EC Available OTC Soon; CRR to Subpoena EC White House Documents
The Reproductive Health Technologies Project announced on Monday that emergency contraception (EC) will be available behind pharmacy counters without a prescription for women 18 years and older as early as this week. Emergency contraception is effective up to five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex, birth control failure, or rape, but it is most effective if taken within 24 hours. Because of the time-sensitive nature of EC, over-the-counter access is crucial to its effective use.
Also on Monday, a US magistrate announced that the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) will be able to subpoena White House documents for its lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). CRR is suing the FDA for breaking its own regulations by involving politics in what should have been a scientific decision to make EC over-the-counter. The judge’s ruling also said that CRR will be able to depose former White House policy aide Jay Lefkowitz along with Dr. Sandra Kweder, deputy director of the FDA’s Office of New Drugs. The judge ruled that the FDA acted in "bad faith" in its decision-making process for making EC over-the-counter.
Said Nancy Northup, president of CRR, in a press release yesterday, "We are pleased that the court is not only allowing us to further explore seemingly inappropriate White House involvement in the FDA’s decision making... Our months of discovery have revealed that FDA scientists attempted to carry out a scientific approval process, but higher level officials made a mockery of that process, by ignoring the results and bowing to political pressures."
Media Resources: Reproductive Health Technologies Project 11/6/06; Center for Reproductive Rights 11/8/06; Annie Tummino, et al. v. Andrew C. von Eschenbach 11/6/06; Reuters 10/11/06
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .