It’s pretty ridiculous that it’s 2012 and we are still having these conversations, but here we go again.
One year ago next week the Food and Drug Administration was poised to announce that EC had been approved for on-the-shelf access, such that it could appear at your local pharmacy between condoms and pregnancy test kits. But Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stepped in at the last minute and ruled that Plan B One-Step and its generic equivalent must remain behind-the-counter. That decision led to confusion and unnecessary obstacles for women, teens, and couples at the very moment clarity was needed most. For example, we know that:
*Doctors and teens have been given misinformation about the age restrictions applied to emergency contraception over the counter (currently 17) or told that teens could not get the product at all (not true). This confusion helps no one.
* Men have been told by pharmacists in several states around the country that they could not buy EC (not true), presenting obstacles and delays when timing matters.
*Rape survivors have been denied access to EC by doctors and prison staff.
* Individuals without government issued identification may have difficulty accessing EC because of the restrictions.
[RH Reality Check]
If there’s one thing everyone all across the political spectrum should be able to agree on, it’s that unwanted pregnancies are not good (I know that’s wishful thinking). Sign this petition to have HHS Secretary Sebelius revisit her decision to put emergency contraception behind the counter.