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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 14, 2001

CONTACT

Communications Department
202-667-5881

National Abortion Federation Joins the American Medical Association and Other Organizations in Advocating Over-the-Counter Availability of Emergency Contraception

Washington, DC - The National Abortion Federation today urged the FDA to approve over the counter availability for emergency contraception. "Women deserve access to the full range of reproductive health care options without unnecessary restrictions," said Vicki Saporta, Executive Director of the National Abortion Federation (NAF). "Over the counter availability of emergency contraception will allow women to more easily access this safe and effective option without unwarranted obstacles and delays. As a result of women's increased access to emergency contraception, unintended pregnancies will decrease."

The American Medical Association has declared its full support for FDA approval of over the counter access for emergency contraception. Emergency contraception, if taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse or failed contraception, can decrease the unintended pregnancy rate by 75%.

Emergency contraception is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy and has been approved by the FDA since 1998. However, many physicians and women are not aware that emergency contraception is even available. Those women who do know about this option sometimes face a delay in obtaining it from their physicians. Saporta added, "With over the counter availability, the FDA will allow women to more easily access emergency contraception within the necessary 72 hour period for it to be effective."

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The National Abortion Federation is the professional association of abortion providers in the U.S. and Canada dedicated to ensuring that abortion remains safe, legal and accessible.
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