MOSCOW -- Russia's Orthodox Church teamed with Conservative parliamentarians Monday to push legislation that would radically restrict abortions in a nation struggling to cope with one of the world's lowest birthrates.
The legislation would ban free abortions at government-run clinics and prohibit the sale of the morning-after pill without a prescription, said Yelena Mizulina, who heads a parliamentary committee on families, women and children.
She added that abortion for a married woman would also require the permission of her spouse, while teenage girls would need their parents' consent. If the legislation is passed, a week's waiting period would also be introduced so women could consider their decision to terminate their pregnancy, Mizulina said.
In the Philippines.
MANILA, Philippines - The Senate is expected to start plenary debates on the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill next week.
Senate committee on health and demography chair Pia Cayetano said that she is now fine-tuning the committee report and would have it ready for debates by next week.
A separate bill on the protection of the unborn child filed by a number of senators, including those who are against the RH bill, is seen by some quarters as counterweight to the controversial measure.
The committee on youth, women and family relations, also chaired by Cayetano, conducted a public hearing on the protection of the unborn child bill yesterday.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, a staunch critic of the RH bill and one of the authors of the protection of the unborn child bill, argued that the RH bill should remove the provisions on the promotion and distribution of contraceptives by the government.
“It was revealed that a significant number of these contraceptives are abortifacients,” Sotto said after yesterday’s hearing.
He noted that even the so-called morning after pill, considered by many as abortifacient, may be purchased over-the-counter in spite of the claims of authorities to the contrary. Sotto reiterated that abortion is unconstitutional.
The Philippines has a serious population and poverty problem.
With an estimated population of about 94 million people, the Philippines is the world's 12th most populous country. An additional 11 million Filipinos live overseas.
The government has been wrangling over a reproductive health policy for nine years. But the Catlick Church has been stomping its tiny feet and nixing all attempts at rationality. It is opposed to all contraception, despite the people's overwhelming support for it.
But, hey, that's what patriarchal religion does.