The Philippines' top court has dealt a blow to Church hopes by ruling that a controversial birth control law is not unconstitutional, reports AAP/ SBS.
The Philippines' highest court has approved a controversial birth control law that supporters said would transform the lives of millions of poor Filipinos in a stunning defeat for the Church.
'The RH law is not unconstitutional,' Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te told reporters yesterday, announcing a ruling that struck down more than a dozen petitions against the reproductive health law by Church groups.
The law requires government health centres to hand out free condoms and birth control pills, as well as mandating that sex education be taught in schools. The law also requires that public health workers receive family planning training, while post-abortion medical care is also legalised.
The Church had led a successful campaign for more than 15 years against any form of family planning laws in the Philippines.
Philippines President Benigno Aquino defied Church pressure and signed the law into effect in December 2012, but the Supreme Court quickly suspended it after Church groups filed petitions arguing it was unconstitutional.
'This monumental decision upholds the separation of Church and State and affirms the supremacy of government in secular concerns like health and socio-economic development,' legislator Edcel Lagman, the principal author of the law, said immediately after the verdict.
FULL STORY Philippine court approves birth control law (AAP/SBS)