New Internationalist

Mothers’ misery

May 2008

A contraceptive ban imposed in Manila eight years ago has badly affected the city’s poor. Some 70 per cent of Filipinos rely on public health facilities and many use family planning clinics to obtain free contraceptives. The ban was pushed through with no public consultation or announcement. The first many women knew of it was when they were turned away from the clinics, reveals Aya Fujimura-Fanselow, legal advisor at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York.

Since then, average family size has increased, placing additional strains on parents already struggling to provide for their children. The HIV infection rate has risen, along with the maternal mortality rate, and more women are suffering complications and death as a result of illegal, unsafe abortions.

The ban is in direct contravention of the Filipino Constitution but the Philippines’ decentralized system of government allows regions to bring in their own policies, opening the way for Manila’s pro-life Mayor, Lito Atienza, to push through the ban in 2000. Campaigners are now concerned that other local governments may do the same. Says Fujimura-Fanselow, who details the effects of the ban in her report Imposing Misery: ‘The ban has had a detrimental effect on all aspects of women’s lives. The consequences have been irreversible, and have affected generations of women and their children.’

Hear Radio New Internationalist’s interview with Aya Fujimura-Fanselow in the programme Here Comes The Bride.

This column was published in the May 2008 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Comments on Mothers' misery

Leave your comment







 

  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Get our free fortnightly eNews

Multimedia

Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Currents

All Currents

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 411

New Internationalist Magazine issue 411
Issue 411

More articles from this issue

  • The Bairns

    May 1, 2008

    Out of Britain’s blustery Northumbria comes Rachel Unthank and her Winterset trio.

  • Plan B 3.0 - Mobilizing to Save Civilization

    May 1, 2008

    'We are in a race between tipping points in the earth’s natural systems and those in the world’s political systems. Which will tip first?'

  • Caucus of terrorists

    May 1, 2008

    Dinyar Godrej concludes his report: meeting enemies of the State – and looking to the future.

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.

Subscribe