Pro-RH group wants TRO on family planning lifted

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) - Advocacy group Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) urged Supreme Court justices to lift the temporary restraining order issued on family planning laws and programs.

In a Thursday statement, PLCPD called for the lifting of the high court's TRO, preventing the public distribution of select contraceptives, and preventing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from issuing registration and re-certification of family planning products.

"It is lamentable that almost five years since its enactment, the agencies tasked to implement the law cannot focus on implementing but are instead occupied with addressing legal issues such as this TRO," said PLCPD Executive Director Romeo Dongeto.

Republic Act 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law was first enacted during the term of President Benigno Aquino III in December 2012. This was meant to provide the public with access and information related to family planning and reproductive health.

However, petitioners were able to convince the high court to issue the TRO after the health department acquired around 400,000 contraceptive implants. Petitioners claimed, these implants could cause abortions.

The Supreme Court denied a Motion for Reconsideration and expanded the TRO to cover other contraceptive products in the Philippine market.

"We hope that this Women's Month, the Supreme Court will finally decide in favor of the rights and health of Filipinos, especially women. We also call on the public to join us in this call," he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order in January to provide financial support for modern family planning programs, as part of his 10-point socioeconomic agenda.