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Decision Signals FDA Concern for Scientific Evidence and Women’s Health

April 23, 2009

CONCORD, CA – Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it would allow the emergency contraception (EC) Plan B to be sold over-the-counter (OTC) to 17-year-olds.  Currently, anyone under the age of 18 can obtain EC by prescription only.

A federal judge had given the FDA 30 days to comply with an order requiring OTC access of EC for 17-year-olds, saying that the Bush Administration FDA’s decisions to allow EC OTC only for those 18 years and older were infected by “political justifications, delays, and implausible justifications for decision making” and showed “significant departures from the FDA’s normal procedures and policies…”

Heather Saunders Estes, CEO of Planned Parenthood: Shasta-Diablo said, “I applaud this decision to enact a common sense policy that will help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and protect the health and safety of women.”

The U.S. has the highest rate of teen pregnancy among the most developed countries in the world.  Approximately 750,000 teens will get pregnant this year.  This FDA decision will help reduce this alarming statistic.

“I am hopeful that this move by the FDA signals that one of our nation’s highest agencies dedicated to protecting health is once again putting a premium on scientific evidence and women’s health” Estes said.

Planned Parenthood’s doors are open to everyone, regardless of their personal circumstances.  Those under the age of 17 who are not eligible for EC OTC can receive an EC prescription at Planned Parenthood health centers.  Low-income women or men of any age for whom the cost of EC OTC is prohibitive, can visit Planned Parenthood health centers and receive EC on a sliding fee scale.


About Planned Parenthood: Shasta-Diablo - Planned Parenthood: Shasta-Diablo is an essential part of the healthcare system, providing education, advocacy and affordable, high quality healthcare at 15 health centers located in 13 Northern California counties.  For more information, please visit http://www.ppshastadiablo.org/

For the Planned Parenthood health center nearest you, call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526)


Planned Parenthood Northern California


June 19, 2009