SC asked to lift TRO on contraceptives

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 14 2016 03:51 PM

MANILA - Four non-governmental organizations (NGOs) moved for the lifting of a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court (SC) which prohibits the Department of Health (DOH) from approving applications for registration and re-certification for reproductive products and supplies, and from procuring and distributing the hormonal contraceptive "Implanon" and "Implanon NXT."

The plea was filed by the Filipino Catholic Voices for Reproductive
Health (C4RH), Philippine NGO Council on Population Health and Welfare (PNGOC), Philippine Center for Population and Development (PCPD), and Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD), who, along with former Department of Health Secretary Dr. Esperanza Cabral and former Presidential Assistant for Social Development Ben De Leon, also asked to be allowed to intervene in the pending case before the high court's Second Division.

The groups said the continued implementation of the TRO "would deprive tens of millions of Filipino women access to contraceptives" which would also result in the "further deterioration of the already
problematic RH situation in the country."

The groups project that the unplanned pregnancy rate of almost 40% will shoot up, teenage pregnancy rates will also go higher, and maternal deaths due to childbirth complications (now estimated at fourteen deaths per day) will also spike, if the TRO remains in place.

The TRO was issued on June 17, 2015, in favor of petitioner Alliance
for the Family Foundation Philippines, Inc., et al. against the DOH and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The TRO was ordered retained by the SC in September, as the high court remanded the case to the FDA. The high court said the TRO shall remain in place, until various contraceptive drugs and devices are proven safe and non-abortifacient.