Likhaan, ReproCen, and the Center for Reproductive Rights have released a report documenting the devastating impact of Manila's contraception ban on women and their families. In 2000, the mayor of Manila, Jose "Lito" Atienza, issued an Executive Order (EO) "upholding natural family planning" and "discouraging the use of artificial methods of contraception like condoms, pills, intrauterine devices, surgical sterilization, and other [methods]." This sweeping EO, in effect, bans city health centers and hospitals from providing contraception to women in need of this essential reproductive health care service. Poor women are suffering the most under this ban.
The report is based on a series of compelling interviews with women affected by the EO, government and health officials, and nongovernmental organizations. Its conclusions are clear: the EO harms the lives and health of women, as well as their families, by depriving them of the basic human right to make decisions about their own bodies and whether and when to have children. Further, the report establishes that the EO violates national and international law.