NEW YORK - August 24 - While Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) today welcomed the decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve over-the-counter status for Plan B emergency contraception (EC) for women 18 and older, PPNYC expressed dismay at the scientifically baseless restrictions that deny teenagers over-the-counter access to the safe, effective method of backup birth control.
Traci Perry, vice-president of Public Affairs for PPNYC, said, "After over 550 days of needless delay, we are pleased that the FDA finally ended its foot-dragging on this issue and approved Plan B for OTC access for women 18 and older. We remain, however, troubled by the scientifically baseless restriction imposed on teenagers. New York City has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the country -- anything that makes it harder for teenagers to avoid unintended pregnancy is bad medicine and bad public policy."
Research shows that over-the-counter access to emergency contraception does not increase or encourage sexual activity among teens, and better access to proven prevention methods like accurate sex education and emergency birth control are the best ways to reduce the alarming rate of teen pregnancy in this country. Planned Parenthood will continue to do all it can to educate women of all ages about EC and help them access emergency contraception.
EC lowers the risk of pregnancy when started within 120 hours of unprotected intercourse. The sooner EC is administered after unprotected intercourse, the better it works, making timely access critically important. Studies show that women do not use EC as a regular method of birth control.