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DOH asks SC anew to lift TRO on contraceptive implants

The Department of Health (DOH) has renewed its petition before the Supreme Court (SC) to lift the restraining order on the government’s sale and promotion of contraceptive implants.

Supreme Court (SC) Building (MB file/

Supreme Court (SC) Building (MB file/

The health department’s petition, filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida Monday, October 10, pleaded that the injunction, issued in June 2015 and upheld in August 2016, could jeopardize the effective methods of the Family Planning program being implemented through local government units and civil society groups nationwide.

“If carried out, the SC decision could result in over 900 additional maternal deaths every year arising from almost one million unintended pregnancies that could have been addressed by the full implementation of the Family Planning Program,” the DOH said.

The motion called for the SC to overturn its ruling that “struck down” the certifications and re-certifications issued by the Food and Drug Administration for 77 contraceptive drugs and implants.

The SC, in the same ruling, directed the FDA to conduct public hearing on the contraceptive drugs and implants, including Implanon and Implanon NXT, to determine whether they are abortifacients or not.

“The Court found that the FDA certified, procured and administered contraceptive drugs and devices, without the observance of the basic tenets of due process, without notice and without public hearing, despite the constant opposition of petitioners,” the SC said.

“Due to the failure of the respondents to observe and comply with the basic requirements of due process, the Court is of the view that the certifications and re-certifications and the distribution of the questioned contraceptive drugs should be struck down as violative of the constitutional right to due process,” the SC ruled.

The TRO was issued a year after the SC ruled that the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 was constitutional.

The August SC decision, written by Justice Jose Catral Mendoza, remanded to the FDA for hearing the cases filed by the Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines Inc. (AFFPI) and Maria Conception Noche against the contraceptive implants.