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'Morning-After Pill' to Become Available to Minors

Mar 23 2009

A federal judge ruled today that the Food and Drug Administration must allow company sell the "morning-after pill" to 17-year-olds without a prescription. U.S. District Judge Edward Korman also ordered the feds to consider expanding access to women of all ages.

Plan B, also known as "the morning after pill," reduces the chance of pregnancy if taken within three days after sex. It prevents ovulation or fertilization or implantation of a fertilized egg, which some people consider to be equivalent to an abortion.

Articles about the decision from the Associated Press, Washington Post, and U.S. News & World Report offer only positive quotes about the ruling. Conservative groups released statement criticizing the ruling for endangering parental rights.

"Given legitimate concerns about the safety of self-medicating with Plan B, it is incomprehensible that we would allow a minor to walk into any pharmacy and obtain this drug without medical oversight or parental involvement," Charmaine Yoest, President & CEO of Americans United for Life said in a statement.

Family Research Council's Chris Gacek said in a statement that the judge accepts an ideology that promotes sexual license for teens.

"There is a real danger that Plan B may be given to women, especially sexually abused women and minors, under coercion or without their consent," Gacek said. "The availability of Plan B over-the-counter also bypasses the routine medical care of sexually active girls and women, which is important to allow screening for other health conditions, including sexually transmitted diseases."

In 2006, the FDA approved over-the-counter sale of Plan B to adults, but girls 17 and younger were required to obtain a prescription.

Related Topics:Contraception; Courts; Gender

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'Morning-After Pill' to Become Available to Minors