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‘Family planning is not abortion’

The Reproductive Health Law experienced a lot of TRO and opponents because it is branded as unconstitutional.

Trina Ibarle Orquiza

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Multiply indeed Children bring every conceivable receptacle for a ladle of porridge during a Baseco feeding program. The country has among the highest population growth in the world but birth control programs are insufficient mainly as a result of objections from the Catholic Church which touts the adage “Be fruitful and multiply.” AFP

Population growth is one socio-economic indicator of the country which administrations past and current have been trying to mitigate, which is considered as among the possible solutions in curbing high poverty incidence.

However, efforts by the government have been met with opposition by the Roman Catholic Church in particular due to the methods that are said to run against Church teachings, which the Commission on Population (POPCOM) has been trying to correct time and time again.

During his guesting at last Tuesday’s “Straight Talk with Daily Tribune,” Lydio Español Jr., POPCOM regional director, reiterated that family planning is not about abortion.

“The Reproductive Health Law experienced a lot of TRO (temporary restraining orders) and opponents because it is branded as unconstitutional, as claimed by the Roman Catholic Church because it thinks we might end up having abortions,” Español explained.

“We’d like to assure, in fact, that abortion is not in any of the modern family planning methods we are offering. Abortion is illegal in the country,” he reiterated.

Many mouths to feed

What the government has been pushing for is the introduction of methods which call for putting a limit to the number of children a couple wishes to have based on their capability to raise a family without resulting to poverty.

“There are several types of modern family planning methods that are being introduced. These are ranging from natural methods to spacing, long-acting and including permanent methods in family planning. None of these can be considered as abortifacient,” Español clarified.

The most popular family planning method being widely used is the use of contraceptive pills. However, according to Español, this is only a method which can help in proper child spacing but does not permanently cap off the number of children a family can have, which is the more pressing problem currently.

“Unluckily, it (contraceptive pills) is not the answer in family planning because according to surveys, what transpires is the need for long-acting and permanent methods. There is more need now to stop giving birth than to space pregnancies,” Español said.

He added the common nuclear family already counts at having three to five children — which is more than the ideal number of two kids which families usually declare they want to have on the onset of marriage.

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