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August 13, 2010

Statement on FDA Approval of Emergency Contraceptive

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, called the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of a new emergency contraceptive a step forward for women seeking to prevent unintended pregnancy.

The FDA's approval of ella® follows the recommendation of an independent panel of medical and women's health experts. The panel reviewed the findings from a study of 4,000 women who 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.

"The FDA's approval of ella® is a sign of progress for women's access to emergency contraception and for the role of sound science at the FDA," 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 expects anti-contraception groups to attack the FDA'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.

"It is a shame that some political pressure groups refuse to support better access to contraception," Keenan said. "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 misrepresentation. Emergency contraception prevents a pregnancy; it does not cause abortion."

Learn more about emergency contraception.

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