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People

Carolina Austria

RH Reality Check, Asia

I am a feminist and social activist, a lawyer as well as an academic. I have worked with NGOs for the last thirteen years, first as an Environment Lawyer handling litigation for Legal and Natural Resources Center (Friends of the Earth-Philippines) and later as a feminist lawyer for both litigation and research programs at the Women’s Legal Bureau,Inc. I was founding Executive Director of Women’s Legal Education, Advocacy & Defense Foundation Inc. (WOMENLEAD) from 2000-2005 where I am now a Volunteer/Board Chairperson. I have been an independent consultant for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF-UK); the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines, Women and Gender Institute (WAGI), Women’s Feature Service (WFS) as well as other women’s organizations and NGOs working on Reproductive health. I was an 2007 LLM Fellow of the International Sexual and Reproductive Health Program of the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. I also teach at the College of Law, University of the Philippines. I am an incoming SJD Fellow of the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. (2009) I am a Research Associate for the SRHR Project of the Development Alternatives with Women for a New Network (DAWN).

All Work

What Filipino Catholics Say About Abortion

Carolina Austria

As hard as it has become in the US context to explore common ground in the abortion debate, in places like the Philippines, even mustering a public discussion about contraception has become increasingly difficult in recent years.

When Gender Is Not Enough

Carolina Austria

Women political leaders in the Philippines are nothing new. But examining the close relationship of female Filipino leaders to the Catholic Church reveals that more than gender is required for progressive policies on reproductive health.

Condemning Contraceptive Condoms

Carolina Austria

Despite the Philippine President's lack of support for universal access to contraceptives, an official of the Department of Health recently criticized the Roman Catholic Church's position against condom use.

Almost All Sex Is Sin?

Carolina Austria

With a very limited and negative view of sexuality, the Catholic Church's attention always seems inordinately focused on what it views as "unnatural sex acts" -- and it doesn't bother distinguishing between consensual acts and abuse.

A Tale of Three Cities

Carolina Austria

Manila is now famous for its ban on perfectly safe, legal and much needed contraceptives. But other Filipino cities nearby are taking very different stands.

Manila’s Women Battle Ban on Birth Control

Carolina Austria

On January 29, 2008, a group of women, together with activist organizations and individuals working on women's reproductive rights in Manila, filed a case countering the seven-year de facto ban on contraceptives in city funded health facilities.

Global Gag Rule Sensationalizes Abortion

Carolina Austria

The media in the Philippines continue to portray abortion as a population control measure, not understanding that reproductive health care is a right. But U.S. policies like the global gag rule, which sensationalize abortion, aren't helping.

Friendships for Life, Across Differences

Carolina Austria

Years ago my friend and I were estranged, in part because of our differences of opinion about a woman's right to choose an abortion. Recently, both acknowledging the complexity of the issue, we reconnected.

Law Meets Health Technology

Carolina Austria

In the face of fast-paced technological advances in health and medicine, the field of law and policy seems to be stuck in a never ending game of catch up. What are some of the important issues around law and new health and medical technology?

Debating Public Health Care

Carolina Austria

In the context of increasingly privatized health care within a public health care system and alongside policy scripts fueling "tax cuts," who is accountable and responsible for public health in Canada?

Compassion and Rights

Carolina Austria

In the Philippines, arguments in favor of abortion legalization appeal both to rights to choice and privacy as well as to compassion.

When Abortion is Not a Choice

Carolina Austria

Recent increases in abortions in the Philippines have been linked to the lack of control women have over timing and spacing of children, and have resulted in improved understanding in some media about challenges women face.

Lost in Translation

Carolina Austria

The move to wider use of the Latin Mass represents a shift towards more conservative traditions in the Catholic church, which is at odds with changing Catholic views on reproductive health and rights.

Positive Influences

Carolina Austria

Youth and reproductive health advocates met in Manila to engage findings and recommendations from International Planned Parenthood Federation's HIV/AIDS Report Card on Women and Young Girls.

Beyond Dollars and Cents

Carolina Austria

Carolina Ruiz-Austria looks at the real cost of sexual and reproductive health care in the Philippines, including the challenges and successes of different programs.

The Colors of Sexual Ethics

Carolina Austria

The Philippine media is creating a false “Catholics vs. Reproductive Health” debate that doesn't stand up to the diversity within Catholic beliefs—including support for modern methods of family planning.

The Heat is On: Reproductive Health as an Electoral Agenda in the Philippines

Carolina Austria

Editor's note: Today we welcome Carolina S. Ruiz-Austria, writing from the Philippines. She has experience in women's rights, law and journalism, and will be reporting on reproductive health in Southeast Asia.

In the tropics, where year-round warm weather is expected, summer temperatures hitting 33-36 degrees (Celsius) in Manila is still considered extreme.

But the summer heat isn't the only thing approaching fever like extremes. It is also the height of a mid-term electoral campaign. Politicians of every color and persuasion are making rounds to win votes.

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