Written by Gretchen Borchelt, Senior Counsel
National Women’s Law Center
Today, a federal district court confirmed that the FDA put ideology before science when it decided to limit non-prescription access to emergency contraception to individuals 18 and older.
The court ordered the FDA to make Plan B, the emergency contraceptive pill that’s currently on the market, available to women age 17 and older without a prescription within 30 days. And the court ordered the FDA to reconsider whether to make the drug available to women of all ages without a prescription.
The court decided that the FDA’s decisions were "arbitrary and capricious [the legal standard] because they were not the result of reasoned and good faith agency decision-making." Here are a couple more highlights from the decision explaining why:
"The FDA repeatedly and unreasonably delayed issuing a decision on Plan B for suspect reasons. . . ."
"[T]he record is clear that the FDA’s course of conduct regarding Plan B departed in significant ways from the agency’s normal procedures regarding similar applications. . . ."
The FDA’s justification for making 17 year olds get a prescription "lacks all credibility."
Now that we have a new Administration and new officials nominated to head the FDA, we look forward to an agency review that emphasizes science, not ideology. We are optimistic the FDA will remove the barriers that keep women from accessing EC, giving women of all ages a second chance to prevent pregnancy.
Cross-posted from NWLC's blog.