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Over-the-Counter Plan B For Girls Under 17

Should Plan B Be Over the Counter For Girls Under 17?

An initiative to make Plan B available over the counter for all ages has been vetoed. The FDA recommended yesterday that based on scientific data the morning-after pill is safe, effective, and should be available to women of all ages without a prescription. But an official from the US Department of Health and Human Services nixed the decision on the basis that girls under 17 don't have the maturity to understand the use and risks of Plan B.

Those who support the FDA's recommendation believe girls will be too scared to ask their parents or doctors for a morning-after pill prescription, and that having it more easily accessible will help prevent teen pregnancies. But antiabortion groups are happy with the decision to keep the drug prescription-only for girls 16 and under, with one spokeswoman saying, "they make vulnerable women and girls even more at risk to abusers who may acquire the drugs to cover up their criminal behavior."

Even President Obama defends the Plan B decision "as the father of two daughters."

But I want to know, what do you think about the accessibility of the morning-after pill? Should young girls be able to use emergency contraception without a prescription, or do you believe they aren't mature enough to handle it on their own?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
PeachesnCreme PeachesnCreme 5 years
While I'm not sure about making it OTC for girls under the age of 17, I feel it should be more available to women in general. This product costs a pretty penny. Understandably at the point to which you're buying, it can be a pretty desperate time. But we already have too many unplanned, teenage pregnancies in the U.S. (17, 18, 19- are still teens) I'd rather see women be able to get this stuff at a better price (last and first time I bought mine, it was $50.00 for ONE) than to end up pregnant, alone and ridiculed for it. Especially since abortion is so frowned upon. I feel like our country is in constant contradiction with itself, especially about sex and these issues. We're an overly sexual society that also frowns upon sex, and especially eduction and prevention. GAH! Even at Planned Parenthood, from what I read it can be up to $40 dollars for one pill. I've only had to use it once, but it would be great to be able to afford to have a couple on hand for emergency purposes.
desote1 desote1 5 years
I don't think they should be over the counter for girls under 17, they shouldn't even be in the situation to be using it at the age( i know, i know it happens, which is sad for us parents now days ) :(
countchocula countchocula 5 years
Ideally, I think underage kids should still be communicating with their parents about this stuff. I know there are situations where girls have psycho parents and they need to be able to make these decisions on their own... but I'm just really unsettled by the idea of an immature girl, who doesn't know the risks of these drugs, getting them OTC. I like Betty Wayne's idea of a school nurse dispensing this stuff rather than having it OTC at a pharmacy. That way the girls have a guidance about these products even if they aren't in the position to communicate these things with their parents.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 5 years
Well I see very little difference between a 17 year old and a 16 year old. But 17 and **any** reproductive age? I got my period in 6th grade and I was one of the last in my group of friends, nowadays some girls get theirs before they're 10. That is WAY WAY WAY too young to be having sex. You know what I would love to see? A federal mandate that nurse offices in schools could dispense birth control. That way, minor have the access they need AND the resources to determine if they're in a dangerous or abusive situation.
elmer7887 elmer7887 5 years
Instead of age 17, it should follow age of consent laws by state.
Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine 5 years
I think that some teenage girls could handle the responsibility, but others couldn't- and for that reason, I think it should still be banned. I knew several girls who abused it early in college, so I definitely believe those few years mean a lot in terms of good decision making.
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