FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Women's Health Leader Calls Plan B Approval "Welcome But Long Overdue, "Voices Concern over Arbitrary, Baseless Age Limitation
Statement by Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women and Families
WASHINGTON, DC — August 2006 — "Today’s decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to give Plan B emergency contraception over-the-counter status, is welcome but long overdue. American women have had to wait much too long for the FDA to make the only decision that medical research and science will support.
We are delighted that, at last, more American women will get access to a safe and effective method of reducing unintended pregnancies. But denying over-the-counter access to Plan B to women under age 18, when the research shows that it is safe for women of all ages, is arbitrary and baseless. It should not stand. We should be working together to reduce teenage pregnancy in this country, not withholding a safe method of contraception from women and girls who need it.
The FDA still has a credibility problem. It owes the nation an explanation as to why it ignored a 23-to-4 vote for approval by its own panel of scientific and medical experts for so long, and why it is imposing an age restriction not supported by scientific research now. Americans deserve an agency that will reject politically motivated delays and decisions, like these."
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.