PopCom: More maternal deaths if ban on implant contraceptives remains
The number of maternal deaths in the country may reach more than 8,000 in the next six years if the Supreme Court refuses to lift the ban on the distribution of subdermal implant contraceptives.
This was the warning of the Commission on Population (PopCom) as it urged anew the Supreme Court (SC) to lift the temporary restraining order (TRO) against the sale and distribution of Implanon and Implanon NXT.
In particular, the PopCom estimated that the number of maternal deaths from 2016 to 2022 may reach 8,398 “if Implanon continues to be withheld from public use.”
READ: No lifting of TRO on contraceptive implants, says SC
This was detailed in the PopCom’s study, “Modified Demographic Scenario 2016-2022: The Impact of the Supreme Court TRO on Implanon and Implanon NXT withdrawal.”
In its study, the PopCom estimated that “there have been an additional 500,000 unintended pregnancies since the Supreme Court imposed the TRO on Implanon in June 2015.”
According to the 2011 Family Health Survey, at least 221 maternal deaths are associated per 100,000 live births.
This means that the possible effect on maternal health and the 500,000 unintended pregnancies is 1,105 maternal deaths.
These figures are based on estimates that the Filipino population may reach 113.7 million in 2022, from the present approximation of 104 million.
This is 3.6 million more compared to the population estimate of over 110 million if the subdermal implants were made available.
The PopCom pointed out that with the estimated 113.7 million population by 2022, “households and government would have to support and provide services for an additional 3.6 million Filipinos.”
“The possibility of the Supreme Court extending the coverage of the TRO to all modern family planning would further affect the demographic scenario and set back our progress to the demographic dividend by over two decades, and lead to additional thousands of maternal deaths annually as a direct impact of the Supreme Court TRO,” the study stressed.
Aside from the rise in unintended pregnancies and maternal deaths, the PopCom warned that the ban on the contraceptive implant would cause a gradual decrease in the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR).
From the 2015 CPR of 57.7 percent, this may go down to 55.1 percent only by 2022 if contraceptive implants are still unavailable.
But if there are contraceptive implants available, the PopCom estimated that the CPR will rise to 64.1 percent in 2022.
The total fertility rate (TFR) is also seen to rise from 2.8 percent in 2015 to 2.98 percent in 2022 as a result of the ban on Implanon and Implanon NXT.
But if the TRO were lifted, the TFR is expected to go down to 2.3 percent in 2022 if contraceptive implants were available.
Data showed that there are 126,000 women who received contraceptive implants by the end of 2015, or after the Supreme Court issued the TRO against the contraceptive products.
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