Reproductive-rights advocates used an FDA hearing Thursday and Friday to press for inclusion of birth control pills in a possible increase of nonprescription drugs. "It has been a politically charged topic," said Eleanor Schwarz, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. "When we keep it within the purely health-and-science realm, we understand it saves people's lives. All available contraceptives are much safer for women's health than an undesired pregnancy."

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