The nation’s doctors are speaking up for expanded access to contraception. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorsed making oral contraceptives available without a prescription and emergency contraception over-the-counter. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggested that pediatricians give young women prescriptions for Emergency Contraception before they need it.
Doctors cannot restrict the treatments they mention to only those that they themselves offer. And yet this is what often happens with emergency contraception. Women are not told about the most effective option.
The use of a government issued ID to suppress the rights of “undesirable” communities is not just limited to voting rights, but is also a barrier for access to over-the-counter emergency contraception.
Last week, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists called for access to emergency contraception over-the-counter. We need to send a clear signal to Secretary Sebelius that women’s reproductive health and medical science should be the driving force behind public policy. Sign the petition being launched by a broad coalition of medical professionals and advocates today urging Secretary Sebelius to revisit the evidence and remove the restrictions.
The GOP platform committee did not amend language from the 2004 and 2008 GOP platforms, which “assert the sanctity of human life,” and provide no exceptions to abortion in any case whatsoever. The committee add language opposing drugs such as mifepristone, but members agreed that this platform amendment did not apply to EC.
To realize the full potential of emergency contraception to back up their birth control, women must be aware of EC, providers must be well trained on EC and it must be readily accessible. Pharmacists can be critical partners in reaching these goals.
While Secretary Sebelius’ decision to intervene and block Plan B One-Step’s OTC status was shocking on several fronts, those of us at the Center for Reproductive Rights saw it as “déjà vu all over again.”
This year, the Back Up Your Birth Control campaign is addressing the lies head-on. Our theme is as simple as it is scientifically accurate: EC=BC. EC is a form of birth control. There is no controversy here, and the scientific and medical communities are unanimous. EC=BC.
One of the most difficult things to do is tell a friend that we are disappointed or upset with them, but that is what we are doing here today.
Sadly, only about a quarter of the relevant agencies have developed scientific integrity policies as required under White House guidelines and publicly released them.