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Reform Jewish Movement Hails FDA Approval of Over-the-Counter Emergency Contraception

Pelavin: All who share our goal of preventing unwanted pregnancies should join us in welcoming the FDA’s long-overdue decision to make this safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy more easily available to women across the country.

Washington DC August 24, 2006 – In response to today’s FDA approval of Emergency Contraception (Plan B) for over-the-counter sale to women 18 years and older, Mark J. Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

We welcome today’s decision by the FDA to approve Plan B emergency contraception for over-the-counter sales to women 18 years and older. For too long, the FDA has allowed the decision about emergency contraception’s status to be politicized by misguided ideologues who have erroneously charged that Plan B is an abortifacient. All who share our goal of preventing unwanted pregnancies should join us in welcoming the FDA’s long-overdue decision to make this safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy more easily available to women across the country.

The delay in approving Plan B for OTC status shows the dangerous consequences of the politicization of science. Despite the FDA’s own Center for Drug Evaluation and Research findings more than two years ago that Plan B could be safely used as an OTC product by women 17 and older, the FDA seemingly continued to bow to pressure from those opposed to women’s reproductive rights, delaying its final decision and denying women access to this product.

We applaud the FDA for finally putting the needs of the citizens it serves first and approving Plan B.


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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis.



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