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Bishops walk out of senate meeting

Birth control concerns ignored during debate, Church leaders say

Bishops walk out of senate meeting
Activists hold a protest about the birth control measure outside the Philippine Congress reporter, Manila

February 17, 2011

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The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) walked out today from a consultation with the Senate on the proposed reproductive health (RH) measure. A representative of the bishops at the meeting with the Senate Committee on Health and Demography said the Church’s presence in the consultation is futile. Lawyer Jo Imbong, CBCP legal counsel, said the decision to leave the meeting was made based on the CBCP’s stand against the RH bill. “The CBCP cannot lend its voice to a measure that undermines fundamental rights and the ideals and aspirations of Filipinos as written in the constitution,” Imbong said. It was not the first time that the CBCP called off its participation in the dialogue. In February 2009, Imbong and other church representatives walked out of a hearing on the Senate version of the RH bill, claiming that there was “blatant disregard” of their concerns. In a recent pastoral letter, the bishops called on the public to oppose the passage of the bill, which according to them, is a form of “moral corruption.” They also hinted that they may pull out of dialogues with the presidential palace on the issue. Related reports ‘Condom war’ erupts on day of love Priest hopes rosary can change hearts on reproductive health bill March helps youths learn about problem of abortion PM13333.1641

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