June 11, 2013
WASHINGTON—National Health Law Program executive director Emily Spitzer issued the following statement praising the administration’s announcement that it will make emergency contraception available over-the-counter without any age restriction:
“We are pleased that science has prevailed and women in the U.S. will soon have better access to emergency contraception without needless barriers and interference. The administration’s announcement is the right decision—coming with strong scientific backing and the findings of the Food and Drug Administration and responding to the real challenges that women face when trying to access emergency contraception. Eliminating the age restriction takes the long-needed step of making access more of a reality for many young women.
NHeLP has long sought to make the full range of contraception available and affordable for all women. As documented in our Health Care Refusals report, emergency contraception is basic medical care. Greater access to emergency contraception is good medical practice, supported by sound science and good for public health.
We hope this important victory is the start of a longer conversation as cost will continue to remain a real issue for many women. The average cost for emergency contraception is $50.00—a figure out of reach for many low-income women. Although emergency contraception will soon be available over the counter, women relying on Medicaid must still have a prescription regardless of age, or pay out of pocket.
We remain committed to making sure that all women, regardless of income or insurance coverage, have access to the health care they need and have the opportunity and means to make their own personal health decisions.”
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