The Center for Reproductive Rights today filed a motion for contempt against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for failing to follow a 2009 court order that would make emergency contraception (EC) available over the counter for women of all ages.
“The FDA has had ample time, countless opportunities, and overwhelming scientific evidence put before it to make a decision on Plan B,” said Center for Reproductive Rights President Nancy Northup. “The President promised that his administration would reverse the Bush policy of politics trumping science. But when it comes to emergency contraception, it’s a new administration playing the same old games.”
The Center sued the FDA in 2005 for failing to grant over-the-counter status for emergency contraception, and in 2006, the FDA agreed to make EC available without a prescription— but only to women 18 and over, and only behind the pharmacy counter. The Center then pursued legal action to ensure that EC would truly be available over the counter for all women, including young women.
It has been more than a year and a half since the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ordered the FDA to permit over the counter sales of EC to people 17 and older immediately, and to reconsider age and other restrictions currently placed on access. The Center is now taking the FDA back to court, and is calling on supporters of reproductive health and rights to help them make the case.
To learn more about IWHC partner PROMSEX and their work ensuring access to EC for women in Peru, click here.