Tell HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to Follow the Science on Emergency Contraception
December 7, 2012
One year ago, scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that emergency contraception would be made accessible over-the-counter. The FDA’s reasoning was based on more than decade of medical research that shows emergency contraception is both safe and effective enough for wider public use. This position is shared by respected medical associations and journals such as the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the New England Journal of Medicine.
Yet inexplicably, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius exerted her authority and overruled the FDA’s decision, a move that cannot be justified by science or reason.
Sebelius’ disappointing move restricts the ability of women to exert full control over their reproductive systems. It is an established fact that emergency contraception works best when taken within 72 hours. However, those seeking to purchase emergency contraception face many obstacles, including prescription requirements for women under 17, pharmacists who deny prescriptions based on their religious beliefs, and transportation difficulties.
Political leaders should follow scientific evidence where it leads. Emergency contraception is safe and effective, and making it readily available to those who need it would both reduce the number of unwanted abortions and pregnancies, and improve the health and quality of life of women across the United States.
It’s not too late for Secretary Sebelius to do the right thing. Tell the Secretary to reverse her decision and end restrictions on emergency contraception now!
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