Thousands in Philippines protest population control bill

.- About 12,000 pro-lifers gathered on the grounds of the University of Santo Tomas in Manila last Friday to protest a proposed population control bill in the Philippines.

The event, called the “Rally for Life,” was addressed by Archbishop Angel Lagdameo on the topic of the House bill “Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008.”

Speaking in a homily during a Mass at the event, Archbishop Lagdameo argued the bill would not solve the problems of population growth but would only undermine the dignity of marriage and endanger women. He said that artificial contraceptives cause physical and psychological harm to women.

Archbishop of Manila Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, addressing the crowd after the Mass, said couples should instead practice sexual self-control.

Dr. Brian Clowes, an author and researcher for the U.S.-based group Human Life International (HLI) said the population control bill “is not a Filipino bill.”

“The language maybe written by Filipino hands but the language and texts comes from London, England and Washington DC,” he said, according to CBCP News.

“I’ve seen the same bill in many parts around the world,” Clowes claimed, arguing that powerful countries want to control the Philippines population in order to control the country’s natural resources.

He also argued that the passage of the bill would lead to legalized abortion.

Philippines President Gloria Arroyo, in her annual State of the Nation address in Quezon City on Monday, said the government was committed to its policy on natural family planning methods. She claimed the methods had curbed population growth by 2.04 percent.

“Our campaign spreads awareness of responsible parenthood regarding birth spacing,” President Arroyo said. “Long years of pushing contraceptives made it synonymous to family planning. Therefore, informed choice should mean letting more couples, mostly Catholics, know about natural family planning.”

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