Four members of the House of Representatives introduced legislation yesterday that would give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 30 days to take action on the emergency contraceptive Plan B, after which it would be automatically approved for over-the-counter sales. The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Christopher Shays (R-CT), Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Joseph Crowley (D-NY), does not aim to overstep the FDA’s authority, but merely to force a decision after nearly two years of delays.
“The bill ensures that the agency’s inaction will no longer prevent women from getting access to a drug that they have found to be safe and effective for over-the-counter use,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “This bill is necessary because it has become clear that FDA’s refusal to make the morning-after pill available OTC is a political decision.”
“The Administration has dragged its feet throughout this entire process, putting politics ahead of public health policy,” said Rep. Crowley. “The facts are that Plan B is safe, Plan B is effective and Plan B is an essential tool in limiting the number of abortions and giving women the choices they deserve.”