A gay rights group in the Philippines has responded to Congress finally passing the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill. After a 10 year battle between Catholic conservatives and modern pragmatists desperate to tackle the Philippines' high birthrate and poverty, Congress passed the RH Bill at the end of December. ProGay Philippines lauded the passage of the bill, but said that impoverished LGBT people will continue to suffer. 'Even with RH Law, we cannot afford the doctor visits. In the end, only those who can afford to pay can benefit from new services that the law offers,' said Goya Candelario, ProGay Philippines spokesperson. The new law will ensure that Filipinos all over the country can access free or subsidized contraception. Gay men and transgender women will potentially benefit from being able to access free condoms to halt the spread of HIV (a serious concern in the Philippines) and transgender women may have easier access to the contraceptive pill, which they take to get female hormones. However, whether gay men or transgender women get hold of the birth control methods will be up to local officers' discretion.
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