(Washington, D.C.) This afternoon, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that emergency contraception, or the “morning-after pill,” must be made available over the counter for girls aged 15 or over, despite a federal court ruling earlier this month that the pill should be available over the counter to girls and women of all ages. The FDA had originally said that emergency contraception should be available without prescription for all ages, but the Secretary of Health and Human Services overruled it and made the morning-after pill available over the counter for girls age 17 and over. The FDA also announced today that anyone who wants to buy the morning-after pill must show an ID with proof of age and that it is restricting its sale to retail stores that have pharmacies.
The following statement is from Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center:
“While an improvement over current policy, today’s announcement is still disappointing because by retaining an age restriction that the FDA had previously determined was unnecessary, women of all ages must surmount barriers to getting the morning-after pill. Because all women will be required to show an ID to establish their age, those without IDs could be denied access. Further, there is no medical justification for young women under the age-cutoff to have to secure a prescription at all. As a court found recently, the Department of Health & Human Services had in an arbitrary way failed to follow FDA’s original determination and the merit of the ruling still stands.”
For more information: http://www.nwlc.org/resource/emergency-contraception