No restraining order vs RH law, court clarifies

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The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday clarified that the high tribunal did not issue a restraining order against the Reproductive Health law and that the government can implement programs on responsible parenthood.

“I’ve already clarified many times that there is no temporary restraining order (TRO) against the RH law,” Te said in a text message.

He issued the statement a day after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 12 that mandates aggressive government action in providing universal access to reproductive health programs.

He explained that the TRO the court earlier issued on the acquisition by the Department of Health and distribution of contraceptive products Implanon and Implanon NXT to the public did not refer to the RH law.


Hence, the stay order only covers the cquisition of Implanon and Implanon NXT, he stressed.

In September 2016, the court, through a decision penned by Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza, denied the motion of the DOH seeking to lift the TRO that stopped the department from purchasing and distributing contraceptive products Implanon and Implanon NXT to the public.

The tribunal also slammed the certifications and re-certifications issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 77 contraceptive drugs and devices – including Implanon and Implanon NXT – for violation of constitutional requirement of due process.

The SC stood pat on its ruling issued on April 8, 2014 that the “principle of no-abortion and non-coercion in the adoption of any family planning method” must be maintained. It also ruled that health workers cannot be forced to do a procedure against their religious beliefs and that family planning shall be a private matter to be decided by both spouses as a constitutionally guaranteed right.

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