Just in time, too, because everything is totally batshit f-ing crazy. If it’s not perennial WTF Friday star Rodrigo Duterte proclaiming Hitler as his own personal role model, it’s his bright orange demagogue doppelgänger insisting that all that breathtaking misogyny is simply an entertaining shtick he’s been refining over the last several decades.
You know how most flagrant violators of human rights try to cover up their abuses? Well, not this guy. Rodrigo Duterte, mayor of the city of Davao in the Philippines, is happy to take responsibility, on camera, for the extrajudicial killings of more than 700 people. He says he’s got no regrets about his use of vigilante death squads to crack down on crime. Brace yourself to hear more about him, because he may be running for president. (h/t Julien. Thanks, Julien!)
Speaking of people running for president against all reason, Rwanda’s Parliament just voted to allow Paul Kagame to seek a third term. And then three more after that. But once 2034 rolls around, he’s definitely got to move on.
And finally, another heartbreaker from the internet’s foremost supplier of Upsetting News About Ladies; Jina Moore reports that Germany has no system in place to deal with domestic violence in the refugee camps. Jina herself called several shelters to try to secure a spot for a woman in urgent need of protection from her abusive husband. Some incorrectly informed her that refugees were not eligible for shelter space (in fact, German law guarantees them access). Others told her to try calling back later – not a great option in a life-threatening situation.
No there is one strategy and it is called “freedom.”
“Church officials promote what they call ‘natural’ family planning: women are advised to track their cycle and abstain from sex on all but their least fertile days.” I gotta get in on the ground floor of some fertility mood rings.
“…photographing mosques, eavesdropping on conversations inside shops, and keeping files on Muslims who Americanized their names — amounted to looking around, ‘just to kind of get familiar with what’s going on. We don’t target individuals based on race and religion,’ [Bloomberg] said.” Yea, I mean Muslims going to mosques and Americanizing their names, that’s just stuff that’s “going on” in New York. So I just hope they have a huge file on Jeremy Lin cuz that’s what’s really going on in New York.
I’m pretty good about keeping tabs on viciously stupid domestic policies (all-time favorites include the anti-prostitution pledge and the merciless application of the material support bar to asylum) but I rely on experts in the field to keep me apprised of other countries’ bullshit legislation and executive orders. Recently, via a tip from the very wonderful Payal Shah at the Center for Reproductive Rights, former Mayor of Manila Jose “Lito” Atienza’s Executive Order 003 made it onto the list.
EO 003, which was issued in 2000 and remains in force, deprives women in Manila of access to contraception and family planning information. Although the order did not impose an outright ban, its call to “promot[e] the culture of life” by “discouraging the use of artificial methods of contraception” has resulted in an effective prohibition. Since its issuance, city clinics and hospitals have not provided contraception.
“For a woman who cannot afford contraceptives, the harsh effect of the ban is felt every day – when she is forced to limit the amount of rice she can provide for her children, when she is abused by her husband for declining sex to avoid pregnancy, or when she is forced to endanger her health with high-risk pregnancies that she could not prevent.”
But, the good news is that the Philippine legislature is currently considering a new Reproductive Health Bill. If enacted, the bill will overturn EO 003 and make it a prohibited act for a public official to “prohibit or restrict personally or through a subordinate the delivery of legal and medically-safe reproductive health care services, including family planning.”
Debate over the bill has stalled, amid allegations that it would legalize abortion. ABS-CBN reports that “the average number of Filipino women who die yearly due to childbirth and pregnancy complications has doubled in the last four years” with 3500 pregnancy-related deaths occurring in 2008 while lawmakers sat on the bill.
So, um, on the off chance that you have a Filipino Congressperson, you should call him or her and push for passage of this law. And if you doubt the necessity of the measures contained therein, consider watching this excellent BBC piece (I’ve included the first third from YouTube below) on the effects of the Manila City Ban: