Wednesday, April 22, 2009

FDA Approves Access to Emergency Contraception for 17-Year-Olds

NY Times: 'Morning After' Pill Cleared for 17-Year-Olds, by Gardiner Harris:

Plan B Seventeen-year-olds will soon be allowed to buy morning-after contraceptive pills without a doctor’s prescription after federal drug regulators complied with a judge’s order and lowered the age limit by a year.

The decision on Wednesday by the Food and Drug Administration, which overturns one of the most controversial health rulings of the Bush administration, was scorned by anti-abortion advocates and hailed by their abortion rights counterparts.

The long-running controversy involving Plan B has had more of a political impact than a public health one. The drug consists of two pills that can prevent conception if taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse, and is not related to RU-486, the abortion pill. Since 2006, when Plan B became widely available to women 18 and over without a prescription, it has had no measurable effect on the nation’s abortion or teenage pregnancy rates.

Like their older counterparts, 17-year-old women will now be able to go to almost any pharmacy, clinic or hospital and, after showing proof of age, buy Plan B without a prescription. Men 17 and older may also buy Plan B for a partner.

Contraception, In the Courts, Politics, President/Executive Branch, Teenagers and Children | Permalink

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