HHS Says No To Over-The-Counter Morning-After Pill

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The nation's health secretary says young teenagers cannot buy the Plan B morning-after pill without a prescription -- a surprise move overruling her own experts, who were preparing to let it be sold on drugstore shelves like condoms.

The pill can prevent pregnancy if taken soon enough after unprotected sex. Currently, only those 17 or older can buy Plan B One-Step without a prescription, if they show a pharmacist proof of age.

The Food and Drug Administration was preparing to lift that age limit and let the emergency contraceptive be sold over the counter to anyone. But Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the agency, saying she was concerned that very young girls couldn't properly understand how to use it without guidance from an adult.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government is considering whether it's OK for young teenagers to buy emergency contraception without a prescription.

Teva Pharmaceuticals wants its Plan B morning-after pill to become the first truly over-the-counter form of emergency contraception. The pill can prevent pregnancy if taken soon after unprotected sex. Currently, women 17 and older can buy it without a prescription if they show a pharmacist proof of age. Younger teens need a prescription.

Doctors' and women's health groups have long argued that the pill is safe even for younger teens and that lifting the age restriction would increase access for everyone. If the Food and Drug Administration agrees, Plan B One-Step could be moved from behind the counter to sell on drugstore shelves. Teva was expecting a decision on Wednesday.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by excuse me on Dec 8, 2011 at 06:05 AM
    WITN where are my comments? And why do you NOT post them?
  • by 4real on Dec 7, 2011 at 10:34 AM
    You say go buy condoms. What if it breaks? Even if it broke before withdraw there is the chance of per-ejaculatory fluid to contain sperm. Did you know there are children out there that think they can use saran wrap as a condom? Where do these myths arise from. Instead of preaching, try educating about sex. Abstinence education is a disaster because they more likely to have unprotected sex because they don't know about contraceptive methods(if they chose sex). Roughly 50% of pregnancies are unplanned (teen and adult) so there you go, children aren't the only ones that need to know about PROTECTION.
  • by Anon Location: Bertie on Dec 7, 2011 at 08:19 AM
    No its not ok for young teenagers to buy the morning after pill.! Honestly, i dont think its ok for any one to buy it. If you can have unprotected sex then you can handle what comes with it. Such as babies, std's or whatever. You know what could come of the situation when you have unprotected sex. Go out and buy condoms. they are available FREE at the clinic. so take a trip there. The morning after pill is like abortion. abortion is murder. end of story.
    • reply
      by excuse me on Dec 8, 2011 at 06:00 AM in reply to Anon
      But it's okay to live off welfare for the duration of the childs life up to age 18?
  • by Anonymous on Dec 7, 2011 at 07:54 AM
    To be honest....if the teens have to go to the Dr and get a prescription, then they are most likely not going to get the morning after pill which equals more teen pregnancies.
  • by DIXIECHICK Location: ENC on Dec 7, 2011 at 07:22 AM
    Why don't we go back to the fact that if you're "mature enough" to think that you should have sex, then you're mature enough to take your responsibilities. I once had a teen come to me and ask me what I knew about the abortion pill. He had just found out that his girlfriend was pregnant. I told him that it was abortion and it is. It's an easy way out for teens that think that they can play without dealing with adult responsibilities.
    • reply
      by excuse me on Dec 8, 2011 at 06:04 AM in reply to DIXIECHICK
      ARe you off your rocker? Teens have sex, and because they are teens, they DON'T think about the "what if's" Has nothing to do with being "mature enough" it has to do with hormones. The only thing this does, is allow MORE to use the FREE government handouts, and make it a way of life for further generations $$$$$
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