Purple Ribbon for RH Statement: Fulfill the promise of the RH Law, lift the TRO

November 8, 2016

November 4, 2016

The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law (RA 10354) gave hope to Filipino women to have safe and planned pregnancies. Childbirth complications that have killed tens of thousands of mothers would be prevented, and women’s lives, saved. Planned pregnancies would enable couples to achieve their desired number of children, and young people to escape the perils of teen-age pregnancy.

Abject poverty has oppressed generations. This is significantly because parents are unable to care and provide for their many children the education and other opportunities necessary to advance in life. The RPRH law gave poor families hope that their dream of a better future can be achieved. These hopes can only be realized if government fully and efficiently implements a comprehensive family planning program as mandated by law.

People rejoiced when the Supreme Court declared the RPRH law as constitutional. Government prepared for its full implementation, and purchased needed family planning supplies. However, the SC issued a TRO preventing the Department of Health and its agencies from going full blast on its family planning program. This TRO is based on a petition alleging that all contraceptives are abortifacient, and aimed at having these vital commodities totally banned from the market.

This TRO, affects 13.4 million Filipino women. These are the 6.1 million presently using contraceptives, and the 7.3 millions more who have unmet need for family planning. Because of this TRO, no new registration for contraceptives can be approved, and when approved, they can be appealed. New legal cases will ensue and delays will continue. Stocks will run out and contraceptives will no longer be available in the market. Even those with money to buy will not anymore have access to these vital commodities.

A total ban on contraceptives will happen.

Because of this TRO, our teen-pregnancy rates, already one of the worst in the world, will further worsen. The future of more of our young people will be jeopardized. For 2016, an estimated 281,170 teen-aged girls will get pregnant. The numbers will soar even higher without contraceptives. Because of this TRO, more women will die due to preventable pregnancy and childbirth-related complications. For this year alone, around 5,042 Filipinas will perish in giving life. This is equivalent to 14 women dying per day. Without contraceptives, more children will be orphaned as more mothers pass away.

Thus, we earnestly appeal to the Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court for the gift of compassion — side with our women and our families.