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Morning-After Pill Available to Teens

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Is this okay?

Plan B

A Federal judge has ruled the Food and Drug Administration let politics cloud its judgment when it denied teenage girls over-the-counter access to the Plan B morning-after pill. He then  ordered the FDA to let 17-year-olds obtain the medication.

In a thorough denunciation of the Bush administration, U.S. District Judge Edward Korman blasted the FDA's handling of the issue, saying it had "repeatedly and unreasonably" delayed issuing a decision on the medication.

Plan B is a contraceptive that reduces the chance of pregnancy if taken within three days after sex. The drug works by preventing ovulation or by interfering with implantation of a fertilized egg -- opponents argue that is the equivalent of abortion.

In 2006, the FDA allowed Plan B to be sold without a prescription to adults, but only by pharmacies that checked photo ID before selling the pills. Girls 17 and younger were required to obtain a prescription.

The morning-after pill has been a source of tension for social conservatives who held great sway in the Bush administration and who believe the pill is tantamount to abortion.

Pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson says, "I applaud the decision to sell Plan B over the counter to women under 18, as has long been recommended by the Association for Reproductive Health panel. But no matter what a person's age is, they should be counseled by a medical professional such as a pharmacist, nurse, or doctor about the risks, benefits, and side effects before taking Plan B. Choosing to take a drug is serious, and should never be taken lightly."

Do you think 17-year-olds should be able to buy Plan B?

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35 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kirstie March 26, 2009, 6:20 PM

The reason it’s provided over the counter without a prescription is because not everyone has immediate access to a doctor. Plenty of doctors are closed on the weekends, and there is a time limitation on when this can be taken and be effective. Additionally, if this was a prescription medication, women without insurance would have issues getting in to see a doctor and affording it.

Finally - nowhere in the pill literature is it recommended to follow up with your doctor unless you come to suspect a pregnancy despite taking the pill (missing a period, pregnancy symptoms, etc) or severe side effects, so doctor’s followup is a moot point.

E March 26, 2009, 6:39 PM

I agree with Kirstie.

Age of consent laws vary widely state by state. In PLENTY of states Age of Consent is 16.. Heck - in Hawaii - up until about 20 years ago it was 13.

If a girl is old enough to legally consent to sex, in my opinion she is old enough to decide about birth control.

Rachel March 26, 2009, 11:59 PM

Good. Personally, I believe 16+ should be able to obtain it without a script. And some people on this board are seriously misinformed. This pill does NOT terminate an existing pregnancy (if you are already pregnant, the pill does NOTHING). It is simply a pill that PREVENTS implantation and therefore, is just like regular BC pills (in a way).

mercaties March 27, 2009, 2:25 AM

I’am all for this pill. There is finally a way to prevent pregnancy that does not require actually terminating a pregnancy. Also, I think it should be availiable without a prescription. It has to be taken within 72 hours it might be very difficult to get a prescription during this time frame. But I do think that it should require a consult with a pharmacist. So that they can make sure the woman is aware that she she still needs to see a doctor a few weeks later to make sure that it did in fact prevent pregnancy because it wont work if she was allready pregnant.

Anonymous March 30, 2009, 5:49 PM

Let’s not forget that there are plenty of ER’s and Dr’s that *refuse* to hand over this pill and I’m sure they would be just as obstinate about a Rx. At least if you don’t have to have the Rx, you can try somewhere else more quickly than having to go thru the whole ER thing again.

St Louis April 22, 2009, 3:49 PM

NO way is this good for 17 yr of age. they are too close to the possibility of statutory Rape age, either one of the partners may be 18 or older and that is RAPE, if one of the partners are 16 that is way to close to RAPE. This is bad. NO Dr knowing what is going on with the 17 yr olds body this way, no parents knowing, JUST WRONG!!! Judge is Dumb and is not thinking of the partners age in all this… Someon is going to 18 before the other if both are now 17, and that will be rape.

amy April 22, 2009, 4:04 PM

St. Louis - That’s a little extreme…
I was 17 and my boyfriend was 21. My parents didn’t love that he was so much older but they really liked and trusted him. We had a baby after 2 years and then married. My baby is now 10! I wasn’t raped just because my boyfriend was a few years older than me. I know what statutory rape is but from 17-18? c’mon. Settle down.

St Louis April 22, 2009, 4:18 PM

Amy I did not make the law on this one but it is the law. I too had a boyfriend that we did not hit 18 at the same time and if either one of our parents had not approved well big troubles for the rest of our lives. I just don’t think the judge was thinking of all what is going on with 17 yr olds. If a parent finds out afterwards this is where problem happen, No perscriptions mean parents can be out of the loop and that is bad and Sorry but the law is the law and I am only glad no one was sending me to jail back in 1982.

mommy<3 May 29, 2009, 2:15 PM

I think it’s a great idea! But I honestly don’t see it being abused as a method of birth control, I’ve bought it and it’s over $50 where I live!!!

tata June 14, 2009, 11:45 PM

I do not believe that girls under 18 teen should be able to by this over the counter because they do not know what is the outcome and side effects of this drug.Sometimes it can hurt you more than it can help you.

SmartOne June 20, 2009, 4:39 AM

I’m 17 (close to 18 now though) and I’ve gotten the plan b pill before. It’s great that its going to be available now for 17 year old girls because it is hard to get a perscription sometimes. I’m on BC pills and my boyfriend and I are well informed and smart about our actions but there are certain times when BC can become less effective through no fault of the girl taking it (I threw up right after taking one of my pills). I totally think girls need to just simply be more smart about their decisions but this is really a great thing for those that arent and for those that have “oops” moments.

Sxkdefai June 28, 2009, 2:32 PM

YD2DoU comment6 ,

TRUTH November 9, 2009, 4:37 PM

This whole debate is completely moronic. Lets just put an age limit on condoms and pregnancy tests, too. That’ll teach our kids not to screw around. Oh, wait, THEY ALREADY DO and will keep doing it, condoms or no. Even if this “morning after” pill comes with bad side effects, i would take it in a heartbeat if A) i were a girl that was scared to death, and B) it would prevent my entire life and social reputation from vanishing into thin air. Children are one of the most financially draining things that exist, and a 16 (or less) year old can not manage the stress accompanying a child. She would have to drop out of high school, fundamentally RUINING her future and severely limiting her job opportunities. This exact thing happened to a cousin of mine, and do you know where she is now, 2 years later? Working at chicken express and continually moving back into her fathers house, because she can’t find a trailer cheap enough for her to afford payments on. If you EVER had to go through that or watch it happen, you would share my exact opinion. The people that point their noses up at laws that will prevent unwanted underaged pregnancies disgust me. Especially you, BETH.

TRUTH November 9, 2009, 4:44 PM

and you too, LADY. jesus christ.

name February 8, 2011, 11:21 AM

mMFLG2 Nice,

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