BLOOMINGTON, IN, March 6, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The FDA just approved generic versions of popular morning-after pill ‘Plan B’ to be sold over-the-counter to girls of all ages, but one Indiana pharmacist told his hometown newspaper he will not be handing it out to younger teens, no matter what the law says.
“I wouldn't do that for both moral and medical reasons,” Bloomington pharmacist Jerry Frederick told the Herald-Times. “It's not a benign drug. It contains a high level of estrogen. Would a 12-year-old girl who took this drug even know what she was taking?”
Plan B and its generics flood a user’s body with a powerful dose of hormones designed to prevent ovulation, or – if ovulation has already occurred – make the uterus inhospitable to a conceived life, preventing implantation and causing early abortion. The potent chemical cocktail is listed among the most dangerous carcinogens by the World Health Organization, but many users are either unaware of the risk, or willing to accept it in order to avoid having a child.
Frederick told the Herald-Times a young girl came into his pharmacy recently and confided in him that she was six weeks pregnant. She asked if she could abort her baby secretly, without having to see a doctor, by buying and taking four Plan B pills. Frederick refused to sell her the drugs. “That would have been medically dangerous,” he said, “and at $50 a pill, it would have cost her $200. If she had $200, she could afford to see a doctor.”
Frederick slammed the federal judge who ordered the FDA to lower the age limit – previously 17 – on Plan B in the first place, saying, “The courts should not be making decisions concerning drug safety. The use of a drug should be the FDA's decision, not a judicial decision.”
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Because only brand-name Plan B has ever been tested on minors, the new policy requires generic versions of the drug to carry a warning that they are “intended for women 17 years of age or older.” But young buyers will not have to show proof of age, as they do with cold medicines and other age-restricted drugs.
Pro-life and children’s advocates have harshly criticized the laxer rules about the morning-after pill, arguing that making emergency contraception available over-the-counter to minors will harm their health and make it easier to conceal child sexual abuse.
But Planned Parenthood applauded the decision, with spokeswoman Tammy Lieber telling the Associated Press, “We feel any step to increase access to emergency contraception is a positive one.”