Sign the Petition to Tell the Obama Administration to Stop the Appeal: Morning-After Pill Fully Over-the-Counter
- Category: Actions
Tell the Obama Administration to Stop the Appeal:
Morning-After Pill Fully Over-the-Counter
The Food and Drug Administration’s review of the scientific evidence found that the Morning-After Pill is safe for females of all ages; there is no medical justification for an age limit or any other restrictions on where or how it can be sold.1 Yet, for 10 years the Bush and Obama Administrations have held the pill hostage, going to absurd lengths to keep this safe form of birth control out of our hands.
On April 5, 2013, Judge Edward Korman issued a federal Court Order that the Morning-After Pill be sold over-the-counter to everyone, regardless of age.
However on May 1st, the Obama Administration announced it would block the Court Order through an appeal.2 The FDA then followed Obama, announcing that the Morning-After Pill will only be over-the-counter to those age 15 and up, with proof of age required by I.D. Also, the FDA will require people under 15 to get a prescription.
The FDA and Obama Administration's latest move is contrary to the scientific evidence, to the experience of over 60 countries around the world that have no age restrictions, and to President Obama's own statements in support of women's right to birth control.
We, the undersigned, demand:
• Access for all, no restrictions! No age limit, no prescription, no identification!
• Obama Administration: Stop the Appeal!
• The Morning-After Pill should be available on any shelf in any store, next to the condoms or aspirin.
• Women and girls must have the right to control when and if we have children; it is a cornerstone of our freedom.
In the words of feminist abortion law repeal movement pioneer, Lucinda Cisler, in 1970: Because no one else [except the Women’s Liberation Movement] is going to cry out against these restrictions, it is up to feminists to make the strongest and most precise demands upon the lawmakers—who ostensibly exist to serve us. We will not accept insults and call them "steps in the right direction."3
1 “F.D.A. Panels Favor Easing Access to Morning-After Pill” by Gina Kolata, New York Times, December 16, 2003; “Statement from FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D. on Plan B One-Step,” December 7, 2011.
2 “Judge rips Obama’s right-wing Plan B stance” by Irin Carmon, Salon.com, May 7, 2013.
3 From "Abortion Law Repeal (Sort of): A Warning to Women." Lucinda Cisler was chair of the National Organization for Women Taskforce on Reproduction and Its Control (1969-1971) and founder and first secretary of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws. More history on the abortion fight at the Redstockings Archives for Action.
- Category: Actions
Week of Action: May 13th-17th
National Women's Liberation, with the support of our allies Women Organized to Resist and Defend (WORD), is organizing a week of action. We are uniting to demand "Access for all, No restrictions!" Birth control is a cornerstone of women's freedom. If the Obama Administration thinks women will simply let this go, they are wrong!
Join us for actions in the cities listed below, or plan an action in your city! Please contact us if you would like to participate in a planning meeting. Organizing kits are available. If you hold a sign, drop a banner, or organize a flashmob to put the Morning-After Pill on the shelf, send us video or pictures. We will compile them. Please forward this message widely.
Tuesday, May 14:
Los Angeles, California
San Francisco, California
New Haven, Connecticut
New York City, New York
Syracuse, New York
Asheville, North Carolina
Friday, May 17:
Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Category: Press
From The Miami Herald: The long and sweeping movement to broaden access to emergency contraception — which may culminate soon in girls and women of all ages having over-the-counter access — has been led, in part, by a group of Florida grassroots activists — students, mothers, daughters.
The original lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration calling for all restrictions to be lifted on the so-called morning-after pill has nine plaintiffs, most of whom have deep Florida roots, their journey starting at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Five of the plaintiffs attended UF; one of those, Candi Churchill, grew up in Cooper City; their attorney, Andrea Costello, who also attended UF, is from North Miami.
The cause — first fought as students, now as seasoned activists — will be heard again Tuesday, as a federal judge decides the next step in a case shaping the national discourse on women’s reproductive rights. The case’s origin traces, in part, back to an infirmary pharmacist at UF in the 1990s who refused to dispense emergency contraceptives based on his religious and moral beliefs.
“We are just women who are willing to stand up for ourselves, other women and girls,’’ said Stephanie Seguin, who grew up in Fort Myers, now an organizer with the National Women’s Liberation Gainesville chapter and a plaintiff. “This is a way for women as a group to have more control over our lives. This is about self determination for women and girls.’’ (read more)
- Category: Press
From Salon.com: “It turns out that the same policies that President Bush followed were followed by President Obama,” said District Court Judge Edward Korman on Tuesday morning, in a charged and dramatic two-hour hearing in which the Obama administration defended its arbitrary policy to limit contraceptive access.
Korman was explaining why, when previously ruling on access to Plan B emergency contraception, he had initially waited for the administration to act on its own and make the drug widely available based on scientific evidence, rather than on politics. “The process had been corrupted by political influence. I remanded because I thought with a new president” things would be different, Korman said. But in 2011, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius overruled, with the president’s explicit blessing, the FDA’s recommendation to lift all age restrictions, which Korman ruled in March was a decision made in “bad faith” because of the politics around sex and contraception. He ordered the administration to lift all restrictions. Instead, it accepted a manufacturer’s petition to make Plan B available over the counter only with photo ID showing the purchaser was at least 15, and the Department of Justice is appealing. (read more)