“An ongoing debate about the recent Temporary Restraining Order of the Supreme Court has made women who take contraceptives alarmed due to the shortage in the market. Panicked stricken, what do we actually know so far?”
By Carina Crisostomo
It started as something that contraceptive users read about but didn’t really felt was necessary to worry. But as more news about the TRO of the Supreme court have been read by the public, women have been more aware on what it actually means and how it affects those who uses contraceptives whether for birth control or for other health reasons.
The recent ruling of the Supreme Court which stated that the previous TRO would not be lifted unless companies who are manufacturing contraceptives can give proof that the said products are not abortifacients or can cause abortion. The companies should be able to defend their products to the FDA who has the expertise on the matter. Because of this, majority of the companies are due for renewal this year, 2017 are held back both on their registration as well as their distribution to various establishments making the majority of the contraceptives out of stock to buyers nationwide.
Because of the recent developments women have made their move to urge the Supreme Court to lift the TRO. A signature campaign which accumulated 300,000 signatures where submitted and the said campaign still continues to get more signatures to date. This campaign also includes the request to fully implement the RPRH (Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act) which opens up the availability of different methods of contraception, sex education and maternal and child care. Although, the latest news have stated that the TRO is still under effect.
The on-going battle of this Contraceptives VS TRO started last July 2015! And despite the RH Law being passed the conflict still continues. The reason behind this is due to the conservative groups or the parties who are against the RH Bill. Petitions where filed claiming the law was unconstitutional, then in 2016, the budget for contraceptives was cut back and now the latest agenda was the TRO which seems like the most fought after.
Even the President of the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte, has no power over this dispute. He have signed an Executive Order supporting the RH Law. The thing is, the President’s order and the Supreme Courts decision are of equal power. The Presidents order can only add pressure but not lift any TRO given by the Supreme Court.
To sum up this battle, there is still no conclusion. In a country like ours which has the conservative sect and the more modernize groups, maybe the battle is far from over. A divided nation will not bow down to the other. But what we should consider is that when it comes to a persons health mainly the reproductive health, debates should not hinder what’s safe and what is best . In fact, this whole debacle is all about the body and what is safe and healthy right? So, I guess, what everyone should look at and fully understand is that, is this battle really necessary or will this jepordize one’s health? You be the judge.