From Lake County Right to Life…
Today was the deadline for the FDA to respond to Teva Pharmaceuticals’ request that the Plan B morning-after pill be made available for over-the-counter sale. Currently, women 17 and older can purchase the drug with proof of age. It was expected that the FDA would approve Teva’s request.
Lake County Right to Life, along with many other pro-life groups, opposed this move and urged the agency to reject it. This pill has numerous negatives besides causing abortions:
- Without a prescription, Plan B allows potential harm from unsupervised, high doses of hormones, while interfering with parents’ ability to monitor their children.
- Plan B increases the risks of cervical cancer and blood clots.
- Plan B has an adverse effect on the immune system, which has been linked to an increased vulnerability to HIV infection.
- Without a prescription, Plan B sets up children for victimization by sexual predators.
Considering the aggressively pro-abortion stance of the Obama administration and recent anti-life decisions by HHS Secretary Katherine Sebelius, it came as a surprise today when Secretary Sebelius overrode the FDA and decided to keep the current regulation in place. Sebelius expressed her concern that very young girls couldn’t properly understand how to use the drug without guidance from an adult. In a statement posted on the HHS website, she stated that Teva Pharmaceutical Industries had not presented enough evidence to show that younger girls would properly understand the label and use the pill appropriately without talking to a doctor first.
Secretary Sebelius also pointed out that the average U.S. girl reaches childbearing age at 12.4 years, but that 10 percent of girls are capable of becoming pregnant at 11.1 years. “It is common knowledge that there are significant cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls and the youngest girls of reproductive age,” Sebelius said. “If the application were approved, the product would be available, without prescription, for all girls of reproductive age.” You can read the entire statement here: Statement.
Pro-abortion advocates called the decision “beyond stunning” and “an outrage.” Kirsten Moore of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project said, “We are outraged that this administration has let politics trump science.” To pro-lifers, this statement is surreal, as we have witnessed politics trumping science and ethics to advance the pro-abortion agenda for years.
We are pleased with Secretary Sebelius’ decision. However, in light of this administration’s consistently anti-life direction, we are realistic, not cynical, to agree with Kirsten Moore in wondering if the reason behind this announcement had more to do with product labeling or President Obama’s re-election.
About Lake County Right to Life
Established in 1973 and headquartered in Grayslake, Lake County Right to Life is an educational and advocacy organization for the protection of innocent human life. The organization works in Lake County to promote the vision of a society in which all human life is respected, protected and secure. For more information, please call the Lake County Right to Life office at (847) 223-7022 or visit the website at www.ifrl.org/lake.