2.13.14 - NWL Letter to the Editor - New York Times

Attention: Room for Debate Editors, New York Times

Re: Dangers of Emergency Contraceptives (View as PDF)

The misinformation cited in Donna Harrison's opinion piece "Dangers of Emergency Contraceptives," published February 7, 2014, has been debunked in your comments section, in previous articles printed in your paper, and elsewhere on the Internet. But special attention must still be paid to the underlying assumption that these contraceptives, specifically Plan B One-Step, are in fact available over the counter.

Since members of National Women’s Liberation won a lawsuit resulting in a federal court judge ordering Plan B One-Step to be sold over the counter, many CVS stores are not complying. In some stores, Plan B One-Step is still behind the pharmacists' counter; in others, it is in the manager's office. In all stores we have visited, it is stocked sparsely, with only one or two packages on the shelf. Store owners are often misinformed or uninformed about how Plan B One-Step should be sold, with some still imposing an age restriction and some giving lectures.

These obstacles embarrass and shame women, obstruct us from purchasing this safe but time-sensitive product (and this is to say nothing of the cost), and are incompatible with CVS's mission as a provider of health care products.

We demand that CVS and other pharmacy chains sell Plan B One-Step fully over the counter with no restrictions, to eliminate the barriers that the court struck down.


Annie Tummino, for National Women's Liberation, and Lead Plaintiff, Tummino v. Hamburg
Brooklyn, New York