Federal Court Dismisses Pro-Life Lawsuit Over FDA Morning After Pill Decision

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 4, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Federal Court Dismisses Pro-Life Lawsuit Over FDA Morning After Pill Decision Email this article
Printer friendly page

RSS Newsfeed

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 4
, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A federal court has dismissed a lawsuit pro-life groups filed against the Food and Drug Agency over its decision to allow the morning after pill to be sold in pharmacies without a prescription. The Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America sought to reverse the over the counter ruling.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a medical group for doctors, also joined in the lawsuit, which included morning after pill maker Barr Pharmaceuticals.

Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, told LifeNews.com originally that the lawsuit was brought, in part, because adults could purchase the Plan B drug and give it to minors. Anyone under 18 is supposed to obtain a prescription for the pill from a physician.

The suit also contended that the morning after pill was not proven safe enough to warrant over the counter sales.

On Tuesday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia agreed to a request from FDA and Barr officials to dismiss the lawsuit.

Members of the court say the pro-life groups failed to show proper standing to bring the lawsuit and failed to identify any people who have been harmed by the FDA’s decision.

According to a Reuters report, the court said that "plaintiffs have failed to exhaust their administrative remedies and have therefore failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted."

Abortion advocates have claimed higher use of the Plan B drug through over the counter sales will result in a drop in unintended pregnancies and fewer abortions.

However, research and reports show that’s not happening.

Dr. Joseph Stanford, associate professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine, says studies he and fellow researchers have done show a lower effectiveness rate than the 89 percent Barr Laboratories claims.

"We did more a precise meta-analysis that shows it’s effective only 72 percent of the time, and even that number is optimistic," he indicated.

He also told the newspaper that studies from Europe, China and the United States show that the morning after pill does not reduce abortions.

In fact, figures from Scotland show that a decision to sell the morning after pill over the counter resulted in an increase in the number of abortions.

In the past five years since the morning-after pill was made available over-the-counter, hundreds of thousands of women have used it. But the Scotland government reported 13,081 abortions in 2006, up from 12,603 the previous year — an increase of nearly 3.8 percent.