CRR Responds to President Obama’s Comments on Recent Rejection of Plan B One-Step for Over-the-Counter Sale without Age Restriction

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(PRESS RELEASE) Center for Reproductive Rights President and CEO Nancy Northup again accused the Obama Administration of playing politics with women's health today following President Obama's remarks suggesting that sales of emergency contraceptives should continue to be restricted for young women under the age of 17 due to their potentially "adverse effect."

"When it comes to FDA drug approvals, contraceptives are being held to a different and non-scientific standard-in a word, politics," said Northup. "The president and HHS secretary's recent comments would suggest that no drugs that the FDA has approved as safe and effective—including Tylenol, Benadryl, and many others-should be on drug store shelves."

The Center strongly criticized U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius\' decision yesterday to intervene and block the Food and Drug Administration's expected approval of emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step for over-the-counter sale to women of all ages.

Since 2009, the FDA has continually ignored a federal judge's order to reconsider and rule on the Citizen Petition filed by the Center in 2001 to make all brands of levonorgestrel—based emergency contraception available over-the-counter and to all ages—and the Center will be back in federal court on Tuesday, December 13 arguing the agency is in contempt of court for failing to do so.

The Center filed Tummino v. Hamburg along with attorneys Andrea Costello of Florida Institutional Legal Services and Natalie Maxwell of Southern Legal Counsel on behalf of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP), National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, grassroots activists, and parents who seek over-the-counter access for their daughters.