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08.06.12 - The third time was not a charm in the Philippines. So on August 7, the Philippine government will make a fourth attempt to pass a family planning law, this one allowing health officials to provide free birth control and encourage families to have no more than two kids. The Catholic Church is once again mounting fierce opposition in a country where birth wards are overflowing and maternal mortality rates have skyrocketed in recent years, reports the BBC:
According to the government's 2011 Family Health Survey, the maternal mortality rate rose 36 percent to 221 deaths per 100,000 live births between 2006 and 2010.
Many of those giving birth were girls between 15 and 19 years old, said Ugochi Daniels, with the UN Population Fund, and most were from poor families.
She urged lawmakers to pass the bill and "stop failing our young."
The Center for Reproductive Rights has a long history of advocacy against restrictive contraceptive policies and for women's rights to contraceptive information and services in the Philippines, and will continue to battle for broad access to birth control to improve women's health and to benefit society overall.