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New law points to PH church’s waning sway

3 January 2013 No CommentEmail This Post Email This Post

An anti-abortion sign flashes on an electric signboard outside the Roman Catholic Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in downtown Manila, Philippines on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. Philippine President Benigno Aquino III last month signed the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012. The law that provides state funding for contraceptives for the poor pitted the dominant Roman Catholic Church in an epic battle against the popular Aquino and his followers. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)MANILA (AP) — Twenty-six years after Roman Catholic leaders helped his mother marshal millions of Filipinos in an uprising that ousted a dictator, President Benigno Aquino III picked a fight with the church over contraceptives and won a victory that bared the bishops’ worst nightmare: They no longer sway the masses.

Aquino last month signed the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 quietly and without customary handshakes and photographs to avoid controversy. The law that provides state funding for contraceptives for the poor pitted the dominant Catholic Church in an epic battle against the popular Aquino and his followers.

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