Statement from Nancy Northup, President, Center for Reproductive Rights
The Center for Reproductive Rights urges the FDA’s Acting Commissioner Lester Crawford to issue a decision making the emergency contraceptive Plan B available without a prescription and without age restriction.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is voting today on Dr. Crawford’s nomination to head the FDA, but last week Senators Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray said that they plan to block the vote once it reaches the full Senate to protest the agency’s inexplicable foot-dragging on Plan B.
For years now, the FDA has failed to make Plan B available without a prescription. And yet, the decision really is simple-unlike those for a number of other drug applications currently before the FDA. The drug has proven safe and effective. The FDA’s own scientific experts recommend it for over-the-counter status. And experts estimate that it could cut the U.S. unplanned pregnancy rate in half.
The Center has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the FDA, calling on the agency to issue a decision based on the medical science. There’s no reason why Dr. Crawford should wait for a court to order him to do the right thing.
Commissioner Crawford, stop stalling! Put Plan B on the drugstore shelves. It’s only common sense.