Fac n Cnacn and AbnLkhaan
In fact, the RHR challenged“the commissioned review onthe perspective taken, argu-ing that the review considersthe biomedical view, whereasthe biosocial science point of view is more relevant” to thequestion of expanding contra-ceptive choices (d’Arcangues,2007).In the end, the WHO ExpertCommittee reiterated itsselection criteria and the“evidenced-based approach tolisting contraceptives” (WHO,2007, p. 50). It stated that
…the selection of contracep-tives are based on the denitionand selection criteria dened inthe procedures for the ExpertCommittee 2002, which denesessential medicines as those thatsatisfy the priority health careneeds of the population andwhere medicines are selectedwith due regard to diseaseprevalence, evidence on ecacyand safety, and comparativecost-eectiveness. … After dis-cussion of the review and con-sidering the various arguments,the Committee conrmed thatit would take an evidence-basedapproach to listing contracep-tives. The Committee will assessnew products on a case-by-casebasis using the accepted criteriaof comparative ecacy, com-parative safety and comparativecost, as well as suitability andacceptability.
Drugs for abortion were onlyadded to the WHO ModelList of Essential Medicines in2005
(Aziz, et al)
and clearlymarked with a boxed notestating “Where permittedunder national law andwhere culturally accept-able.”
The WHO Expert Commit-tee, in its Technical Report,stated the following points onmedical abortion (2005, pp.36-37):
The Committee therefore rec-ommended that mifepristone(200-mg tablet) followed bymisoprostol (200-microgramtablet) be included on the com-plementary list of the Model Listfor medical abortion within nineweeks of the start of pregnancy,and that the following footnotebe added:
Requires close medicalsuperision.
Note from the Secretariat: Inreviewing the recommendationrelating to this combination of products, the Director-Generaldecided to add a note adjacentto the combination in the WHOModel List stating:
Where permitted under nation-al law and where culturallyacceptable.
The added note of the WHODirector-General is a measureof its sensitive and transparenthandling of abortion. All listedcontraceptives
havethis note (WHO, 2007, p. 109).
Modern contracepties likethe IUDs, pills and inject-ables are aailable een incountries where abortion isprohibited.
The belief that IUDs, pillsand injectables are abortifa-cients that must be subjectedto abortion regulations is aminority opinion not sharedby most nations. For example,there are 35 countries with atotal ban on abortion and 34that explicitly allow it only tosave the woman’s life (CRR,2007; UN Population Division,2007 a). In contrast, world-wide contraceptive use datashow that pills, injectables andIUDs are allowed and avail-able in almost all countries(UN Population Division, 2007b).Another example is Ireland,which has a provision in itsConstitution protecting the“unborn”, stating that
“The State acknowledges theright to life of the unborn and,with due regard to the equalright to life of the mother, guar-antees in its laws to respect, and,as far as practicable, by its lawsto defend and vindicate thatright.” (Article 40, Sec. 3.3)
Despite this provision, theIrish government funds anddelivers all modern con-traceptive methods (DHC-Ireland), including IUDs, pills,injectables and implants(IFPA).