RH Law implementation still hangs


By Rose de la Cruz

Even with the lifting by the Supreme Court of the temporary restraining order on the Reproductive Health law, Rep. Salvador Belaro Jr. of 1 Ang Edukasyon Partylist, continue to be “cautiously optimistic” in that its implementation could still be questioned before the Office of the President. 

The SC recently lifted its TRO on the RH law after determining that 51 specific contraceptives, including two highlighted in the TRO, were “non abortifacient” or capable of aborting a life.  

“Going by the April 26, 2017 SC ruling, it is our hope that the FDA resolution means the TRO on the full implementation of the RH Law is automatically lifted,” Belaro said.

However, he added, he is “cautiously optimistic as this fight to stop those who want to derail advances in the reproductive health of Filipino via the RH Law may not yet be over.”

He said he wished the Department of Health has fully complied with all the stipulations and directives of the Supreme Court in that April 2017 ruling. He appealed as well to the DOH to be ready to fight any appeal.

While the SC did say, “the TRO would be deemed lifted if the questioned drugs and devices are found not abortifacients,” the High Court also said an administrative appeal and challenge the FDA resolution could still be lodged before the Office of the President.

There is also a worrisome condition of “after compliance with due process” also in the same SC ruling. 

Those against the RH Law might use this dependent clause to continue fighting the RH Law before the Supreme Court if they see their chances of appeal to Malacanang as not promising.

As one of the House Leaders, he urged the TRO proponents to finally admit defeat. The science and real facts of RH have always been against their harsh campaign adversely affecting women’s health and the health of our nation. It is time to move on and let the Department of Health fully implement the RH Law.