Benigno Aquino III, the President of The Philippines, is a brave man for advocating free access to condoms for the people of his country. He is under severe criticism of the Catholic church and a boxing champ. But he is going ahead with his plan to provide information on family planning methods, make contraceptives available free of charge, and introduce reproductive health and sexuality classes in schools.
Interestingly, Manny Pacquiao, a very successful Filipino world boxing champ, is against the President's plan. He argues that if his parents had practised birth control, he would never have been born. I think that's a very good argument, although regretfully, missing the point by at least a few thousand miles. He had forgotten that the President has to shoulder the responsibility of doing what's best for the nation as a whole.
I think if Pacquiao can guarantee the majority of Filipino births can give rise to millionaire world champs like himself, I'm sure the President would encourage his people to reproduce to create more wealth. But unfortunately, the reality is that there is only one world champion Pacquiao amongst 94 million people—about a third of whom live on $1 a day.
Pacquiao had forgotten that more than half a million women are seeking abortions at back-alley clinics because of unwanted pregnancies annually (abortion is illegal in The Philippines); and some 90,000 suffer from abortion complications, and an estimated 1,000 die each year.
Manila Archbishop Rosales is calling for abstinence [from sex] to solve the problem. That is almost a comical solution to me. Even Britney Spears used to pledge to abstain from sex, yet we all know that the mind is strong, but the flesh is weak, don't we?
I think President Aquino is doing the right thing in providing his people with the knowledge of family planning. The decision of whether to have protected sex or not is for his people to make. In fact, I think he owes it to his people to at least educate them on the subject. Whether or not the use of condoms and other contraceptives is a sin, that is their choice to make—not the President's, not the boxing champ's, and not the Church's.