(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) issued the following statement after Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the Administration will block the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommendation to make Plan B One-Step available to more women over-the-counter. Senator Murray has led efforts in the Senate since 2003 to make Plan B emergency contraception available to women.
“I’m very disappointed that Secretary Sebelius has chosen to override the careful scientific analysis of the FDA by blocking further access to emergency contraception. When it comes to the reproductive health of women, I’ve consistently said that we need to put science and medical evidence first. In this case, both the FDA and the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research did careful analysis and determined that Plan B is safe and effective for over-the-counter use by more women. That analysis included a thorough review of whether young women understood usage restrictions.
“We need to leave decisions about patient protections up to the experts. No one should come between women and the experts that are charged with making impartial, non-political decisions about the safety of the drugs they use.
“Improved access to emergency contraception has been proven to reduce both unintended pregnancies and the number of abortions. For nearly a decade, I’ve fought to overcome numerous barriers to Plan B access. In the wake of this decision, I will once again work with my colleagues here in Congress to ensure more women have access to contraception that has been proven safe and effective time and again.”