Monday, August 22, 2005

Illinois Boycott Threatened if FDA Approves Over the Counter 'Morning After' Sales

CHICAGO, Aug. 22 /Christian Wire Service/ -- In advance of the impending decision the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on over-the-counter sales of Plan B (the "morning after" pill), Illinois Pro-Family and Christian leaders have posed the threat of a statewide economic boycott of any major drug chain that decides to sell Plan B over-the-counter.
The FDA has made a public commitment to announce a decision one way or the other by September 1.

Paul Caprio, Director of Family-Pac Federal, stressed the health dangers of selling the drug, without a physician's approval.

"The idea of selling dangerous emergency contraceptives such as Plan B like cough drops when traditional contraceptives require a doctor's prescription would be to abandon long standing safety precautions and place many women at great health risk unnecessarily," Caprio said.

A Chicago-based pro-family organization, Family-Pac Federal has led a national health awareness campaign in an effort to block the FDA from approving over-the-counter sales of Plan B.

The Director of Concerned Christian Americans, Rev. Robert D. Vanden Bosch, said the pro-family movement must unite in opposing this policy by all legitimate means available to us.

"Approval of Plan B for over-the-counter purchase would greatly contribute to the increase in sexually transmitted diseases among women who would take this pill," Vanden Bosch said.

Joseph Scheidler, President of the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League, described Plan B as "an abortifacient which takes the life of a woman's child."

"FDA approval of this lethal drug would turn Illinois pharmacies intro chemical abortion mills," Scheidler said. "If we need to take to the streets, we will."

Karl Maurer of Catholic Citizens of Illinois added, "It's sadly ironic if the FDA were to become a partner to politically connected pharmaceutical companies in careless distribution of drugs like this that have such harmful consequences for women. Illinois Catholics must stand up to this abuse in every way possible if over-the-counter sales of Plan B were to be approved."

Caprio noted that in recent weeks public sentiment against over-the-counter sales of Plan B has increased, pointing to vetoes of legislation by two moderate major-state governors, George Pataki of New York and Massachusetts' Mitt Romney. In addition, 46 members of congress, including Donald Manzullo (R-IL), signed a letter to FDA Commissioner Lewis Crawford, pointing out the Plan B pill has never met the safety requirements for younger age groups required by law. On August 17, Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum asked its members nationwide to call the White House hotline to protest the approval of Plan B over-the-counter sales.

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