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Americans United for Life Condemns FDA Decision that Will Increase Minors' Access to Plan B

WASHINGTON, April 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced that it will not appeal a U.S. District Court order that 17-year-old girls should have unrestricted, over-the-counter access to Plan B or so-called "emergency contraception."

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President & CEO of Americans United for Life said, "The federal agency tasked with protecting public health has abdicated its responsibility by not appealing the court order. The maker of Plan B has not researched what happens when adolescents take Plan B. In addition, neither the maximum safe dose nor the effects of overdose have been determined by scientific study on any age group."

Last month, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Tummino v. Torti ordered the FDA to make Plan B available to 17-year-olds under the same conditions that it is currently available to adult women. This overruled a previous decision by the FDA requiring that minors first obtain a valid prescription for the potentially dangerous drug.

In addition, the court's ruling did not permit the FDA to undertake another internal review of the drug's safety record or to receive evidence on the increased need to protect minors from dangerous medications or even sexual abuse.

Denise Burke, AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs said, "With this decision, an unsafe drug could be used by sexual predators and even the victims themselves to hide the abuse from parents and the authorities."

For more on the safety concerns surrounding Plan B, see "The Deadly Convenience Of RU-486 and Plan B" in AUL's annual legal guide Defending Life 2009.

About Americans United for Life

Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization whose vision is a nation in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law. The first national pro-life organization in America, AUL has been committed to defending human life through vigorous judicial, legislative, and educational efforts at both the federal and state levels since 1971. The Wall Street Journal has profiled AUL, and PBS' Frontline program chronicled AUL's successful efforts in Mississippi.

SOURCE Americans United for Life
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