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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, August 24, 2006

CONTACT:

NAF Communications Department
202-667-5881
press@prochoice.org

National Abortion Federation Welcomes the Decision to Allow Plan B to be Sold Without a Prescription

Washington - Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, released the following statement today welcoming the decision of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow Plan B (also known as emergency contraception) to be sold without a prescription to adults, but expressed concern that women under 18 will still need a prescription:

The FDA's decision permitting Plan B to be sold over the counter is an important step in ensuring that women are able to access Plan B in time for it to be an effective option. The agency's previous ruling requiring that women obtain a prescription was not only medically unjustified, it was also a barrier to obtaining timely access to emergency contraception. By allowing the over-the-counter sale of Plan B, more women will now be able to prevent unintended pregnancies.

The approval of over the counter use of Plan B is a victory of science over politics and is long overdue. It has been nearly three years since two FDA expert advisory committees voted overwhelmingly to recommend that Plan B be made available without a prescription. Yet, it is extremely disappointing that age restrictions will create medically unjustified barriers for teens.

Plan B contains a concentrated dose of the progestin hormone found in daily birth control pills, and reduces the risk of pregnancy by up to 89 percent when taken within 72 hours of unprotected intercourse.

American women deserve to have access to a full range of safe reproductive health care options. Timely use of emergency contraception could prevent as many as half of the 3 million unintended pregnancies that occur each year in the U.S.

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The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in the United States and Canada. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care to promote health and justice for women. Our members include health care professionals at clinics, doctors' offices, and hospitals, who together care for more than half the women in both countries who choose abortion each year. For more information, visit our website at www.prochoice.org

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