Despite the Food and Drug Administrations recommendation to allow "the morning-after pill" to become an over-the-counter drug without age restrictions, the Obama administration has said it will remain a prescription for anyone 16 and under, while 17-year-olds must ask a pharmacist for it.
"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."
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, however, does not think that adolescent girls have the behavioral maturity to properly handle the pill, saying:
"The science has confirmed the drug to be safe and effective with appropriate use. However, the switch from prescription to over the counter for this product requires that we have enough evidence to show that those who use this medicine can understand the label and use the product appropriately. I do not believe that Teva's application met that standard."
Her decision, of course, has pleased some and upset others — like women's health advocate Kirsten Moore. The president and CEO of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project told sources:
"We are outraged that this Administration has let politics trump science. There is no rationale for this move. This is unprecedented as evidenced by the Commissioner's own letter. Unbelievable."
The "science" she is referring to is supported by the American Medical Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Scientific evidence is what the FDA bases all of it's decisions off of, but thanks to the pro-life versus pro-choice debate, some think Sebelius' decision was purely political.
The anti-abortionists, like a spokeswoman for Americans United for Life, are thrilled with the decision, saying:
"The Secretary made the right call today, putting the health of women and girls ahead of politics. Misuse of abortion-inducing drugs can lead to death. Such drugs need to be handled with great care and under a doctor's supervision. They should not be administered late in a pregnancy because of risk of severe bleeding. In addition, they make vulnerable women and girls even more at risk to abusers who may acquire the drugs to cover up their criminal behavior."
We have a feeling we'll be hearing a lot about this pill for years and years to come since the opposing rationales aren't showing any signs of compromising anytime soon.
Do U think that the government made the right decision or should Plan B be easily available for any woman who is sexually active?