2018 might be the last year that you can buy contraceptives in the Philippines
Because of the Supreme Court's temporary restraining order (TRO) on contraceptives, 2017 might be the last year that birth control pills are going to be available.
According to the Commission on Population (POPCOM), almost 90% of contraceptive brands here in the Philippines will no longer be available by 2018. They add that it will make the current RH Law "ineffective."
The reason is that in 2015, the Supreme Court placed a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the sale and distribution of implant contraceptives. And in 2016, the Supreme Court also stopped the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from "granting any and all pending application for reproductive products and supplies, including contraceptive drugs and devices."
The TRO was due to the fact that some pro-life groups argued that contraceptive pills are abortifacients, or products that help abort a baby.
This means that until the decision can be reversed, no new contraceptives in the Philippines can be sold. And once there's no more supply, there will be no more access to contraceptive pills and implants.
The POPCOM shared that 31% of contraceptive certifications expired last December 2016, another 31% will expire this year, and 29% in 2018. By 2020, only 2% of the certifications will be valid.
This means that by 2018, if the TRO is still in place, 90% of contraceptive brands will no longer be available as their certifications will have expired, and there's no process by which they can be renewed.
Aside from preventing pregnancies, birth control pills also have other uses, most notably as a means for women struggling from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) to manage their condition.
Birth control pills also help regulate the menstrual cycle, and helps regulate the amount of bleeding. They're also recommended for women who suffer from severe acne.
Birth control pills are important not only because of these reasons, but because it also helps give women a choice over their bodies. It keeps them from becoming pregnant until they are ready, which is why access to birth control products are very important in curbing the extremely high population growth of the country.
If you want the TRO to be lifted, so that women can have access to their contraceptive pills, you can sign the petition here.
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