Fight for Morning-After Pill continues

Dear Friends,

The Obama administration's recent announcement that it would stop trying to block over-the-counter access to the Morning-After Pill was apparently only window-dressing to silence reproductive rights activists.

According to the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF), the government's new proposals still deny poor and young women access to the contraceptive by limiting its distribution to one pharmaceutical company. The Obama administration's hostility to this necessary drug has already been ruled unscientific and an "excuse to deprive the overwhelming majority of women of their right to obtain contraceptives without unjustified and burdensome restrictions."

PCJF has filed objections to the government's plans. Please call or write President Obama and let him know what you think. Enough already!

Anne Slater
National Organizer, Radical Women


From the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund www.justiceonline.org

Obama Administration Says it is Dropping Legal Fight to Keep Morning-After Pill from Women in U.S.

In response to a battle for over a decade to eliminate all restrictions on access to the Morning-After Pill, the Obama administration announced Monday that it will comply with a federal court ruling that orders the administration to make emergency contraception available without restrictions, and plans to drop its appeal of that ruling.

This is a major victory but it has opened up another critical battle with the government over the ability of young women and poor women to have access to an affordable emergency contraceptive.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund is representing plaintiffs challenging the government's unscientific and politically motivated restrictions on access to emergency contraception and have today filed objections to the government's inadequate plans for compliance.

Under the past two administrations, the Food and Drug administration refused to remove restrictions on access to the Morning-After Pill that were never supported by scientific evidence. The Obama administration even intervened directly to make an election-year political determination to keep the contraception from going over-the-counter. After a long battle, the government has had to back down from its politically motivated restrictions on women's access to emergency contraceptives after it repeatedly lost in federal court.

But now, we are challenging the government's proposed "compliance" with the Court's Order because the proposal acts to deprive poor women and young women from accessing the Morning-After Pill. Despite being under a court order to make the generic emergency contraception available without restriction, the government is stating that it believes it can "comply" without doing so and instead wants to give exclusive over-the-counter status to a single pharmaceutical company that will charge exorbitant prices, putting emergency contraception out of the reach of many who desperately need it.

"The provision of emergency contraception without restriction is a landmark victory for reproductive justice," said Andrea Costello, Partnership for Civil Justice Fund Senior Staff Attorney and lead attorney for the National Women's Liberation Plaintiffs. "But women are not fooled by the latest maneuvers by this administration. We must ensure that all women and girls have true, affordable access."

Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, said: "This is a watershed moment in the fight for reproductive rights in the United States at a time when the basic reproductive rights of women and girls have been under a full-scale assault across the country. We will not let up this fight until there is full access to emergency contraception without the government imposing improper and illegal barriers, including their plan to cruelly place the Morning After-Pill out of financial reach of millions of women and girls."