- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
- CDC sees measles spike and ‘failure to vaccinate’
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 2013 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 email@example.com.
- House Speaker John Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
- Young millennials shun Obamacare, creating risky imbalance
- Almost 1.5 million deemed eligible for Medicaid in October alone: Obama administration
- Federal judge set to decide Obamacare battle over subsidies
- Diagnosis: Health site better, but needs work
Latest Blog Entries
- Calif.: Give 'gift of health' by pledging cash for the uninsured
- Tensions hit boiling point over Obamacare enrollment figures, error rates
- Young, uninsured adults vital to Obamacare are not keen on enrolling: New Harvard poll
- Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox will promote Obamacare at Mall of America
- HealthCare.gov employs a new look once again
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- New battlefront emerges in war between Republicans, tea party
- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on 'outdated' agencies
- Budget negotiators look to federal workers for benefit concessions
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
This column will cover anything that has anything remotely to do with the game of baseball, from the game itself to mid-summer trades to offseason moves.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
Political satirist and Christian apologist Bob Siegel discusses religion and politics.
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
White House pets gone wild!