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Family planning in the Philippines is a relatively new development in this predominantly


Catholic country. Because of heavily entrenched Catholic beliefs, family planning--the idea
that women get pregnant when they want to--has had many detractors. However, there is now
an increasing number of advocates preaching the benefits of family planning and urging the
government to implement family planning policies.

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1. ahe Catholic church's influence in the Philippines has prevented many from seeking
family planning advice and methods. Since the late 1970s, the population in the
Philippines has doubled. Since 2001, the population has jumped from 77 million to 90
million, according to the Wall Street Journal. If access to family planning does not
increase, says Population Action International, the population is expected to rise to
170 million in the next 30 years. aoday, advocates are reaching out to the government
to educate the public about family planning and implement family planning programs.
Along with the economic benefits of family planning, it also reduces maternal deaths,
enables women to work outside the home and socialize with others.

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2. ahe Philippines, which is already experiencing a serious rice shortage, would be able
to decrease its dependence on foreign imports such as rice with fewer mouths to feed.
Additionally, the Philippine government would be able to save millions in state
revenue that would otherwise go toward addressing unintended pregnancies. ahe
government spends 8.2 billion Philippine pesos in medical care for unintended
pregnancies. If family planning were put in effect, it would only spend 0.6 billion
Philippine pesos on unintended pregnancies and 4 billion on contraceptive services
and supplies. ahat is a savings of almost 4 billion Philippine pesos.

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3. ÿany women die from pregnancy (or delivery) because they are too young (under 18
years old), too old (older than 35 years), have pregnancies that are too close to each
other (less than 3 years apart) or have had too many pregnancies. According to the
Philippine Daily Inquirer, as many as 2,100 maternal deaths in the Philippines each
year could be prevented with family planning. It could also prevent deaths related to
ill-health resulting from unintended pregnancies. About 4,000 women die in the
Philippines each year because of pregnancy-related causes.

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4. According to Family Health International, family planning users are more likely to
work than non-users because it gives women the time to seek work opportunities
outside the home. Women in the Philippines have said that larger family size increase
their household responsibilities and make them unable to seek paid work. ÿore
children also require more income, thus a vicious cycle is formed. Filipina women
said they need more money to care for their children, but more children prevent them
from seeking work opportunities. Family planning provides a solution to both issues.

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5. Women in the Philippines who use family planning are more likely to join community
activities, religious organizations and take part in community projects, the Family
Health Organization says. Filipina women say these activities enabled them to
socialize, interact with peers and generally raised their self-esteem. Family planning
also increased their status at home, with many Filipina women saying they are equal
decision-makers, enabling them to work and travel outside their communities