ucanews.com reporter, ManilaUpdated: March 25, 2014 08:52 PM GMT
The Philippines bishops’ conference has begun a social media campaign in their long running fight against the passage of the controversial Reproductive Health Law, which would provide funding for contraception and sex education.
The bishops sent out a series of text messages to Catholics, starting on Monday, urging them to pray for a defeat of the law every day until April 8, when the country’s Supreme Court will decide on the law’s constitutionality.
The bishops also posted a copy of the Mandatory Prayer for the Protection of the Family and All Human Life on Facebook in order to encourage people to pray for the defeat of the law, said Father Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission on Family and Life.
Part of the prayer, which by March 26 had gathered some 26,000 'likes' and about 7,000 'shares' on Facebook, states: "We pray for the Philippine Supreme Court justices, may they declare the Reproductive Health Law as unconstitutional."
The implementation of the law, which was passed in December 2012, was stalled after opponents filed petitions to the court.
Health experts, however, have warned that delay could increase cases of HIV and AIDS.
The Philippines has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Southeast Asia. About 5,300 mothers die from child birth every year, according to government figures.