Young People Gather to Urge the FDA to Bring Birth Control Over the Counter
Washington, DC – Youth organizers working to increase access to contraception gather today to mark the FDA Advisory Committee meeting to discuss approval of Opill, an over-the-counter birth control product. Young people are leading the fight for access, and have already contributed hundreds of comments to the FDA in support of OTC status for birth control.
As part of the Free the Pill Coalition, Advocates convened the #FreeThePill Youth Council, a network of young people nationwide working to make birth control available over-the-counter with no age restriction.
“Birth control is an urgent health care need now more than ever,” said Angela Maske, manager of the #FreethePill Youth Council. “Our work with young people shows that they struggle to jump through the logistical hoops to get birth control today. For such a safe medication with decades of research behind it, there’s no excuse for limiting its access. Young people need birth control that’s accessible, affordable, and over-the-counter.”
Young people will rally in front of the White House and demonstrate an “obstacle course” to show how needlessly challenging it is to get prescription birth control. Then, young people will testify to the Advisory Committee to ensure the FDA hears young people’s voices and their demand that the FDA follow the science and approve Opill over the counter and without restriction.
The hearing will coincide with the 63rd anniversary of approval of the daily birth control pill, celebrated by advocates as #FreeThePill Day.
“Accessing birth control should not have to be this complicated. At 16, 17, 18, and now 19, my needs have been unmet, yet have remained the same for years. Young people are incredibly intelligent and capable of coming to terms with what their needs are. We should be given the opportunity to make choices for ourselves, regardless of age, access to care, and background,” said Dyvia Huitron, 20.
“Birth control is essential for our autonomy, our health, and our futures. It allows us to plan our lives, to pursue our dreams, and to take control of our own bodies,” said Sriha Srinivasan, 20. “We as young people demand that the FDA and our leaders prioritize our health and well-being over politics and ideology.”
Update: See pics from the rally here!