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Given FDA's Inaction, Women Must Protect Themselves

New York — Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) today praised the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) for its newly released 'Ask Me' emergency contraception campaign. The campaign aims to educate women on the importance of having prescriptions for emergency contraception (EC) in hand in case it should be needed. Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest provider of emergency contraception, once again called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to put science before politics and make EC available without prescription.

"With an administration that attacks prevention programs and with a politicized and ideologically driven FDA, the 'Ask Me' campaign is an important tool that will help encourage women to pro-actively ensure they have access to emergency contraception when they need it," said Cecile Richards president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "We stand with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists — the preeminent authority on women's reproductive health — in supporting the right of women to access contraception, including emergency contraception, without unnecessary barriers."

The 'Ask Me' campaign aims to educate women about the availability of EC and to encourage them to ask their doctors for a prescription in advance to have in hand in case of need.

"Every woman should have a prescription for emergency contraception ready in case it should be needed," added Richards. "Prevention is the number-one tool for reducing the number of unintended pregnancies, and we call on the FDA to answer the needs of American women by making emergency contraception available without prescription."

Experts estimate that wider access to EC could prevent up to 1.7 million unintended pregnancies — and 800,000 abortions — a year. Emergency contraception pills contain hormones that reduce the risk of pregnancy when started within 120 hours of unprotected intercourse. The sooner emergency contraception is administered after unprotected intercourse, the better it works, making timely access critically important.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Gustavo Suarez, 212-261-4339
Andrea Hagelgans, 212-261-4652


May 11, 2014