- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Birth control pill available to girls hits store shelves
Social conservatives alarmed
A morning-after birth control pill that set off a bruising court battle and forged an unusual alliance between President Obama and social conservatives has hit store shelves and increasingly will become available without any restrictions.
Teva Pharmaceuticals worked this month to repackage its “Plan B One-Step” pill so it could be sold to all ages without a prescription, the result of a federal court order in April that bluntly criticized the Obama administration for thwarting attempts to make the emergency contraceptive available to girls younger than 17 without a prescription.
“We believe we’ll see more widespread availability in the coming weeks and continue to work with our retail customers to help with the transition,” she said.
Labeling plans submitted to the FDA feature the words, “New! Now Available Over the Counter” in the upper-left corner of the package.
Pro-choice advocates said they’ve seen the product in metropolitan areas such as Washington and New York City, and Teva has said it plans to make the repackaged product widely available by August. In the meantime, the Center for Reproductive Rights is culling photos of the product on shelves and posting them on Facebook.
The Justice Department initially appealed the ruling that mandated the pill’s broad accessibility, and Mr. Obama reiterated long-standing concerns about the drug’s effect on young teen girls.
Social conservatives also cried foul, saying contraceptive decisions should be made between teens and their parents and that unfettered access to emergency contraception was a bad idea.
But after an adverse ruling in the appellate courts, the Justice Department decided to drop its appeal and make the drug as easy to purchase as aspirin.
The Family Research Council, a conservative nonprofit that’s tracking the issue, said it remains worried.
“We are concerned that over-the-counter availability will further isolate a girl from parents and medical professionals who care most about her and can offer the wisest solutions and advice,” FRC spokeswoman Jessica Prol said. “Easy access to Plan B also leaves girls more vulnerable to exploitation. The Obama administration’s decision to allow Plan B to be sold over-the-counter — no questions asked — is the wrong move.”
Advocates for broader access to contraception, meanwhile, say more needs to be done to make the morning-after pill affordable.
The American Society for Emergency Contraception this month said its survey of 400 pharmacies found that Plan B One-Step costs, on average, nearly $48, or slightly more than the average generic price of $42.
“Even the lowest retail prices for [emergency contraception] are beyond the reach of many women,” the society said. “In order for EC to be truly accessible to all who need it, the generic products must be made available without restrictions on the shelf along with the branded products, and all prices must be lowered to a more affordable level.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Russia should be booted from FIFA World Cup, senators say
- New tool helps figure Obamacare penalties
- Tax-prep firms pitch in, cash in on Obamacare
- Obama tries to reassure Hispanics on Obamacare
- Half of uninsured look to Obamacare exchanges for coverage
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Paul takes veiled shot at Cruz, says GOP must focus on growth
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- VIDEO: Emily Miller on Fox Business "The Independents" special "The Gun Show"
- Obama engages in Ukraine diplomacy from Fla. resort as Russia digs in
- Stolen European passports on Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777
- Gates: Obama strategy won't stop Putin
- CPAC 2014 straw poll results
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again