Federal Court Announces It Is Near a Decision in Morning-After Pill Lawsuit

Press Contacts:
•    Annie Tummino, Lead Plaintiff, Tummino v. Hamburg, ph. 917-842-5306—available Wed., 3/6, 4:30p-6:30p EST
•    Erin Mahoney, Named Plaintiff, Tummino v. Hamburg, ph. 646-853-7100, New York City
•    Stephanie Seguin, Named Plaintiff , Tummino v. Hamburg, ph. 352-727-8144, Gainesville, Florida
•    Candi Churchill, Named Plaintiff , Tummino v. Hamburg, ph. 352-281-7454, Gainesville, Florida
•    Brooke Eliazar-Macke, Chapter Chair, National Women’s Liberation-New York, ph. 352-514-7769

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (View as PDF)
Federal Court Announces It Is Near a Decision in Morning-After Pill Lawsuit
Feminists Eagerly Await Decision in Latest Birth Control Fight

NEW YORK, NY – March 6, 2013 – On Monday, feminists with National Women’s Liberation (NWL) received news from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in their lawsuit (Tummino et al. v. Hamburg) against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) to remove all restrictions on over-the-counter access to the Morning-After Pill (MAP) (also known as Plan B One-Step™ or “emergency contraception”).

In an Order issued March 4, 2013, U.S. District Judge Edward Korman indicated that he “expect[s] to file an opinion in this case by the end of the month” and directed the FDA and HHS to respond to specific questions.

 

The lawsuit, originally filed in 2005, uncovered evidence that the Bush Administration pressured FDA scientists to enact an age limit on the pill for political reasons. In December of 2011, the FDA finally decided to eliminate the unnecessary age restriction, but in an unprecedented move, HHS blocked the change with President Obama’s support. NWL-Gainesville, Florida chapter organizer Stephanie Seguin said, “When it comes to the Morning-After Pill, President Obama betrayed his promise to support women’s reproductive health and base his decisions on science, not politics.”
 
NWL-New York chapter organizer Erin Mahoney said, “Restricting the Morning-After Pill to females ages 17 and older makes it physically inaccessible to everyonebecause it is kept ‘behind-the-counter’ at pharmacies. The Morning-After Pill is already available without a prescription in at least 63 other countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Denmark and Ghana. Why not here?”  

 

“The restrictions on the Morning-After Pill are a sexist insult and lessen women and girls’ ability to control the course of our lives.  The Morning-After Pill should be available to females of all ages, on the shelf at any convenience store, just like aspirin or condoms,” stated Annie Tummino, a leader of the NWL-New York chapter and lead plaintiff in the Tummino v. Hamburg lawsuit.

“Any female old enough to get pregnant is old enough to decide that she doesn’t want to be pregnant,” said Brooke Eliazar-Macke, NWL-New York chapter chair. “We will not be divided by age restrictions.”  

NWL has led the grassroots fight for unrestricted access to the Morning-After Pill in the United States.  From sitting in at the FDA to filing a lawsuit against the agency, NWL members have been at the forefront of this struggle, winning a huge victory in 2006 when the FDA decided to eliminate the prescription requirement for women ages 18 and up, and another in the Tummino v. Hamburg case in 2009 when the judge ordered the FDA to also eliminate the prescription requirement for girls aged 17.

•    Stephanie Seguin, Named Plaintiff , Tummino v. Hamburg, ph. 352-727-8144, Gainesville, Florida