Plan 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.