education for the youth and access to both natural and modern family planning methods—as long as they are medically safe and legally permissible.

On Oct. 21, spokespersons for the Catholic Church said their stance against the proposed bill will persist, despite apparent support from Filipino adults. Ligaya Acosta, the Director of Human Life International-Asia, declared: "I have discovered the questions were framed in such a way as to favour the bill. Their results are not the message I hear from the people I speak with as I go around the country."

San Fernando archbishop Paciano Aniceto also questioned the findings, saying, "The alleged survey appears to be part of a desperate attempt to force through a bill whose basic moral and legal infirmities have been thoroughly exposed in the debates and which is fast losing ground in Congress."

Polling Data

Do you agree or disagree with this statement? – "There should be a law that requires government to teach family planning to the youth."

Agree

76%

Disagree

10%

Not sure

14%

Source: Social Weather Stations
Methodology: Face-to-face interviews with 1,200 Filipino adults, conducted from Sept. 24 to Sept. 27, 2008. Margin of error is 3 per cent.