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NARAL Pro-Choice America
MAY 5, 2004
6:14 PM
CONTACT:  NARAL Pro-Choice America
David Seldin at (202) 973-3032
Reproductive Health Expert Says EC Over the Counter Could Prevent Nearly 150,000 Abortions Per Year

WASHINGTON - May 5 - Citing an expert’s statement that over-the-counter sale of emergency contraception pills could prevent nearly 150,000 abortions per year, NARAL Pro-Choice America called today for President Bush to allow the FDA to approve such sales.

Dr. James Trussell, Director of the Office of Population Research at Princeton University, was a member of one of the two FDA scientific panels that overwhelmingly recommended over-the-counter sales. He said today that, “Every day more than 8 thousand unintended pregnancies occur in the United States. Half of them will end in abortion. If we could prevent only a tenth of these (800 unintended pregnancies each day) by making EC easier for women to get and use, we could prevent nearly 150 thousand abortions per year. The FDA has sat on the EC application for nearly 90 days now, and every day of delay is a day when women needlessly face the prospect of an unintended pregnancy.”

NARAL Pro-Choice America Interim President Elizabeth Cavendish noted that President Bush and his advisors have often claimed the goal of reducing the number of abortions. Just last week -- defending remarks that likened pro-choice Americans to terrorists – Bush’s Senior Advisor Karen Hugehes said that “People on both sides of the abortion issue can agree that . . . we ought to work to reduce the number of abortions in America.”

Ms. Cavendish said: “I agree with Karen on this one – everyone should agree that preventing unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion is vitally important. So why doesn’t she use her influence with the President and get him to stop playing politics and allow this simple preventative step to go forward. It would be a great way for her to atone for her outrageous insult to the 1.15 million of us who marched on the Mall last month.”


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