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The so-called morning-after pill is advertising on

Teenage Girl Sitting on a Seat With a Laptop Computer

The company that makes the emergency contraceptive known as Plan B is running a banner ad for the pill on the popular MTV website, where media-measurement firm Quantcast found that nearly a third of users are younger than 18.

The ad directs users to the Plan B website, Its tagline is "Because the unexpected happens."

The ad placement worries some parents, such as Denise O'Donoghue and her husband, Patrick, who recently had "the talk" with their 14-year old daughter. "We asked her what she knew, and we were shocked at how much misinformation and misconception among kids is really out there about sexual education," Ms. O'Donoghue told Advertising Age. "For MTV to run this ad is irresponsible. There are some kids -- girls and boys -- who aren't quite ready to understand all this. Between that and the way the advertising for Plan B makes it sound like you can make a mistake and have a do-over, it's irresponsible."

Dr. Vanessa Cullins, VP-medical affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, disagreed. "By the time teenagers are browsing the MTV website, they are already full of curiosity about their sexual health," she told Advertising Age. "Countless studies have shown that the more often that parents and educators talk with adolescents and provide them with age-appropriate sexual-health information, the more likely they are to make responsible decisions. In addition, studies have shown that providing teenagers with information about birth-control options and information to prevent unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections does not lead to earlier onset of sexual activity and intimacy; rather, it provides teenagers with the tools to make healthy decisions."

Do you think should run these ads for the morning-after pill?

next: Sex Offender Accused of Exposing Minors to AIDS
14 comments so far | Post a comment now
cristi January 9, 2009, 4:17 PM

women should have a choice if you take away a right like thats its like living back in the 1950’s

Val January 9, 2009, 4:28 PM

I dont think Id let my child watch MTV until shes old enough to know about sex anyway. Thats all they show on that station, everyone knows that.

Anonymous January 9, 2009, 4:44 PM

Teens don’t always have that much common sense. My 17 year old used it after her first time (with a condom) cause she got scared. She got the Plan B pack from a friend who supposedly got it from a doctor. So here is a young girl putting who knows what in her body because it was just easy to do. Just something to think about.

ame i. January 9, 2009, 5:20 PM

My kids may have watched MTV a few years ago when there were more music videos on, but they aren’t interested in it now.
I don’t see anything wrong with the ad. It is not an “abortion pill” and should be available to any woman of any age.

Sandy January 9, 2009, 6:55 PM

Ame- Plan B can cause an abortion. It’s termed a spontaneous abortion because the drug, levonorgestrel, irritates the uterine lining thereby preventing implantation of the fertilized ovum. The only way the manufacturer can claim it does not “terminate pregnancy” is because medical literature defines pregnancy as beginning AFTER implantation. However for those that consider pregnancy to begin at the moment of conception, Plan B can terminate the pregnancy.

Wendi January 10, 2009, 12:59 AM

I think that this pill should be taken off the market. If it is that easy for teens to get it, then it is wrong. They are making these big decisions without full knowledge of what they are doing.

N January 10, 2009, 1:26 AM

Stop trying to take away other women’s rights. I think this should definitly be available, those of you opposed wouldn’ want me to say you can’t have surgery or get chemotherapy for cancer, so don’t think you can do the same to others.

cary January 10, 2009, 10:43 AM

Sandy you are so stupid it frightens me. Birth control pills do not cause an abortion and the moment of conception is the moment of implantation. Sigh.

anonymous January 10, 2009, 11:28 AM

They should advertise this in more places so people know all of their options.

Robin January 10, 2009, 3:45 PM

I have a question- you can get pregnant on the pill, right? So what if you get pregnant and you dont know it but you keep taking the pill. And you dont find out that your pregnant until you pass up your scheduled time? Does it effect that baby or do birth control pills just destroy the sperm, and not harm the fetus?

N January 10, 2009, 5:17 PM

I don’t know how anyone can say that life start at conception b/c if i remember correctly they say tons of eggs and sperm can meet but never implant so it just passes and we never even know it, so i don’t see how it can be called abortion.

Anonymous January 10, 2009, 8:12 PM

Then its not conception!

Anya July 9, 2009, 1:19 AM

I work in a pharmacy that dispenses Plan B over the counter, and though I’m not by any means conservative in my views I have been disturbed by not only the sheer numbers of this drug we sell on a daily basis, but also by the law allowing us to sell the drug to MALES with a valid I.D.! The saddest thing to watch EVERYDAY is a 25+ year old punk coming in to buy this drug while his 15 year old lay last night waits at the door. Maybe the FDA should rethink this!!

Mary November 11, 2009, 3:25 PM

For cary and others who need a science refresher…
Conception- when sperm and egg meet creating a new genetically unique life.

Drugs like Plan B prevent a newly created unique human life (life, because 1) it is fully humans, since we can’t produce offspring of any other sort, 2) it is alive, aka displaying all the scientific traits of life such as growing, using energy, responding to its environment, etc 3) unique because it is genetically different from both mother and father) from implanting in the uterus of its mother as it likely would naturally.
Its true that not every sperm and egg that create a new life will implant. But its also true that not every fetus will naturally survive till birth (miscarriage). But that fact that some do not survive does not change the fact that in its natural course a fertilized egg (aka a zygote) will implant and nine months later produce a beautiful newborn baby. In fact, a woman’s body works hard to make sure to create a friendly environment for implantation, and only by resorting to large doses of hormones with drugs like Plan B can we oppose that natural process and prevent that new life from developing naturally.

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