Guardedly good news in the fight for contraception

I woke up this morning to this message from Planned Parenthood in my inbox:

“Plan B prevails! Today, after years of foot-dragging, the FDA put politics aside and granted over-the-counter status to emergency contraception for women 18 and older. ”

It’s hard to believe that we’re still fighting for access to safe, effective contraception, but we are. The “reproductive freedom” fight is not just about abortion. The radical right has been trying to undermine access to birth control as well. (This was the focus of an interesting feature in the New York Times Magazine some months back.)

While this long awaited over-the-counter approval of Plan B is an important win for adults, access is still being denied to sexually active teenagers, forcing them to get a prescription, a hurdle that may prevent them from getting access quickly enough. The point of emergency contraception is immediate access — we’re talking about emergencies, after all! And since sooner is better in terms of the effectiveness of emergency contraception, any delay is a potentially devastating one.
So, thanks and congratulations to all those who worked so hard to get us this far. There is obviously a lot of work that still needs to be done to protect our sexual freedom and reproductive rights. Let’s not let our guard down!

For information about emergency contraception, provided by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, click here.

For a good teen-oriented sexuality information site, visit Scarleteen.

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