Philippine president vows to push for enactment of pro-family planning bill

10:45, April 18, 2011      

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Philippine President Benigno Aquino III vowed Sunday to push for the enactment of the controversial Responsible Parenthood (RP) bill even if it would mean excommunication from the Catholic Church.

Aquino's apparent strong stance came after the European Union (EU) expressed willingness to provide fund to help poor Filipinos gain free access to contraceptives.

"I am aware that there are those who are against this (RP bill). But it is my obligation as the leader to approach all sectors, talk to them and explain to them even if others say I should be excommunicated," Aquino said.

While he has to listen to others who have already closed their minds on RP bill, the president said at the end of the day, he has to make a decision.

"I need to follow my conscience. I need to do what is right," he said, while citing a 16-year-old girl in a slum area in Manila whom he met and has already two children at a very young age.

The Catholic Church, which is only espousing for natural family planning, has been opposing the RP bill or even the Reproductive Health bill pending in Congress since both provide for artificial family planning.

EU has promised to provide an initial amount of 35 million euro (50.4 million U.S. dollars) to finance modern family planning in the Philippines.

Source: Xinhua
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