Is DOH following RH Law in its distribution of Implanon?
THERE SHOULD no longer be a controversy over the reproductive health issue. The law has become final after the Supreme Court handed down its verdict on April 8, 2014, striking down provisions that basically allowed only “nonabortifacients” to be part of the government’s procurement list of essential medicines. The issue now is whether or not the Department of Health is following the law!
Is the DOH’s procurement and distribution of Implanon, an etonogestrel implant manufactured by Merck, aligned with the final “Supreme Court-approved” RH Law? The only way it can be within the boundaries of the law is if Implanon was correctly classified by our Food and Drug Administration as a nonabortifacient. By checking and reading the official website of Implanon, one begins to doubt.
This is what is stated on how Implanon works: “Implanon prevents pregnancy in several ways. The most important way is by stopping the release of an egg from your ovary. Implanon also changes the mucus in your cervix and this change may keep sperm from reaching the egg. Implanon also changes the lining of your uterus.”
The indiscriminate distribution of Implanon is gross abuse of the power of the DOH. I think the Inquirer headline of the news story “High court stops DOH contraceptive implants” (Front Page, 7/4/15) should have read: “DOH violates the RH Law.” For which reason, the Supreme Court has issued a temporary restraining order on the distribution of Implanon. Plain and simple.
—EILEEN ZSHORNACK-ARANETA, Muntinlupa City
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