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June 17, 2010

Statement on FDA Advisory Panel's Action on Emergency Contraceptive

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called an expert advisory panel's vote to recommend approval of another emergency contraceptive a positive step forward for women seeking to prevent unintended pregnancy.

The expert panel's recommendation of approval for ella® to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comes after more than 4,000 women participated in a rigorous clinical trial for the emergency contraceptive. The research shows the medication can be an effective way to prevent pregnancy up to five days after sex.

"This recommendation of ella® from doctors, medical experts, and health advocates comes after a rigorous review process," Keenan said. "Emergency-contraception options like ella® are a safe, effective back-up method when something goes wrong such as if a condom breaks, or in tragic situations when a woman is sexually assaulted. This is a step forward for commonsense, common-ground ways to help prevent unintended pregnancy and thus reduce the need for abortion."

Keenan said she expected anti-contraception groups to attack the expert panel's decision and distort the facts about ella®. The same groups used political attacks to delay the FDA's approval of over-the-counter access to emergency contraception during the Bush administration.

"The independent panel's decision should restore the public's faith in the agency after years of political interference during the Bush years," Keenan said. "It is a shame that some political pressure groups refuse to support better access to contraception. They will repeat their false claim that emergency contraception is akin to abortion. That's wrong, and I am convinced the American people will continue to reject this falsehood. Emergency contraception prevents a pregnancy; it does not cause abortion."

Visit our website for more information on emergency contraception.

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