Group joins call for lifting of ban on gov’t-issued contraceptives
A cause-oriented group has added its voice to those urging the Supreme Court to lift the temporary restraining order (TRO) that it said had deprived Filipino families of government-issued contraceptives.
“The doomsday scenario we are seeing is that there will be a total stock-out of all contraceptive products in about a year’s time if this TRO is not lifted ASAP by the Supreme Court,” Louis Biraogo, convenor of Taumbayan Para sa Iyo (Tayo) said.
He cited Population Commission (PopCom) data showing a big increase in the number of unwanted pregnancies in the last 18 months.
He said this might be because the go-to contraceptive products used by poor Filipino couples had already been banned because of this TRO.
“When would the SC lift the TRO?” Biraogo said. “When there’s hundreds of thousands more dead Filipinas from abortions and complications from childbirth and unplanned pregnancies? If that happens, there’d be blood in the hands of our honorable justices of the Supreme Court.”
According to Biraogo, the TRO was a “shotgun removal from the market” of contraceptive products which have been recertified by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) because of their proven efficacy and non-abortifacient nature.
“The fallacy of this TRO becomes very apparent when applied to other drugs because it would require the FDA to treat as new products all drugs that are already in the market for years,” Biraogo said.
“Due to this TRO the simple re-certification process of products already vetted by the FDA and the World Health Organization (WHO) as safe will now take years to complete if at all they will be ever re-certified again because they are subject to unceasing harassment complaints by anti-RH groups,” he said.
“Anti-RH groups just want to stop the FDA from re-certifying contraceptives by filing nonstop harassment complaints,” he added.
Anti-RH groups originally asked the SC for a TRO on two contraceptive products. But the SC issued in June 2015 a TRO covering 77 contraceptive products, including those up for mere re-certification by the FDA.
Tayo lamented that, despite numerous petitions by pro-choice groups and by the Department of Health and PopCom, the SC had chosen to sit on the petitions to lift the TRO issued by one of its divisions.
“Thus, the TRO rendered useless the RH (Reproductive Health)Law enacted in 2012 because Filipino women and couples are deprived of universal access to contraceptive methods,” Biraogo said. /atm
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