MANILA -- The contraceptive implant distributed by the Department of Health (DOH) to women who want to limit or have intervals in childbearing is non-abortifacient.

This, according to Commission on Population (POPCOM) in a statement released on Monday after a post stating that the contraceptive implant causes abortion went viral on social media.

The post said the implant could cause embryonic abortion and side effects like blood clotting, stroke, heart attack, permanent disability, organ damage or failure and even death.

According to POPCOM National Capital Region Director Lydio Español Jr., the claim of pro-life groups that contraceptives are abortifacients is contrary to the result of a Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 2017 study.

In November 2017, FDA released a list of 51 contraceptives that were re-certified as safe and non-abortifacient. The list included implant brands like Implanon and Implanon NXT.

“The announcement from FDA has become the basis of the Supreme Court to lift the Temporary Restraining Order that has kept the government from distributing and renewing permits for contraceptives,” he said.

It paved the way for DOH to release around 200,000 units of the contraceptive implants to local city health offices and accredited civil society organizations.

In connection with this, the health department has trained and accredited new physicians to perform the implant insertion and removal.

Español added that contraceptive implant is currently among the preferred family planning methods among women of reproductive age in Metro Manila as it keeps them from taking contraceptives on a daily or monthly basis.

Contraceptive implant takes the form of a tiny and thin rod about the size of a matchstick. It is inserted into the woman’s arm with a long-acting reversible contraceptive effect up to three years. It can be taken out whenever the woman wants to get pregnant. (PNA)