Yeah, we meant to say that. Boy do we wish we didn't.
Here's the spiel: it's Back Up Your Birth Control Day today, but as you may have heard, or personally experienced, here in the states, we're still having a lot of trouble with pharmacists refusing over-the-counter Plan B (emergency contraception, the morning-after-pill, or whatever you like to call it), for a whole bunch of reasons, including because of age, even though most of those asking for or about it are of legal age to get it over-the-counter, and without a prescription.
It was probably obvious yesterday that we earnestly thought the FDA might finally turn around a longtime decision, one largely against all advice, information and recommendations from sexual, reproductive and adolescent health and rights experts and advocates, when it came to unfounded restrictions long put on teen access to Plan B.
I don't think we can express enough how tremendously and deeply frustrated and infuriated we are here that our optimism was in vain and was so outrageously gutted.
You may have heard that the FDA may finally remove age restrictions for the morning-after emergency contraception pill in the United States. If you've heard that, you may have started to hear some panic or fear-factoring, not just gratitude and relief.
An FDA advisory panel unanimously approved the FC2 female condom. The FC2 is very similar to the current version of the female condom and is in fact intended to replace it. The primary difference is the FC2 is made of nitrile instead of polyurethane, making it cheaper to manufacture. As that one of the primary barriers preventing women from using female condoms is cost, this is excellent news.
The FDA panel overseeing the issue of making EC over the counter has not only once stalled on a ruling because they have requested "public comment" before doing so, they have now stated they need even MORE public comment. Bear in mind that, to my knowledge, NO drug before has EVER been required a "public comment" period, and since it is the FDA's job to only consider medical and health safety issues, public sentiment that is NOT about those issues should have no bearing on their decisions.
Not only has the FDA yet AGAIN delayed a ruling on over-the-counter access for emergency contraception with a completely bogus excuse, they've made clear that they have NO plans to make it OTC for one of the groups which need it over the counter the most: young adult women.
From National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy:
The National Organization for Women calls on women's health advocates to join in a National Day of Action on Tuesday, August 30, protesting the decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding emergency contraception (EC).
To: National Desk
Contact: Ted Miller of NARAL Pro-Choice America, 202-973-3032
Really, the ONLY reason the MAP -- which is just as safe as, if not safer than, typical oral contraceptive pills -- is not currently over-the-counter is because of the ideology of those opposed to birth control in general -- or those who don't understand contraceptive technology and opt to remain uninformed to better serve their own personal agendas -- not due to health concerns.