Focus on the Courts: EC Access
Earlier today, Judge Edward Korman of the Federal District Court ruled that Plan B, the most common form of emergency contraception, must be made available over the counter for women of all ages, including girls 16 and younger who have previously been required to have a prescription. This decision supports an FDA recommendation made to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to make the morning-after pill available for all ages – a recommendation that was overruled by the Secretary in 2011 (the first time that someone in her position had ever overruled an FDA recommendation).
The Reform Movement has long advocated for over-the-counter availability of emergency contraception. Numerous studies have demonstrated that access to contraception does not encourage sexual activity – and that access to family planning services gives a woman increased control over her reproductive health. We advocate as well for comprehensive sexuality education that teaches students how to make responsible decisions and how to properly use all forms of contraception. The Reform Movement believes that family planning is a crucial part of responsible family life, and that increasing access to emergency contraception is an important step in ensuring that all women can exercise true reproductive choice. We applaud Judge Korman for his decision, and hope that girls and women across the country will have access to the reproductive health medications and technologies that they need and deserve.