Photo credit: @julesdwit.
A not-for-profit media organization supported by people like you.
Wall Street Journal reporter, Jennifer Corbett Dooren, talks about the surprise move by HHS to overrule the FDA on age restrictions for the Plan B emergency contraception pill.
We're ignoring the most important effect the plan b might have on yong women. You know, we're focusing more on how embarassing it would be for young women to face the disaproving looks of a pharmacist, and how young women are not mature enoguht for such technology, when in fact that's not even the reality. I'm a 17 year old in a high school in queens, and you'd be suprised of how many pregnant young girls I see everyday. Had these young women the chance for another safe alternative, I'm sure they would not be forced to carry a baby and face a possibilities of ruining their future.
It's not a nuclear missile? Either you argue that life only begins when a fetus is viable, or it begins at conception. Making an embryo not able to continue on to be a fetus = abortion. Calling Plan B not an abortion is only semantics to make people feel better about it (I'm an atheist BTW, scientific not religious grounds).
Arguing that life begins at implantation is silly. Yes, sometimes the body doesn't allow implantation and a potentially viable embryo is rejected, but that's technically a miscarriage. And yes, women who have extra heavy periods that are a week or two late might be having a very early miscarriage.
It's so tiring for both sides of the abortion debate to argue about when life begins. Life begins at 40 LOL, if we're picking arbitrary timestamps that make us feel better.
The US is a reactionary society, instead of birth control pills over the counter, let's have abortions over the counter instead. This is 100% about making something a prescription to avoid abuse - Plan B is dangerous (effects on older embryos and fetuses folks?) used incorrectly, and making it available to "potential grandmas" to give their daughter's or son's girlfriend because that grandma doesn't have to prove *she* is pregnant is criminal.
Plan B should be prescription for everyone. I'm forced to have annual checkups to get my prescription birth control, to reduce cancer rates and other diseases. Plan B takes the very people you want in gynocological screening out of the doctor's office.
As Jen Lynch points out, the pre-teen scenario is a red herring, but even if it weren't, what's the downside? One fewer pregnant 12 year old? For the parents who express ambivalence: the thing that really makes you justifiably uncomfortable is the notion of your children having sex -- not their subsequent access to birth control. The latter does not effect the former. This confusion is what leads to silly ideas like abstinence-only sex education.
@jen lynch from manhattan
Point well taken.
Sophie, I have two daughters slightly younger than yours. I too would frankly be unhappy if they took this pill without telling me first. However, I would be even more unhappy if I had to discuss with them the possibility of going to an abortion clinic several weeks later.
The pre-teen argument is a red herring that everyone is falling for, including Brian. The majority of abortions in this country are had by adult women who already have at least one child. Those are the women who need this pill to be more accessible than it is.
Brian, you have a cold. Go buy some Sudafed from the pharmacy counter and imagine you are a 20 (or 40) year old woman who desperately trying to purchase Plan B. Imagine if you don't have a driver's license or passport. Or if your local pharmacy chooses not to stock it. Or, if they have it, the process of having to hand over your identification--with your name and address--and having it surveyed by the clerk behind the counter and possibly scanned into the register. And if you live in a very conservative community where local pharmacies don't want to stock it, then you're out of luck, because you won't be able to purchase it online like other OTC medications.
Just a reminder, this is something that was found to be completely safe. By the FDA, who has been pulling drug labels right and left lately. If the woman is pregnant it will not harm the fetus.
Stop focusing on the improbable situation of 11 year old girls and start thinking about the millions of adult women with restricted access. Today they received the cold shoulder.
I know. But I'm sure he finds it incredibly funny, insightful and justified.
@Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY
... it's not "humor".
Nor is it at all funny.
...please excuse the typos!
@Edward from NJ
I suppose the adminsistration is envisioning an illicit school trade, where girls can buy the pill in school and take it during gym.
Of course that would only work in the well to-so areas where many 11 year old girls have a lot more money than you would imagine possible.
Although, I think this decision has more to do with inherent conservatism in the administration.
Finally, I would be very disturbed is my 14 year old daughter turned out was having sex, got pregnant (unknown to me) and went ahead and took the pill on her own.
How can it be misused? It's *one* pill. You buy it. You take it. It works, or it doesn't.
@jgarbuz from Queens
Oy. Your sense of humor is very dark indeed and not always good...
I think we have reached the point as a society where we can no longer trust the our demographic future to the whims of women, who have the unilateral ability to "choose" to save or destroy at their own discretion. Already western societies are destroying themselves by not reproducing at a minimal replacement rate. And they are importing third world peoples at an alarming rate and changing the nature and character of their societies, and even endangering their future, by letting women ALONE decide EVERYTHING about the future survival and nature of our societies.It's not only about individual choice;it's also about the power of individuals to destroy our collective futures.
Obama's statement is garbage. The whole "if not used properly" excuse is insulting. 15 year old's can read. They can take allergy medication. They can ADHD meds (much more harmful than Plan B). They get treatment for cancer.
I'm so over Obama.
Hmm... that just sounded like the double speak we used to get from the previous administration?
Walks like a duck...
It's curious to me that the folks that are most vehement on this issue here, are men.
Thank you all your forward thinking, jaggerbuttz from Queens and John "I wonder what 'A.' stands for".
There's no realistic scenario that I can see where someone could be injured by Plan B. There are plenty of drugs that are *actually dangerous* that can be purchased off the shelf.
OK, so the price is the check on excessive use?
I've taken the drug, over ten years ago. Back then my Dr. had to prescribe it, it was several hours of pretty painful cramps. No picnic, but for sure no baby.
Oh, let's just get on to "Brave New World" already, and have our children produced in factories! Let's just remove the eggs and sperm of our young, freeze them, and produce the babies in factories, and let our kids screw their brains out already! Leave reproduction to the state and/or multinational corporations and take it out of the hands of individuals. Babies take the fun out of f****g.
Just like birth control, when someone wants this Rx, they will get it. My son was a senior in high school and 18. The day after his birthday, a peer of his asked him to purchase the Plan B pill for her. I was proud of him that he was able to help out this girl.
If society "forgets" that preteens are not adults then it can be argued that is one of the more severe forms of societal neglect, a removal of protection for those non-adults that deserve protection. Sorry in advance for any outrage, but that's where I stand.
I am a 23 year-old woman who needed Plan B on Memorial Day when the pharmacy counter at the drug store was closed. I had to go to three locations to find one that was open. Plan B should be available in drug store aisles where women have access to it.
Wait a minute...!!
I thought I voted for a progressive president!
Again (speaking as a liberal) the Obama administration drops the ball...big time.
This decision infuriates me as well.
There is NO representation in government for the left. There are extremist right-wingers represented by the Repiglicans and the Dems are moderate at best. There is no left wing in the government.
So I ask: Isn't there supposed to be "no taxation without representation"? Well then how is it that I have NOBODY in government representing my views, but I'm still being taxed?????
As usual we are backwards compared to Europe. Yet another right-wing decision,politics over science.....disgusting...
Seems to me that, with 11-17 yr olds, at issue is not just their ability to understand the instructions on the box, but the maturity and self-control to use this pill responsibly. Was this part of the scientific analysis?
I used Plan B years ago, twice, when it was prescription-only. It's very straightforward. It's a pill. You take it within three days of unprotected sex. It's an absolute relief to have access to Plan B, and it's too expensive to use regularly, so it shouldn't be an incentive to have unprotected sex, and of course doesn't protect against STDs anyway. Condoms are available to kids. Many over the counter drugs are available to kids. This is no different. The HHS decision is ridiculous.
Plan B is 89% effective when taken properly, not 50%.
So, if an 11 or 12 year old girl were to purchase the drug, that's OK?
Hazel said "that Plan B is a positive for women".. but is an 11 year old, or even a 15 year old a "woman"??
I am pro-choice, but the pro-choice movement AUTOMATICALLY sees ANY and ALL restrictions for any female, no matter what the contexts or the age of the girl as being unacceptable and totally anti-choice.
The father of the 2 teenage daughters expresses the true complexity of the issue.
It just AINT THAT SIMPLE!
@ John A:
That's you. Technically if you menstruate you are biologically a woman. If you menstruate you can get pregnant. Whether you want to or not. Sorry if that bothers you.
1. Your guest is terrible.2. ALL women regardless of age have got to produce government issued ID to purchase this drug (or a prescription). Please do not neglect this important point.
I was getting a little disgusted with people in newsreports yesterday describing 11 to 17 year-olds as "women".
I am beyond outraged by this decision. It is especially hurtful in light of the fact that if the Obama administration had done NOTHING this medicine would have become more widely available. Instead, they chose to take affirmative action to restrict access. To me this was clearly a political decision made at the expense of the disenfranchised--young women not yet old enough to vote and adult women with no access to timely medical care or a valid government ID.
There is a line between being "pragmatic" and having no principles, and this time the Obama administration has definitely crossed it. A bitter pill indeed.
The Obama administration's decision to overrule years of medical and scientific proofs that Plan B is a positive for women and should be made more available (as it has been in Europe for years) is one more example that Obama is a conservative. And like most conservative he has no respect for women.
Where are our liberals? At this point, Huntsman looks more liberal than Obama.
I had a gynecologist who automatically gave me a Plan B prescription every year at checkup time, just in case I ever needed it, especially when I stopped taking the Pill. I was always very grateful. I never needed it, thank goodness, but it was good to know it was there in my drawer. All it is is a hightly concentrated version of the Pill, anyway. It's not like a nuclear missile, or anything, the way anti-choicers make it sound.
Email addresses are required but never displayed.
Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
Subscribe on iTunes
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR and PRI, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.