Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York unilaterally determined in Tummino v. Torti that 17 year old girls should have unrestricted, over-the-counter access to Plan B or so-called “emergency contraception.” In doing so, the court overruled a previous decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requiring that minors first obtain a valid prescription for the potentially dangerous drug.
The Obama Administration is widely expected to welcome the ruling and not pursue a meaningful appeal in the case.
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President & CEO of Americans United for Life said, “Given legitimate concerns about the safety of self-medicating with Plan B, it is incomprehensible that we would allow a minor to walk into any pharmacy and obtain this drug without medical oversight or parental involvement.”
The court ordered the FDA to make Plan B available to 17 year olds under the same conditions that it is currently available to adult women, and to do so by April 21, 2009. The court’s ruling, which accepted as fact the arguments made by abortion industry attorneys, will not permit the FDA to undertake another internal review of the drug’s safety record or to receive evidence on the increased need to protect minors from dangerous medications and even sexual abuse.
Denise Burke, AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs said, “Increasingly easy access to Plan B may have severe and unintended consequences such as the continued exploitation and sexual abuse of young girls.” Continued Burke, “It is all too easy for this unsafe drug to be used by sexual predators and even the victims themselves to hide the abuse from parents and the authorities.”
About Americans United for Life
Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization whose vision is a nation in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law. The first national pro-life organization in America, AUL has been committed to defending human life through vigorous judicial, legislative, and educational efforts at both the federal and state levels since 1971. The Wall Street Journal has profiled AUL, and PBS’ Frontline program chronicled AUL’s successful efforts in Mississippi.