Following the federal government’s decision not to make what’s known as the “morning after” pill an over-the-counter drug, Planned Parenthood of Delaware (PPDE) is speaking out.
Currently, the emergency contraception, also known as Plan B One Step is kept behind pharmacy counters. Women age 17 and over must ask for the drug and show proof of age. Women under the age of 17 can only access it with a prescription.
Planned Parenthood released a statement Thursday that reads, “Planned Parenthood is extremely disappointed in the federal decision not to lift the availability restriction for over-the-counter access to emergency contraception, also known as Plan B One Step. Lifting the availability restriction would have made Plan B One Step more accessible to women of all ages. The Food and Drug Administration supported lifting the ban. Unfortunately, the Department of Health and Human Services did not take the FDA’s recommendation.”
The organization cites scientific findings proving the “morning after” pill is a safe and effective way to prevent unplanned pregnancies. PPDE also points to studies showing adolescents are fully capable determining when and how Plan B should be used without help from a health care provider.
In a news conference Thursday, President Obama said he supports Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius’ decision.
“As I understand it, the reason Kathleen made this decision was she could not be confident that a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old go into a drugstore, should be able — alongside bubble gum or batteries — be able to buy a medication that potentially, if not used properly, could end up having an adverse effect. And I think most parents would probably feel the same way.”