Federal EC ruling will benefit immigrant and young Latinas

A federal judge has ruled that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must make the most popular forms of emergency contraception available for all women of all ages over the counter without requiring a prescription or proof of age. Below is a statement from the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH). NLIRH has been working for this victory since 2005 as an original plaintiff in the case, and saw a partial victory in 2009, when a federal court successfully expanded access to emergency contraception to women 17 and over. This ruling builds on that win, expanding access to all women, particularly young Latinas, and immigrant women of all ages or other women who may lack government-issued ID with proof of age.
“For Latinas in particular, expanded access to emergency contraception is critical for making the best decisions for our families and ourselves. For too long, this important backup birth control method has been kept behind the counter and out of reach. Immigrant women and new Americans of all ages have been hit particularly hard, since they are less likely to have government identification. This decision removes one barrier for Latinas who need contraception—though others, like poverty, discrimination, language and immigration status, remain.
“Latinas and other women of color in the United States often face significant barriers to health care and suffer from the highest rates of unintended pregnancies. This decision is also a major win for immigrant women who face insurmountable barriers to basic health care, including access to contraceptive care. This is an exciting day for Latinas and our families. It’s been a long time coming.”
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national organization working on behalf of the reproductive health and justice of the 24 million Latinas, their families and communities in the United States through public education, community mobilization and policy advocacy.

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