The Associated Press just reported:
Seventeen-year-olds will be able to buy the “morning-after” emergency contraceptive without a doctor’s prescription, a decision that conservatives denounced as a blow to parental supervision of teens but that women’s groups said represents sound science.
Women’s groups said the FDA’s action was long overdue, since the agency’s own medical reviewers had initially recommended that the contraceptive be made available without any age restrictions.
Korman ordered the FDA to let 17-year-olds get the birth control pills. He also directed the agency to evaluate clinical data to determine whether all age restrictions should be lifted.
The FDA’s latest action does not mean that Plan B will be immediately available to 17-year-olds.The manufacturer must first submit a request.
I’m pro-choice, but my only objection is that this new freedom is available to minors. The morning after pill will help prevent teen pregnancies in that case, but I can’t get past the fact that an exception has been made for girls who haven’t yet reached adulthood. They can end a potential pregnancy, but can’t buy cigarettes, vote, gamble, and in some states, legally have sex (though that doesn’t mean much of anything). Why are minors given this new right?
“It’s a good indication that the agency will move expeditiously to ensure its policy on Plan B is based solely on science,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the lawsuit.
Conservatives said politics drove the decision.
“Parents should be furious at the FDA’s complete disregard of parental rights and the safety of minors,” said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America.
Plan B is emergency contraception that contains a high dose of birth control drugs and will not interfere with an established pregnancy. It works by preventing ovulation or fertilization. In medical terms, pregnancy begins when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus.
If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, it can reduce a woman’s chances of pregnancy by as much as 89 percent.
Critics of the contraceptive say Plan B is the equivalent of an abortion pill because it can prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus. Recent research suggests that’s possible but not likely.
I’d much rather see a teenage girl prevent her own pregnancy than have an unwanted child or undergo the emotional stress of an abortion, but there are already so many contraceptives readily available to minors. Teenage girls can stock up on free condoms and birth control pills at Planned Parenthood as long as they don’t mind waiting in long lines and venturing around cities to find the well hidden building. Health education teachers at most public schools supply condoms even though they are told to promote abstinence. In today’s world, it’s easy to have safe sex, it’s just easier for some people to be lazy and irresponsible, too.
I’m not entirely in favor of making Plan B readily available for minors, especially since there are so many other effective birth control methods out in the world. Why encourage girls to have unprotected sex now? They can just buy the morning after pill, so why worry about wearing a condom or taking the birth control pill? This new availability will discourage girls from using condoms during sex, and STD’s will spread easier. This doesn’t take into account the bad side effects of the Plan B pill:
Temporary disruption of the menstrual cycle is also commonly experienced. If taken before ovulation, the high doses of progestogen in levonorgestrel treatments may induce progestogen withdrawal bleeding a few days after the pills are taken. One study found that about half of women who used levonorgestrel ECPs experienced bleeding within 7 days of taking the pills.
That’s healthy…Get ready for an increase in STD contraction.