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To arrange a media interview with Ellie Smeal or other spokespersons at Feminist Majority Foundation, contact the FMF media department at 703-522-2214.


Date: January-24-05
Contact: Erin Carmany
Phone: (703) 522-2214

The FDA Is Holding Over-the-Counter Sale of Emergency Contraception Hostage

Arlington, Virginia The Feminist Majority Foundation today expressed its outrage that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) once again gave in to right-wing pressure in deciding to delay its decision on over-the-counter status for the emergency contraceptive, Plan B for women ages 16 and older.

The FDA is playing a dangerous game in allowing right-wing politics to trump science, said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. These stall tactics are just hurting women, especially young women.

The Feminist Majority Foundation will mobilize young women on college campuses across the country to demand that the FDA approve over-the-counter status for EC. The FDA has had more than enough time to realize what public health experts and its own advisory panels already know that EC is a safe, effective, and critical tool in preventing unwanted pregnancy, said Smeal.

The scientific evidence is strong, clear and compelling: emergency contraception is safer than taking aspirin or anti-histamines; it meets all of the FDAs requirements for over-the-counter status; and is 95 percent effective in preventing pregnancy if taken in the first 24 hours after unprotected intercourse. Greater access to EC will reduce the number of abortions in the United States dramatically.

Ironically, by opposing a product that would reduce the number of abortions in the United States, the right wing is working against its own professed goals, said Smeal. Clearly, the right wing is not only against abortion, but also contraception.

Emergency contraception is the moral property of women. Women seeking to avoid an unintended pregnancy need quick access to safe, effective and affordable contraception and back-up birth control 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, said Beth Jordan, MD, the medical director for the Feminist Majority Foundation. The science is clear, the need is great, and yet with this disastrous decision, the FDA continues to play politics with womens lives, placing women at needless risk and in harms way.

The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) will continue to be a national leader in the fight to increase availability and access to emergency contraception for young women on the nations college and university campuses. For more information on FMFs EC campaign, visit