Women from three slum communities in Manila asked the appeals court on Jan. 30 to allow them access to contraceptives in public clinics, revoking a local law that bans condoms and pills. In 2000, the capital’s mayor issued an order stopping doctors, nurses and other health workers from promoting and distributing contraceptives, instructing them to teach only the natural method of family planning. Home to an estimated 89 million people, the largely Catholic Philippines has one of the fastest-growing populations in Asia with around 2 million babies born every year. (Reuters)

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