Latina Organization Urging Pres. Obama to Life Barriers on Teen Contraceptives Friday, December 30, 2011Hispanically Speaking The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health has been urging healthcare leaders to address the significant structural barriers many young Latinas face when attempting to access emergency contraception, including removing medically unnecessary age restrictions. The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national organization working on behalf of the reproductive health and justice of the 20 million Latinas, their families and communities in the United States through public education, community mobilization and policy advocacy. Last month Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius blocked the Food and Drug Administration from widening over-the-counter access to emergency contraception among teens of all ages, despite clear evidence of safety. These barriers particularly impact Latina teens. National Latina Institute’s Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius expressing concern, where she wrote, “The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) is committed to ensuring the fundamental human right to reproductive health and justice for Latinas, their families and their communities. We commend your department’s work on numerous initiatives that positively affect Latinas’ reproductive health, including its contraceptive mandate to its work on cervical cancer. As a continuation of this good work, we hope you would welcome the opportunity to discuss with us our concerns regarding your decision to block the FDA from widening access to emergency contraception after FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg deemed the drug “safe and effective” for all ages.” In light of mounting concerns regarding age restrictions and access to emergency contraception, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) has formally requested a meeting with the Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.