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Birth control 'not zero-sum equation'

Natural family planning should take center stage, archbishop says

Birth control 'not zero-sum equation'
Supporters of the reproductive health bill hold a rally outside the office of the Catholic bishops in Manila
BenCyrus G. Ellorin, Cagayan de Oro City

April 28, 2011

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Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro in the southern Philippines has proposed an alternative to what he said as the "yes or no" option to the controversial Reproductive Health bill pending in the Philippine Congress. In a pastoral letter read during Easter Mass, Archbishop Ledesma said the best way of saying "no" to the RH bill is to say "yes" to natural family planning methods. "The controversy over the bill has lately been reduced to a zero-sum proposition where concerned citizens are simply asked to say either 'yes' or 'no'," the prelate said. He said the natural family planning program should use "all modern scientific methods" but "without back-up contraceptives." Archbishop Ledesma said he is pushing for natural family planning as an "engagement, not collaboration" because the Church wants the program to be separate and not dependent of the government. He said that instead of the government policy drifting toward "reproductive health," there should be more emphasis on responsible parenthood. PM14004

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