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May 1, 2013

Hogue Calls Justice Department Appeal of Emergency Contraception Ruling “Deeply Disappointing”

Obama Administration Continues to Defy Consensus Opinion of Medical Experts

Washington, D.C. – Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, expressed deep disappointment that the Justice Department has opted to ignore sound science and appeal a judge’s order to make emergency contraception available to women of all ages without restrictions.

“Judge Korman’s ruling last month was a critical step toward putting women of all ages in control of their destinies.” Hogue said. “It is deeply disappointing that the administration has chosen to pursue this appeal, refuting the judgment of the experts at the FDA, the American Academy of Pediatrics and common sense.”

Judge Korman issued a firm rebuke of the argument made by Department of Health and Human Services when it initially overruled the FDA recommendation and barred the medication’s over-the-counter sale to women under age 17.

“When Judge Korman’s ruling came down, we welcomed it as an affirmation that policy can and should be driven by facts and delivered with the public health in mind,” Hogue said. “Unfortunately, today’s appeal reminds us that sometimes our leaders are out of step with the reality women face every day. We can only assume that HHS is signaling that they are satisfied with the status quo. That’s simply unacceptable.”

Imposing medically unnecessary age restrictions on accessing emergency contraception creates numerous problems. Obtaining the medication from a pharmacist can be a de facto hurdle for any woman who could face fear, shame or intimidation about asking for the medicine from a pharmacist. Hogue said women in a range of situations – including survivors of rape – shouldn’t be forced to jump through hoops to use emergency contraception.  

Learn more about emergency contraception and how it can prevent teen pregnancy on our website.

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