STATEMENT: CAP’s Jessica Arons on the Decision to Make Emergency Contraception Available over the Counter

In response to today’s decision to require the Food and Drug Administration to make emergency contraception, or EC, available over the counter with no age restriction, Jessica Arons, Director of CAP’s Women’s Health and Rights program issued the following statement

This is a victory for the health of women of all ages and for evidence-based policymaking. Everyone deserves to have a safe and effective backup birth-control option.  No longer will women face unnecessary and harmful barriers that delay them accessing this important and time-sensitive preventive medicine.

We urge the Obama administration to reconsider its position in light of the court decision and act quickly to implement the order so that EC—not to be confused with the “abortion pill”—can be on store shelves and in the hands of those who need it as soon as possible. We also look forward to working with the administration to ensure that EC will be covered by insurance with no cost sharing under the Affordable Care Act as an over-the-counter preventive health service for women.

Currently, all levonorgestrel-based EC—Plan B One-Step and its generic version, Next Choice—are only available without a prescription to women ages 17 and up.  Those under 17 must have a doctor’s prescription. Under the court order, the Obama administration has 30 days to make these products available without a prescription and with no point-of-sale or age restrictions.

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To speak with CAP experts, please contact Madeline Meth at or 202.741.6277.