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the morning after pill

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last week, health and human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius rejected the FDA’s plans to make Plan-B (the morning after pill) available over the counter.  currently, the morning after pill is available to those who are 17 and older (and can provide proof of that), those 16 years old and younger must have a doctor’s prescription.  the FDA argues that emergency contraception should be available to all girls that are sexually active, regardless of age.

the arguments against making the pill available over-the-counter are as follows:

1. the pill has not been proven safe for 11-year olds.

2. people do not understand how and when to use the pill, meaning we will probably all misuse it.

the FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg came back at these reasons for denying the plan with evidence of over 40 studies showing ” the pill was safe and effective for very young girls and that adolescents were just as likely as adults to understand how and when to use it.”  studies have even shown that easier access to the pill DOES NOT make girls more likely to have unprotected sex at all.

for many people, purchasing this product is something they want to keep private.
this means victims of rape under the age of 17, cannot get the pill without having to go through an entire ordeal of seeing a doctor and acquiring a prescription – all in under 72 hours.

another argument brought up was that the morning after pill is actually a lot safer than many other over-the-counter drugs out there – pain killers, for example,  are available almost everywhere without any restrictions whatsoever, and result in many over-doses and deaths per year.

this subject is obviously very touchy, and everyone has an opinion on it.  whether the government likes it or not, young people are sexually active, and why are we limiting their access to emergency contraceptives?

do you have an opinion on this topic? what do you think about the decision to limit access to the morning after pill?

– smiley

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