After Three Years of Delays, the FDA Finally Approves Plan B
If anti-choicers were truly concerned about preventing unwanted pregnanies, they would embrace Plan B with open arms. Too bad that's not the case.
This is from the National Women's Health Network, an organization that works tirelessly for women's rights:
After nearly three years of delays, the Food and Drug Administration announced its approval of the application to make Plan B emergency contraception available to women 18 and older without a prescription.
The FDA decision is both a political victory and an advance for women's health, clearing the path for many women to get timely access to this after-the-fact birth control that is more effective the sooner it is used. Political leaders who have used regulatory red-tape to delay the decision finally conceded in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence that Plan B is safe and effective for over-the-counter use.
This announcement is a tribute to the persistence of reproductive rights and women's health advocates like you, medical and scientific experts and tough-minded policymakers at the national, state and local level who have supported and fought to improve women's access to EC for more than 10 years.
As we celebrate this victory, however, the National Women's Health Network cautions that the FDA has not stopped playing politics with EC. There's no scientific or medical reason for the 18 and older age restriction that the FDA has imposed on obtaining non-prescription Plan B. Studies show that increased access to EC does not cause teen promiscuity or other health risk behaviors. And top FDA officials have privately acknowledged that the age restriction is a political concession to conservative activists who have been fighting to keep barriers to contraceptive access in place.
Unfortunately, this concession will impose real costs on real women who will be denied timely access or will have to jump through too many hoops to get EC, making the method less effective. Imposing unjustified age restrictions also undermines public confidence in the scientific integrity of the FDA. And finally, it sends a false and misleading message about the safety of the product which has been shown in studies to be as safe for teens as it is for women 18 and older.
We hope that you take time to enjoy today's victory, but urge you not to give up the fight for contraceptive access for young women and an FDA that makes decisions based on science, not politics. And we at the Network will continue our work to bring you honest information about women's health.
Please pass this message on to everyone you know who cares about women's health!