Emergency Contraception Access

New York, NY, June 11, 2013 – Yesterday, the Obama Administration issued an announcement that Plan B will now be made available over-the-counter without age restriction. Rabbi Marla J. Feldman, Executive Director of Women of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

"We applaud the Obama Administration’s decision to allow women of all ages to access Plan B emergency contraception over-the-counter. This is an historic step toward ensuring that all women have access to the medical care that they need and deserve. Emergency contraception is safe and effective, restores a woman’s control over her reproductive health, and reduces the many physical and emotional risks of unintended pregnancies.

It is especially crucial that teenagers are able to access emergency contraception in a timely and unrestricted manner. More than three quarters of teenage pregnancies are unintended. Increased access to emergency contraception will help prevent such pregnancies and ensure that women have autonomy over their own bodies and reproductive decisions.

Unfortunately, opponents of emergency contraception have succeeded in severely limiting access to it in recent years. Restrictive age requirements as well as pharmacist refusal and limited pharmacy hours have created burdensome hurdles for women and unnecessarily limited the availability of this important medication. The Obama Administration’s reversal this week of its earlier position that required a Plan B prescription for those aged 16 and younger respects women’s moral agency and will advance reproductive health."