Although the attempts to block over-the-counter sales of the “morning after pill” by the Obama administration have ceased, the drug will not be available in drugstores in the immediate future.
The federal government has further requests to present to the judge, which he may or may not accept. In addition, the makers of the ‘plan B’ contraceptive have to re-apply for approval. And, finally, the product must be re-packaged for over-the-counter purchase.
Women’s rights groups are claiming a major victory. It was just over 48 years ago that the Supreme Court case, Griswold v. Connecticut, paved the way for unmarried couples to use artificial birth control. In addition, in a couple of months the Affordable Care Act will provide preventative care for women with no co-pay involvement.
Planned Parenthood has been working for years to make birth control available for all women who want it. Soon they will be able to walk into a store and purchase emergency contraception with no blame and no shame.
Of course there’s always the extreme viewpoint. When Laura Ingraham spews an opinion, you know it’s going to contain vile accusations and blatant lies.
Of course the first thing she did was to attack the Obama administration for complying with a court order. Her first comment, laughable if you have a sick sense of humor, was, this somehow “empowers men who want to abuse women.”
“It’s a good deal for pedophiles, a good deal for people who commit statutory rape against young girls,” Ingraham told Fox News. “If mothers and fathers across this country hear this and they think, ‘Well, I guess my daughter or her boyfriend or her rapist can go out to a pharmacy and get a bunch of, you know, hormone pills to give a little girl.’ We don’t really know the effect of a spiking or dropping a little girl’s — in many cases a young woman’s or a little girl’s hormonal levels. It’s outrageous!”
“These girls can’t get their ears pierced, they can’t take an Advil at school without parental permission. Yet, they can go into a pharmacy in this Brave New World of women’s equality and reproductive health and get a morning after pill.” (I frequently wish Ingraham’s parent’s had used birth control.)
Studies show that emergency contraception is just as safe for teens as it is for adults, and that teens understand it isn’t intended for ongoing, regular use. Researchers also said that there is no evidence the drug will encourage young men and women to have sex at a younger age.
Judge Edward Korman, who issued several rulings attempting to force the FDA to follow their own advice and make the drug freely available to all women, accused the agency of giving a “sweetheart deal” to Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. While they will provide the ‘Plan B, One-Step to girls 15 and older, the older, generic, and less expensive version will only be available to those 17 and older.
Women’s groups are not ending their fight. They are aware there are other companies who manufacture the drug, and will sell it less expensively.
Although the product has been ordered to become available to anyone who wishes to purchase it, that may not be the exact situation. The cost is expected to be as much as $50 a pill. To discourage shoplifting, the drug may have to be kept in a locked container in the stores.
Emergency contraception has become a reality, but don’t look for it on the shelves anytime soon.
The Guardian Express