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SC asked to lift TRO on contraceptives

  • Written by Hector Lawas
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 273

THE Department of Health yesterday asked the Supreme Court to lift the temporary restraining order it issued in June 2015 stopping the government from “procuring, selling, distributing, dispensing and administering, advertising and promoting” contraceptive implants.

In a motion for reconsideration, the DoH also sought the reversal of the Court’s decision issued last August 24 ordering the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine whether certain contraceptive drugs and devices are abortifacients or non-abortifacients.
   
The SC issued the order as it nullified  the certification and re-certification earlier  issued by the agency covering 77 contraceptive drugs and implants due to the failure of the DoH  to observe and comply with the basic requirements of due process.
   
The TRO was issued a year after the SC ruled that the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 was constitutional.
   
The Court held 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 from petitioners — Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines (AFFP) and a certain Maria Concepcion  Noche.
   
In their motion for reconsideration, the DoH together with the Population Commission and FDA, argued that it could jeopardize the effective methods of the Family Planning program which is being implemented by them through local government units and civil society nationwide and lead to increased mortality and morbidity among women and infants.
   
“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,” PopCom executive director Juan Antonio Perez said.
   
“Those who opposed the law in the legislative arena are now trying to reverse the judgment of history through backdoor judicial dilatory tactics, but the millions of Filipinos who stand to benefit from the law will surely bring all of this to an end,” Perez added.
   
While the Court ruled to struck down the certifications and re-certifications and the distribution of the questioned contraceptive drugs for being violative of the constitutional right to due process, it nevertheless remanded to the FDA the petitions filed by AFFP and Noche.