The FDA Ought to Change Plan B’s Label

Contraception 106 (2022)
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Abstract

This commentary defends 3 arguments for changing the label of levonorgestrel-based emergency contraception (LNG EC) so that it no longer supports the possibility of a mechanism of action after fertilization. First, there is no direct scientific evidence confirming any postfertilization mechanisms. Second, despite the weight of evidence, there is still widespread public misunderstanding over the mechanism of LNG EC. Third, this FDA label is not a value-free claim, but instead it has functioned like a political tool for reducing contraceptive access. The label is laden with antiabortion values (even though EC is contraception, not abortion), and it imposes these values on potential users, resulting in barriers to access such as with Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. These 3 arguments together provide scientific, social, and ethical grounds for the FDA to take the initiate in changing Plan B's drug label.

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Christopher ChoGlueck
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

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