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Crowley Calls Plan B Delay an "Assault on Women's Rights"

Location: Washington, DC

Crowley Calls Plan B Delay an "Assault on Women's Rights"

Maloney-Shays-Inslee-Crowley bill would require FDA to announce decision on over-the-counter status within 30 days

Washington, D.C. - Today, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Chief Deputy Whip, joined Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Christopher Shays (R-CT), and Jay Inslee (D-WA) to introduce bi-partisan legislation that would call for immediate action on Plan B over the counter sales.

"Today we ask simply for an end to the charade. We ask for a decision one way or the other," stated Crowley.

"The unnecessary delay in FDA passage of Plan B over the counter sales is yet another example of the assault on women's rights by the Bush Administration," Crowley continued. "The Administration has dragged its feet throughout this entire process, putting politics ahead of public health policy. The facts are that Plan B is safe, Plan B is effective and Plan B is an essential tool in limiting the number of abortions and giving women the choices they deserve."

The legislation will require the FDA to approve or deny the over-the-counter application for Plan B, a concentrated dosage of birth control pills that, if taken within 72 hours of contraceptive failure or unprotected sex, can reduce a woman' risk of pregnancy by up to 89 percent. Failure to make a decision within 30 days would result in automatic approval of OTC status.

The FDA has delayed the decision two years and recently postponed the decision indefinitely, despite stating, "the available scientific data are sufficient to support the safe use of Plan B as an OTC product…for women who are 17 years of age or older." If the FDA determines the approval shouldn't stand they can act to deny the application -- but they would have to finally act.

"Sadly the Plan B issue is not the only instance where this Administration has cowered to the far right, while purporting to represent the middle. Whether it is his nomination of a judge committed to limiting a woman's right to choose, or putting forth Ellen Sauerbrey to be assistant Secretary of State for population, refugees and migration despite her inexperience and ideological opposition to basic family planning--this Administration and this President do not represent the mainstream," said Crowley.

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