Filipino nun fights for dignity of women and the defense of the unborn
by David Viehland
Sr. Mary Verzosa Pilar is one of the founders of the Philippine-life movement. Working since the '70s with parishes and dioceses to spread the culture of life among young women. The nun has recently won the Mystery of Life Award 2012, of the Archdiocese of Seoul.

Manila (AsiaNews) - A life for the dignity of women, teaching young people to reject abortion and to take care of their children and themselves. It is the story of Sister Mary Pilar Verzosa, Filipino religious, recently honoured by the Archdiocese of Seoul (South Korea) with the Mystery of Life Award for her work in defence of life of the unborn.

Upon returning from Korea, Sister Mary spoke to AsiaNews about what she has been able to achieve through Philippine pro-life movement in these years is due to the testimony of Fr. Paul Marx, Benedictine monk and founder of Human Life International. Arrived in the Philippines in 1974, he began to spread information in schools about the risks of abortion legalized in the U.S., offering an alternative of chastity in marriage and the natural methods of birth control to the population.

Thanks to the work of Fr. Paul and Sister Mary in the various dioceses in the country, the Philippines is among the few Asian countries where abortion was not legalized, despite pressure from powerful international organizations, such as the UN and UNICEF.

"The awards ceremony - says Sr. Mary - was an opportunity to present our programs to the Korean population that only recently have begun this fight against the legalization of abortion and the culture of death".

In recent years Korean Catholics were inspired by the work of the Church in the Philippines that still fights against the law for birth control, the Reproductive Health Bill, which is considered by many economists a political solution to the economic problems of the country.

The law on reproductive health refuses clinical abortion, but supports a program of family planning. It requires couples not to have more than two children, penalizes conscientious objection of doctors and health professionals and promotes voluntary sterilization. Church and Catholic associations argue for the Natural Family Programme (NFP), which aims to spread among the population has a culture of responsibility and love based on Christian values.