Statement on FDA Postponement of OTC Birth Control Meeting

Advocates for Youth and the Free the Pill Youth Council are outraged by the FDA’s decision to delay the meeting of its advisory committee to discuss approving an over-the-counter birth control pill. 

“It’s hard to understand why the FDA would make this decision when birth control is such an urgent health care need,” said Debra Hauser, President, Advocates for Youth.  “It’s so frustrating for the young people working hard to ensure everyone has access to contraception when they need it and without barriers.”

“This month, Vice President Harris met with young advocates from around the country, and urged them to continue fighting for reproductive freedom,” said Debra Hauser, President of Advocates for Youth.  “With the delay by the FDA, we’re left wondering how strongly the administration will support that fight.  Young people are disillusioned by empty words and looking for the administration to act quickly. We urge the FDA to convene the advisory committee as soon as possible, and to approve an over the counter birth control pill without delay.”

According to a national survey conducted by Advocates for Youth, the majority of young people around the country face barriers to accessing birth control, often resulting in delayed doses, side effects and total inability to begin using contraception. 

Of the 243 people from 42 states surveyed, an overwhelming majority (88%) struggled to access birth control, and 55% experienced so many barriers they could not start taking birth control on their preferred timeline. 

Of that 55% of respondents, 58% had a pregnancy scare, 20% got pregnant when they didn’t want to, and 16% had an abortion. Of those who failed to get on birth control pills due to barriers created by the prescription-only system, 57% were forced to delay renewing a prescription, and 45% used Emergency Contraception.