Pediatricians Endorse EC; Senators Ask for Results of GAO Investigation

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement last week, in which they again supported the safety of emergency contraception for adolescent women. “Emergency contraception has tremendous potential to reduce unintended pregnancy rates in teens and adults. Information on emergency contraception (EC) should be incorporated into the sexuality counseling included as part of a preventive health care visit,” AAP’s statement read. The AAP restated its support for EC as “safe, efficacious and easy to administer, all 3 factors required by the FDA for over-the-counter medications.” Other major medical associations, such as the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have also supported the possibility of making EC available over-the-counter.

In June, because of continuing delays in approving Plan B, several Senators called on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate the FDA’s process. Last week, the same 13 Senators sent a letter to GAO urging that the results be released. In the September 2 letter, the Senators wrote that the most recent delay, in spite of the strong support of the medical community, “leaves the strong impression that concerns about politics have overridden concerns about public health in this process.” GAO has said that it is nearing the end of its investigation, and will release its findings in the near future.

TAKE ACTION Urge the FDA to immediately approve over-the-counter status for EC – stop playing politics with women’s health!

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AAP Policy Statement on Emergency Contraception 9/1/05; Kaiser 9/2/05, 9/7/05; SenatorsÕ Letter to GAO, 9/2/05; Washington Post 9/6/05

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