> An executive order from Rodrigo Duterte and a bitter pill to swallow for the Catholic Church. The Philippines' president telling his government to hand out free contraceptives for around 6 million women, a move designed to cut unwanted pregnancies in poor neighborhoods, but a tough sell in a country that's 80% Roman Catholic.
The issue could become Duterte's first major challenge from Church officials who believe that birth control is sinful. But whether that actually bothers the president is a different matter. He's called the Catholic Church hypocritical in the past and even referred to bishops as sons of whores. Still, Christian anti-abortion groups did claim a victory over contraception in 2015, when the Supreme Court suspended birth control implants, crushing years of work by the previous president.
Duterte says he wants to cut the poverty rate by half before he leaves office and official data suggests birth control can play a role in achieving that aim. According to the UN, the Philippines is the only Asian country where the teenage pregnancy rate has risen in the past two decades.