Morning-After Pill Headed OTC?

By: Toni Harrison
By: Toni Harrison

The government has agreed to take another look at whether to allow over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill. Almost a year after access to the emergency contraceptive was considered a no-go, the Food and Drug Administration has notified the manufacturer of Plan B pill that it wants to discuss marketing the drug to women over 18.

Of the A&M students we talked to, most are pleased that Plan B, or morning after pill, could soon be offered over the counter.

"It's a really good idea, since it's something that only works if you take it pretty soon after you run into the situation," said Allison Pease, Texas A&M Student.

"It won't change the way people act already, it'll just make it easier for people to get it when they need it," said Adrienne Alguedich, Texas A&M Student.

"My friend who had an abortion, I know she regrets it a lot. I think if this were offered to her as an over-the-counter drug then she would have done that," said Christy Chiakpo, Texas A&M Student.

Non-prescription sales of Plan B have been in limbo for three years, but in an expected move Monday, the FDA offered a proposal to allow the pill to be sold without a prescription to women 18 and older.

"It's definitely a step in the right direction, opening up discussions with Barr Laboratories. So it's a good move on the part of the FDA," said Dr. Nancy Bertsch MD, Planned Parenthood.

Shawn Carney from Coalition for Life isn't singing the same tune.

"We're extremely concerned about Plan B because Plan B is nothing more than an early abortion," said Shawn Carney, Coalition for Life.

Plan B allows women to prevent pregnancy by taking a high dose of hormones up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, many doctors, and the FDA, say the drug is safe.

"It will not hurt or affect pregnancy, it is designed to prevent pregnancy it does not cause an abortion, it is not an abortion pill," said Bertsch.

Pro-life advocates see things differently.

"It can cause an abortion by preventing implantation and hopefully the Brazos Valley will stand against this although the FDA will probably approve it," said Carney.

Plan B was approved for prescription in 1999. In some states it's already available over the counter. The FDA says if final talks go well a decision on the proposal will be made within weeks.


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