Friday, August 25, 2006

"FDA Approves Over-the-Counter Abortion Pill"

I believe this headline is completely misleading. I'll elaborate in a second. Anyway, the article:
Women may buy the morning-after pill without a prescription — but only with proof they're 18 or older, federal health officials ruled Thursday, capping a contentious 3-year effort to ease access to the emergency contraceptive.

Girls 17 and younger still will need a doctor's note to buy the pills, called Plan B, the Food and Drug Administration told manufacturer Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The compromise decision is a partial victory for women's advocacy and medical groups that say eliminating sales restrictions could cut in half the nation's 3 million annual unplanned pregnancies.

The pills are a concentrated dose of the same drug found in many regular birth-control pills. When a woman takes the pills within 72 hours of unprotected sex, they can lower the risk of pregnancy by up to 89 percent. If she already is pregnant, the pills have no effect.
"If she already is pregnant" and "the pills have no effect", then she can't be aborting the baby by taking the "ineffective" pills, now can she?

Look, whether one likes it or not, abortion is legal. A woman who is legally an adult can choose to have an abortion, right? If she can have an abortion, then she can have a pill that keeps her from getting pregnant in the first place (and thus avoiding the "need" for an abortion in the future). Given the choice of an after-the-fact contraception or an after-the-fact abortion, which would seemingly be the preferable approach?

Here's where I have a problem:
Plan B's maker was disappointed that the FDA imposed the age restriction and pledged to continue trying to get the agency to try to eliminate it.

"While we still feel that Plan B should be available to a broader age group without a prescription, we are pleased that the agency has determined that Plan B is safe and effective for use by those 18 years of age and older as an over-the-counter product," said Bruce L. Downey, Barr's chairman.

As a condition of approval, Barr agreed to track whether pharmacists are enforcing the age restriction, by, among other things, sending anonymous shoppers to buy Plan B. The FDA said that Barr is to conduct that formal tracking at least twice in the first year of sales and annually thereafter, and report stores that break the rules to their state pharmacy licensing boards.
Let's get this straight, people: underage girls should not be having abortions or taking medications without parental consent! I find it appalling that the drug manufacturer is going to press ahead with letting teenie boppers make that kind of decision without their parents' input. Barr should shut the hell up and be thankful he got the approval that he did, savor the victory, and leave 16-year-olds the hell alone.

Sidebar: this is great news for perverts like Scott Ritter, who can now purchase Plan B for any 16-year-olds he may fear having impregnated!