01/22/2010, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Election 2010: Catholic bishops against abortion, euthanasia and family planning

by Santosh Digal
The Philippine Church reaffirms its commitment to life and challenges the law on reproductive health. Bishops and priests invite the faithful to consider the best interests of society rather than individual interests and vote according to Christian values.

Manila (AsiaNews) - In view of the upcoming 2010 elections  the Filipino bishops have reiterated their no to abortion, euthanasia and other policies against family values and invited the public to vote for candidates who fight for life. For this purpose they have published the guide "The Catechism on Family and Life for the 2010 elections”.  It is the result of the meeting of the national commission of family and life of the Episcopal Conference on 30 November in Antipolo City (Manila).

"The catechism - said Fr Melvin Castro, secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Family and life - was created for the Catholic faithful and is intended to help in the choice of voting ".

The priest calls on Filipino Catholics to consider the best interests of society rather than individual interests, to vote according to Christian values and above all to boycott candidates who support the law on reproductive health. "It is not morally acceptable to vote for those candidates who promote abortion, euthanasia and the use of condoms – he adds - the candidates that the church wants to boycott reflect only their own vision of family and life."

The debate on Reproductive Health has been ongoing for four years. Despite UN support in favour of the law it has never reached the quorum of 120 votes needed for approval. This is due to the opposition of Catholic lawmakers and the support of Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, who has always been contrary to policies of family planning and abortion. The law rejects abortion clinics, but supports a program of family planning, which prevents couples from having more than two children, punishable by the payment of a penalty and in some cases prison. The program supports the spread to all schools and public places of birth control pills, which have been banned by law, condoms and the promotion of voluntary sterilization. The Church and Catholic pro - life organizations instead promote the Natural Family Program (NFP), which aims at providing the people a culture of responsibility and love based on Christian values.

According to a recent study conducted by the Social Weather Stations in Manila 78% of the population of Cebu City (Manila) would be in favour of Reproductive Health. 84% of young people want access to services available in schools and information centres. The bishops, however, dispute these figures defining them as partial and misleading and accuse politicians of wanting to take the issue of reproductive health outside of the electoral debate.

 

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No to contraceptives for birth control, says Archbishop Cruz
15/09/2004
Filipino bishops to back pro-life candidates in upcoming elections
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Filipino president renews commitment in favor of life
12/09/2008
Pro-life Christians and Muslims against pro-abortion law
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