Philippines to offer free contraceptives

The Philippine president has ordered that six million women in his country receive free contraceptives. 

Rodrigo Duterte wants to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and is offering the contraceptives to women who cannot otherwise obtain them.

Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said on Wednesday (local time) the intensified drive to make contraceptives available and ensure "zero unmet need for family planning'' is important to reduce poverty. 

The government's target is to cut the poverty rate from 21.6 percent in 2015 to 14 or 13 percent by the end of Duterte's term in 2022.

The Philippines is the only country in the region where the teen pregnancy rate has risen over the past two decades.

It's expected his order will face fierce opposition from the dominant Roman Catholic Church.