Emergency Contraception Delayed

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on the delays in the FDA on Emergency Contraception programs.

FDA Commissioner Postpones Decision on Emergency Contraception
On February 13, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it was delaying by 90 days its decision on whether women should be able to purchase emergency contraceptive pills over-the-counter rather than by prescription only. This follows a recommendation in December by the FDA's Reproductive Health Drugs and Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committees that Plan B emergency contraception be made available over-the-counter.

Emergency contraception has enormous potential to prevent unintended pregnancies and abortions. When taken within 72 hours after unprotected intercourse, emergency contraceptive pills can prevent a pregnancy from occurring. Because EC is more effective the sooner it is taken, eliminating the delays caused by the need to obtain and fill prescriptions (particularly over weekends and holidays) can help women to obtain the method when they need it. EC is not "the abortion pill" (mifepristone or RU-486) and will not affect an established pregnancy.

Recent research from The Alan Guttmacher Institute found that, even with limited access and awareness, emergency contraception averted over 100,000 unintended pregnancies, including an estimated 51,000 abortions in 2000

Emergency contraception and its potential to avert unintended pregnancies and abortion, click here. www.agi-usa.org/media/supp/ec121702.html

Need to increase public awareness of EC, click here. www.agi-usa.org/pubs/journals/gr050403.html

Steps being taken to improve access to EC, click here. www.agi-usa.org/pubs/journals/gr050510.html

29 states currently allow pharmacy access to EC: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. www.agi-usa.org/pubs/journals/3317201.html You might be surprised at some of the 22 states that don't allow pharmacy access to EC: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.

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