Thursday, December 8, 2011

Plan B still not eligible for ALL

In direct contradiction to all of the recent recommendtions from the FDA, Kathleen Sebelius the secretary of Health and Human Serives decided that the emergency contraception Plan B will not be allowed to be sold without a prescription to children under the age of 17.

A letter written by FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg states, "I reviewed and thoughtfully considered the data, clinical information, and analysis provided by CDER, and I agree with the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research that 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." The possibility for all women to have access to Plan B was one step away from being instituted and the secretary believed otherwise and due to FDA having to respond they sent the complete response letter to Teva today. Plan B One-Step will remain on the market and will remain available for all ages, but a prescription will continue to be required for females under the age of 17.

This misconception that having Plan B over the counter will somehow make young girls all of a sudden more interested in sex is a ignorant view on the issue at hand and seems to be the true motive in why the secrertary believes younger women shouldn't have the opportunity to the emergency contraceptive. The view of society to believe that just because someone young is requesting Plan B means this girl is promiscuous is not appropriate. You never understand why this person may have felt the need to select this type of contraception. It takes a lot of confidence and strength sometimes for men and woman to even buy these barrier methods and then to be judged when they build up this courage is not acceptable. When condoms are for sale for all ages why cant Plan B be? It is just as safe and effective as other barrier methods, additionally an important saftey net for when "Plan A" methods (like condoms or the pill) fail. Contrary to popular belief it is not our place to justify why someone should be denied access, whether we fear they may begin to abuse the pill or not.

Tylenol, Advil, Benadryl, and Robitussin are all more dangerous than Plan B and yet they are on the market for all ages, over the counter. With this in mind, what is the point in denying access to Plan B? I am totally astonished by the act of denying this access without any legitimate reasoning. There is a clear double standard in place here: women have rights and limited access to reproductive health services but still are hindered by the misconception that young women shouldn't have access to these pills because being a sexually active young woman is still looked down upon. It saddens me that this still occurs but I write this post in hopes that things will change.

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