Councilor Joselle Villafuerte is confident that the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on contraceptives particularly implants will be lifted soon after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advisory declaring them as non-abortifacient.
FDA Advisory No. 2017-302 dated November 11, 2017, indicated FDA’s conclusion that the 51 contraceptive products which were reevaluated, including Implanon and Implanon NXT, were non-abortifacient or it cannot cause abortion.
“We are waiting for the final letter from the Department of Health (DOH) saying we can now release the contraceptive (implants). I am positive the TRO will be lifted soon,” Villafuerte said.
Implanon is a new form of birth control that could prevent pregnancy for up to three years. The matchstick-sized rod, which contains 68 milligrams of the steroidal progestin etonogestrel that prevents pregnancy, is easily injected into a woman’s non-dominant arm.
It is included in the TRO issued by the Supreme Court which prohibited the registration, procurement, and distribution of the implants that are considered to be abortifacients.
Jeff Fuentes of the City Health Office Population, however, said the city has continued the use of the sub-dermal implants as it is the product, not the act of inserting the implant that is the subject of the TRO.
He said the city still has a supply of around 5,000 implants which will expire by 2019. It has continued to provide this as an option for women under the city’s Reproductive Health program. The others include Vasectomy and Tubal Ligation.
The SC previously affirmed the TRO imposed against the distribution of contraceptive implants after it voided the certifications issued by the FDA on the two implants which are said to be abortifacient. Lovely A. Carillo