Morning After Pill Not Allowed Over The Counter Because Girls Allegedly Won’t Understand It

plan bPlan B came this close to being offered in drug stores without a perscription until Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overturned the ruling. She claims that young girls under the age of 17 won’t understand how to use the emergency contraception.

The Food and Drug Aministration was entirely prepared to lift the age restriction which currently permits the pill in pharmacies to girls 17 years old and up should they have identification proving their age. The New York Times reports that Sebelius overturned the decision because a 17 year old is more capable of understanding how to use the pill properly than say a 13 year old:

“It is common knowledge that there are significant cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls and the youngest girls of reproductive age,” Sebelius said in a statement. “I do not believe enough data were presented to support the application to make Plan B One-Step available over-the-counter for all girls of reproductive age.”

But the FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg tells the Times that she and her agency’s drug-safety experts did very much take into consideration the safety of young girls. She said:

“There is adequate and reasonable, well-supported and science-based evidence that Plan B One-Step is safe and effective and should be approved for nonprescription use for all females of child-bearing potential.”

A simple pill that can prevent you from becoming pregnant following a rape, a broken condom, or poor choices doesn’t seem all that complex to an eighth grade girl — if not completely mythical. Having those options right along with condoms could have put a serious dent in the number of unplanned pregnancies in the States, as well as abortion rates.

Our daughters need more education about safe sex practices and options, not restrictions.



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  • bl

    What does she mean they won’t understand? It’s one pill. Pharmacist gives it to you and you take it. If they’ve found their way to a pharmacy within 72 hours to ask for it, clearly they get the concept. All making them see a doctor will do is increase the likelihood that the teens will miss the 72 hour window.

    Maybe she means they won’t know to get a regular birth control method rather than using this? Last I heard it was like $50 to get it, though. (This could easily not be true anymore. No idea) That doesn’t seem like the kind of money most teens have to be spending on a regular basis.

  • Amy

    What do they think is so difficult about swallowing a pill and then swallowing another one 6 hours later?

    When I was 16 I became freaked about a sexual encounter and I managed to drive to another town (so my folks wouldn’t find out), enter a medical clinic, obtain a prescription for Plan B and birth control (for future encounters), find a drug store, AND properly take the medication.

    I’m pretty sure that if I was sexually active at 13 I probably could have figured it out then too. We do not seem to give teenage girls enough credit, especially if they are determined and are taking the steps towards making a responsible decision.

  • Jessica

    I think you’re misunderstanding her. She’s not saying that they won’t understand how to take the pill but won’t understand the full extent of what they are putting in their body. And if it’s on the shelf that means a 10, 11, 12 year-old could easily buy it and pop it like it’s candy. I’m not a parent but I definitely wouldn’t want my under 15 year-old daughter (that’s my personal age limit) taking this without my consent and I’m pretty pro-choice.

  • aliceblue

    Let’s see, if teens (and younger) take aspirin while they have the flu, they can develop Reyes syndrome, an illness that can be fatal or at least have serious, long-term effects. However, aspirin and similar meds are right out there where anyone or any age can buy them. As are cold meds, weight loss pills, and stimulants like No-Doz, etc. All with NO age limits and available to “pop like candy.” Yet this is the only drug that they are too stupid to use? Yeah, riiiggghhtt. Sure, I believe you. Now excuse me, I have a bridge to buy.

  • binarysunset

    wow, just another way to restrict women from getting the healthcare they need. As if other over the counter and prescription drugs aren’t already abused enough by children and adults alike, but there’s an exception to this one because it prevents pregnancy. How ridiculous. Wouldn’t you want your daughter to take this instead of becoming pregnant? I sure as hell would. If we couldn’t afford healthcare, I’d march her right down to the Walgreens and get this for her. This reasoning also assumes that girls are idiots that can’t make informed decisions. Teens have been having sex for centuries! Just because you limit this pill doesn’t mean the sex is going to stop. Why not help prevent unwanted pregnancies and abortions?! Stupid, really stupid.

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