On October 25, 2009, the NY Times published a story about a bill that has been introduced in the Philippines to increase contraceptive use. In the Philippines, birth control and related health services have long been available to those who can afford to pay for them through the private medical system, but 70 percent of the population is too poor and depends on heavily subsidized care, according to the article. More recently, however, family planning advocates have been making headway in their campaign to change that. Legislation before the Philippine Congress, called the Reproductive Health and Population Development Act, would require governments down to the local level to provide free or low-cost reproductive health services, including condoms, birth control pills, tubal ligations and vasectomies. It would also mandate sex education in all schools, public and private, from fifth grade through high school. The article refers to a Guttmacher Institute report, and says:
...54 percent of the 3.4 million pregnancies in the Philippines in 2008 were unintended. Most of those unintended pregnancies — 92 percent — resulted from not using birth control, the institute said, and the rest from birth control that failed. Those unintended pregnancies, the institute says, contributed to an estimated half-million abortions that year, despite a ban on the procedure. Most of the abortions are done clandestinely and in unsanitary conditions.
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