The NARAL Pro-Choice America logo (Pic via naral.org)

NARAL Pro-Choice America, a national reproductive rights group, announced today that it sent a letter to President Obama denouncing a federal agency’s recent decision to overrule an FDA request to expand access to Plan B, or the morning after pill, to young women under the age of 17. The letter contained more than 35,000 signatures.

Since Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced her decision, reproductive health advocates and policy-makers have expressed disappointment with the decision and claim it was based on political calculations, and not on scientific research.

According to the group’s press release:

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, today sent a letter signed by 35,194 Americans to President Obama opposing the administration’s recent decision to overrule a recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to follow medical experts’ recommendations to remove a restriction on the Plan B® emergency contraceptive.

“We had a major opportunity to improve young women’s access to contraception, which is the best way to reduce unintended abortions and thus the need for abortion, and the Obama administration missed the mark,” Keenan said. “We will continue to call on the administration to follow sound science and recommendations from health experts.” The grassroots letter, which comes almost a week later, is leading a grassroots public-education and advocacy campaign to mobilize grassroots supporters to take action in response to the administration’s decision reject the FDA’s recommendation. NARAL Pro-Choice America leveraged its activist network to launch a public-education effort immediately after the administration’s decision was announced. The group’s efforts also came as senators, led by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and members, led by Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), sent letters to the administration expressing their disapproval of this action.

A group has already sought legal action challenging the decision and a judge is considering hearing it.

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