Poor women in Manila are petitioning the courts so that they can get their hands on contraception, according to a Reuters report. Manila Mayor Jose “Lito” Atienza issued an executive order discouraging modern contraception in 2000, and the casualties have been piling up ever since, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights — more deaths in childbirth and an increase in marital strife can be added to a tally of extra children that poor families don’t want and can’t afford.
This silliness is particularly jarring in the face of the Philippines’ extraordinarily pragmatic, and successful, HIV prevention programme. The programme revolves around a network of Social Hygiene Clinics run by local governments. These provide regular (more or less compulsory) screening for sexually transmitted infections for all women working in “entertainment establishments”. Any infections are treated promptly, and women are given detailed information about HIV, along with tips on how to get their clients to use condoms every time. And, of course, they are given free condoms. For once, sex workers seem to be getting a better deal than poor women in other jobs.
More madness from what Salon’s Carol Lloyd calls the “anti-birth-control bozos”: the Philippines Family Media Advocacy Organization appears to be trying to ban adverstising for Frenzy condoms (sister brand to Indonesia’s Fiesta, who brought you the condom that keeps the Democarats coming) In case they succeed, here’s a Frenzy ad for you:
Some in the Philippines believe that young people will have sex just because condoms are available. That is not the case in any country for which we have reliable data, and there’s no reason to believe kids in the Philippines should be any dumber, or luckier, than kids anywhere else.