RH Reality Check, Asia
RH Reality Check, Asia
When Filipino media make reference to the "Catholic" position on family planning and contraception, it usually quotes the opinion of the Catholic hierarchy, disregarding the varied views among Catholics.
ICPD+15 is an opportunity to reflect on public health systems as core social institutions in the face of market failures and inadequacies, including corporate ineptitude in meeting the needs of ordinary people.
The absence of penal laws and widespread violence against homosexuals and transgender persons does not make the Philippines totally “gay friendly” or even “pro-trans.”
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.
While it is not surprising that many Filipino-Americans have conservative views about women's right to choose, it is not fair or accurate to depict all Filipino-Americans as rabidly anti-choice.
While visiting Manila-Philippines, Vatican official Paul Josef Cordes declared yesterday that "feminism" is not only eroding manhood but causing "a crisis in fatherhood."
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.
A new US presidential administration can revitalize support for UNFPA and reorient USAID, which will go a long way in creating more breathing space for local reproductive health advocacy in the Philippines.
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.
A group of Filipino Catholics calling themselves a part of the "silent majority," broke their silence and came out in support of pending legislation on reproductive health.
The Catholic Church in the Philippines has always been at loggerheads with proponents of population control, and has clashed with advocates of women's rights and choice. But the local debate now has turned to the basis of Catholic teaching itself.
In the Philippines, women's health advocates and legislators are working to create access to family planning and contraception for women but the Catholic Church is stuck on abortion and has its own agenda.
Arguing that their petition to overturn Manila's ban on modern family planning services is an issue of "transcendental importance," Manila residents ask the Court of Appeals to hear their case.
Nine years into Manila's total ban on contraceptives, how are the city's residents obtaining the family planning services they need?
Religious fundamentalists' fear isn't that feminism will lead all women to reject motherhood, but rather that in the capacity for choice, women challenge the notions that rationalize male domination embedded in traditional meanings of motherhood.
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.
PEPFAR's "anti-prostitution" pledge favors strategies that are penal in character over health-based interventions that reach out to educate sex workers.
In the Philippines as elsewhere, the stereotype of who usually undergoes abortion and why doesn't exactly fit the hard data.
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.
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.
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.
Despite the difficulties reproductive health advocates faced in the Philippines in 2007, engaging in the debates on RH remained important in continuing to secure "public spaces" for the reproductive health agenda.
Presidential politics in the Philippines means that reproductive health care in that country is up for debate.
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.
Despite the recognized benefits of universal programs aimed at young girls there is still a need to raise concerns about vulnerable and disadvantaged groups of women who are simply falling through the cracks.
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?
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?
The sponsor of the Philippines' reproductive health bill has recently accepted reproductive health as a human right, not as a population control measure.
In the Philippines, arguments in favor of abortion legalization appeal both to rights to choice and privacy as well as to compassion.
Can a ban on family planning services be considered a denial of basic health care? Advocates in Manila will find out.
The dominant voices engaged in what passes for the debate over "sexual morality" are often on the same side of the fence regarding sexual stereotypes, and united in sexism.
In the Philippines, organizations who counter the Catholic Church's opposition to contraception run the risk of being called population-control advocates.
Where the Philippine government refuses to provide family planning services, POPSHOPs fill in significant gaps.
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.
Carolina Ruiz-Austria shares a cross-cultural conversation with the Malaysian National Advisory for Women on violence against women and reproductive health in the Philippines.
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.
The purpose of media and police raids on "suspected abortion clinics" has little to do with actually preventing clandestine abortions, or even educating the public.
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.
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.
Advocates in the Philippines have begun to change their approach to HIV/AIDS by talking about it alongside issues of gender, rights and sexual health.
Candidates attended a forum on reproductive health issues in the Philippines, despite warnings from the Catholic Church against the "evils" of a reproductive health agenda.
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.
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.