- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay quip
- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
- U.S., China race to finish line on ‘invisibility cloak’
- Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
‘Morning-after’ pill available to minors
Question of the Day
The Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that the “morning-after” birth-control pill now will be available to teenage girls as young as 17 without a prescription, saying it won’t appeal a federal court order that overturned a Bush administration-era policy.
U.S. District Judge Edward Korman last month ruled in a New York lawsuit that Bush administration appointees had let politics, not science, drive their decision to allow over-the-counter access to the pills only for women 18 and older. Judge Korman ordered the agency to let 17-year-olds get the medication without a doctor’s prescription, and to evaluate whether all age restrictions should be lifted.
FDA scientists and many in the overall medical community for years had called for age restrictions to be lifted for the drug, commonly called Part B. But top Bush-appointed managers refused to go along with the recommendations.
The FDA said it has sent a letter to the drug’s manufacturer that it may, upon submission and approval of an application, begin marketing Plan B to girls and women 17 and older.
Plan B had been only available by prescription for girls 17 and younger.
Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, accused the Obama administration - not the Bush administration - of playing politics at the expense of the health and well-being of teenage girls.
“The FDA should have challenged the decision, especially its false premise,” Ms. Wright said. “A judge’s opinion can’t change the fact that giving women a false impression about a drug’s effectiveness forces the FDA to become snake-oil salesmen.”
She added that because Plan B is a high-dose version of contraceptives that already are prescription-only and can cause blood clots, heart attacks and strokes, it is unsuitable for minors.
“Parents should be furious at the FDA’s complete disregard for parental rights and the safety of minors,” Ms. Wright said.
But supporters of the FDA decision praised it as leading to fewer - not more - abortions.
“It’s a good indication that the agency will move expeditiously to ensure its policy on Plan B is based solely on science,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “It’s time the FDA restores confidence in its ability to safeguard the public health and put medical science first.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights sued the FDA in 2005 for failing to grant over-the-counter status to Plan B against the advice of its scientific experts and in violation of its own procedures and regulations. The suit was filed on behalf of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, the Morning-After Pill Conspiracy, and others.
If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, Plan B can reduce a woman’s chances of pregnancy by as much as 89 percent. It contains a high dose of birth-control drugs and works by preventing ovulation, fertilization, or the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus. That last possibility, though it is very hard to determine that it occurred in a given case, is what has led some religious groups to denounce the treatment as abortifacient.
If the embryo already has implanted itself, Plan B has no effect.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- John Boehner demands answers on NSA, phone records
Latest Blog Entries
Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.
Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
- Tobacco down among youths; marijuana up
- We told you so: Conservatives foresaw polygamy ruling
- Mich. law makes women buy own insurance for abortions
- Study IDs reasons for late-term abortions
- Panel seeks 'surveillance' system for gay blood donors
Latest Blog Entries
- Pro-life, stem-cell bill signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- N. Dakota lawmakers approve tough abortion bill
- Pope Benedict XVI's successor should allow priests to get a new title: Husband, poll finds
- House votes to reject Obama welfare shift
- Report: Two out of three Democrats support gay marriage
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay comments
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- NAPOLITANO: NSA spies pick up interference from the Constitution
- 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson: Gays 'wont inherit the kingdom of God'
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Does it take over 25 years in public service to really know what goes on in Washington?
A politically conservative and morally liberal Hebrew alpha male hunts left-wing viper
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow