Philippines moves closer to birth control law

The Philippines moves closer to a controversial birth control law today as lawmakers passed a version of the bill after a long debate over the issue. 

The bill paving the way for sex education in schools and the provision of free contraceptives was passed by the lower house of parliament after a five-hour vote. 

Philippine President Benigno Aquino is pushing for the law. 

He hopes it will help bring down poverty as well as the high maternal mortality rate. 

The move is supported by women's groups and the UN. 

But it is vehemently opposed by the politically influential Catholic church, which is against the use of contraceptives.