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Amnesty International hails SC ruling on RH law

By: - NewsLab Lead / @MSantosINQ
/ 12:41 PM April 09, 2014

Advocates of the Reproductive Health Law waited for more than a day for the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the RH law, and as the court sat en banc at its summer courthouse in Baguio on Tuesday (April 8), actress Giselle Toengi found time to shoot a selfie with the crowd. This was moments before the court decided that the law was constitutional, and the purple crowd went wild. Some broke into tears. PHOTO BY EV ESPIRITU/ INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

MANILA, Philippines — An international human rights group praised the Philippine Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law.

“[The] Supreme Court’s ruling is a victory for the independence of the judiciary and means that millions of women and girls have a right to access medical services and information they need,” Hazel Galang-Folli, Amnesty International’s Researcher on the Philippines, said in a statement Tuesday.

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“The Philippine authorities must resist all ongoing efforts to roll back the country’s landmark law on sexual and reproductive rights. Caving in to pressure would mean denying women and girls their human rights,” she said.

Amnesty International, however, said it was disappointed with the eight provisions that were struck down including one that requires all private health facilities to make available family planning methods.

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“While the law is not perfect, it paves the way to removing some of the existing barriers in protecting women and girl’s human right to sexual, reproductive and maternal healthcare,” Galang said.

“The challenge now will be ensuring that the law is properly implemented and that sufficient resources are dedicated to making it effective,” she said.

Amnesty International cited recent surveys showing that 72 percent of Filipinos support the law and that the Philippines’ birth rate stands at 25 per 1,000 people, one of the highest in Asia, as justification for the law.

“The Philippines should ensure that reproductive health education is in line with their international human rights obligations, which includes ensuring that reproductive health education is accurate and comprehensive and that it promotes gender equality,” Amnesty International said.

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TAGS: Amnesty International, Hazel Galang-Folli, Human Rights, reproductive health, RH Law, Supreme Court
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