Health dept sees lifting of TRO on contraceptives

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The Department of Health (DoH) expects the Supreme Court (SC) to lift the ban on Implanon and Implanon NXT once the Food and Drugs Administration issues its findings that these contraceptives are non-abortifacients.

“The TRO (temporary restraining order) will be lifted once FDA has determined that implants and other contraceptives are non-abortifacient. It is expected that by the end of this month, FDA will issue its findings on all contraceptives and certifications will be issued accordingly,” Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial said on Monday.

Once the TRO has been lifted, the provisions of the Reproductive Health Law “will be implemented without restraints and in full compliance,” Ubial said.

The DoH clarified that the April 26 decision by the SC regarding the TRO on Implanon and Impanon NXT is not “permanent” as it can be lifted because of a clause mandating the FDA to comply with the high court’s order.

The SC, in a resolution on April 26, reiterated that the FDA should conduct a summary hearing and amend the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the RH Law to make it compliant with the court’s mandates.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in his second State of the Nation Address, urged the SC to lift the restraining order on the RH Law.

But Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno clarified that the tribunal did not issue a TRO against the RH Law. The TRO, she said, only covered Implanon and Impanon NXT.

These implants are thin rods inserted under the skin which releases hormones that could prevent pregnancy for up to three years.

Ubial said the public can avail themselves of contraceptives in Rural Health Units as well as partner hospitals and non-government service providers.

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