On Monday, a Brooklyn judge ruled in favor of allowing 17-year-olds to obtain the morning after pill without a prescription. And according to The New York Daily News, the judge ordered the federal government to consider providing the pill to women of all ages. The ruling came as the result of a lawsuit filed against the Federal Drug Administration by The Center for Reproductive Rights. Apparently, over-the-counter for 18-year-olds wasn't good enough for CRR. Perhaps the most ironic statement comes from the CRR Web site, where the group's president, Nancy Northup, released the following statement:
"Today's ruling is a tremendous victory for all Americans who expect the government to safeguard their health not undermine it."
And there's more:
"Emergency contraception is proven safe and effective and today, we have succeeded in expanding access to 17-year-olds and are one step closer to making it fully available to all women, including young women for whom the barriers - and the benefits - are so great."
It seems the main concern in this case is "science" over "policy." Of course, the CRR was angry over Bush-era policy that restricted the dissemination of the morning after pill. But regardless of ideological affiliation, why is it that an organization that claims to have such a deep concern for women advocate a measure that many believe to be dangerous to the health of the women who participate?
Even more disturbing is the idea that the pill should be made available to all women, regardless of age. According to the Daily News, "One plaintiff in the suit demanded Plan B should be available for her 13-year-old daughter."
In reality, if one were to consider "science" over "policy," he or she would -- at the least -- mull over the social scientific issues surrounding young America. Even a cursory look provides enough evidence to safely show that political opinion wasn't the only element at the heart of Bush-era restrictions. In the end, placing a high value on over-the-counter, morning after solutions will have a common sense, negative affect over both women and society
In a world replete with promiscuity and teenagers who engage in sexual acts at younger ages than ever before, one would think that the use and promotion of the morning after pill would be handled with more caution.
In addition to the obvious sociological affects, biological science teaches that there may very well be bodily damages that accompany the use of the pill. According to one source,
"There is concern that the very high dose of hormone taken in the 'morning-after' pill might 'kick-start' cervical cancer if a woman is already infected with human papilloma virus."
Some studies even show an increase in abortions as Plan B has become more accessible.
With sources citing findings that there very well may be sociological and biological damage to individuals and societies that expand the use of the morning after pill, why are the potential dangers being ignored?
Back in 1999, The Population Research Institute had this to say about the morning after pill's availability over the counter:
"OTC/MAP will cause a dramatic increase in rates of sexually transmitted diseases. In Washington State, and in Sweden, where MAP has been made widely available, rates of STD infections have been skyrocketing since MAP was introduced."
Let's hope the effects are nowhere near as bad as some have predicted. Send retardant? I think so.