Morning after pill: curse or blessing?
The so-called “morning after” pill has scored a victory recently when a federal court ruled in its favor to lower the minimum age limit of over-the-counter (OTC) access from 18 to 17 years. In addition, the judge also rebuked the regulatory body the US FDA for letting politics interfere with its decision. The previous Republican administration was strongly against the pill.
The morning after pill is marketed as “Plan B” and is manufactures by Duramed. It is intended to prevent pregnancy when taken within 3 days (72 hours) of sexual intercourse.
Expectantly, pro-life groups are strongly against the pill and consider taking the pill as amounting to abortion. The groups are also concerned about giving minors unrestricted access to the morning after pill as this might encourage risky sexual behavior.
Pro-choice advocates on the hand, believe that the morning after pill be available OTC to all women regardless of age (unless they are still children). This is to prevent unwanted pregnancies especially since the latest CDC statistics should that teen pregnancy rate is increasing.
The same pill created a big controversy earlier this year in the UK when state schools were given the go-signal to give out the morning after pill to students as young as 11 even without their parents’ knowledge or consent. For reasons of medical confidentiality, parents wouldn’t be informed if they children ever avail this service. Parents, however, demand full disclosure on the grounds that these kids are underaged (at least until they turn 16), -and it’s their taxes that pay for the pills and the schools in the first place
However, the schools are also afraid that given in to the parents’ demand for disclosure would hinder teens from using the product which is aimed to reduce the problem of teen pregnancy. Currently, the UK has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the European Union.
What do you think? Is it right to give minors free access to the morning after pill?