Maurice Williamson has New Zealand Parliament members roaring in their seats during the third marriage equality bill reading.
Religious influence on Contraceptives - A Perspective of two Nations
Philippines birth control: Filipinos want it, priests don’t. [Link »]
The mayor of Manila — with the blessing of Roman Catholic bishops — halted the distribution of contraceptives at public clinics to promote “a culture of life.” The order put birth control pills and other contraceptives out of reach for millions of poor Filipinos, who could not afford to buy them at private pharmacies.
The church and like-minded opponents have stalled the legislation for 14 years… Lawmakers say the church threatens to deny them Communion if they vote for the legislation.
When illegal abortions go awry, the patients often end up at Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila, the largest women’s hospital in the Philippines.
As Iran made contraceptives free, birthrate plunged and women empowered with opportunities to attend school. [Link »]
In the late 1980s, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s supreme leader, issued fatwas making birth control widely available and acceptable to conservative Muslims. Since then, Iran has experienced the largest and fastest drop in fertility ever recorded — from about seven births per woman to fewer than two today.
Under the new decrees, contraceptives could be obtained free at government clinics, including thousands of new rural health centers. Health workers promoted contraception as a way to leave more time between births and help reduce maternal and child mortality.
One result was that even the most conservative families could send girls to school without worrying that family honor would be tarnished by allowing their daughters to mix with males. As women became better educated, their influence within the family grew. Without intending to, Iran’s clerical leadership helped to foster “the empowerment of Iranian women,” said Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, an Iran expert at Virginia Tech.