Thursday, July 14, 2016

More Contraceptive Choices, if RH Law TRO lifted

 With the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) limiting the implementation of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law, the Commission on Population (POPCOM) urges the administration to fast track the removal of the TRO in order to achieve sufficient supply of contraceptives especially the more effective. The TRO restricts the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) from “granting any and all pending applications for registration and/or recertification for reproductive products and supplies including contraceptive drugs and devices.”

The TRO also prevents the agencies from “procuring, selling, distributing, dispensing, or administering, advertising, and promoting the hormonal contraceptive Implanon and Implanon NXT.” “The procurement of contraceptives is critically important in order to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy. If a woman is sexually active, effective family planning methods help her correctly and consistently plans birthing. Among reversible methods of birth control, intrauterine contraception and the contraceptive implant remain highly effective for years,”

 POPCOM Executive Director Dr. Juan Antonio Perez III said. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Reproductive Health and Research, contraceptives such as pill and patch yields 6-12 pregnancies per 100 women in a year while implant and intrauterine device (IUD) produces less than 1 pregnancy per 100 women in a year. Meanwhile, condom is comparable to the least effectiveness of calendar method with 18 or more pregnancies per 100 women in a year.

“Aside from delaying birth, contraception reduces the need for abortion, especially unsafe abortion, as well as teenage pregnancy,” Dr. Perez said. Based from the WHO data, an estimated 225 million women in developing countries would like to delay or stop childbearing but are not using any method of contraception because of limited choice of methods, limited access to contraception, cultural or religious opposition, and poor quality of available services.

POPCOM PRESS RELEASE 2 “The lifting of the TRO will ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights are guaranteed for Filipinos. The local government units (LGUs) must continue distributing family planning supplies except for the methods affected by the TRO,” Dr. Perez said.

According to a study on contraceptives in the Philippines by the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) and Likhaan, without contraceptive use in the Philippines, there would be 1.3 million more unplanned births, 0.9 million more induced abortions and 3,500 more maternal deaths each year. As the World Population Day was celebrated last July 11 in every parts of the world, the Philippines already had 102.8 million people.

### Contact Information: Information Management and Communications Division Commission on Population Tel.: (02) 531-6978 Email: Website:

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