Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, Contraception Journal, October 2013
I. Glenn Cohen, Lisa Sullivan, Eli Y. Adashi


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The 8-year legal feud over access to emergency contraception between reproductive health advocates and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took multiple unexpected turns before coming to an abrupt end on June 10, 2013.1,2,3 On that day, after mounting legal setbacks and obstacles, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York served notice to the effect that the “government intends to…voluntarily withdraw its appeal in this matter”.1 In so doing, the FDA committed to making Plan B One-Step® (a one-dose levonorgestrel-based emergency contraceptive) available over-the-counter without age or point-of-sale restrictions.1 In this Commentary, we trace the origins of this long-running conflict, analyze the implications of the latest developments and reflect on what this case reveals about the precarious positioning of the FDA across the scientific–political divide. [...]

conscience contraception fda health law policy i. glenn cohen judicial opinions pharmaceuticals regulation reproductive rights