FDA Approves Over The Counter Plan B

Consumers everywhere can now put down their Siphilum divining rods, the Food and Drug Administration gave thumbs up for a next-day pregnancy prevention pill without prescription.

Sale will only occur in health clinics and pharmacies. Proof of age is required, as sale without prescription is restricted to 18 and up.

Which makes sense, as nobody under 17 ever has unprotected sex

FDA Announcement

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  1. Jesse McBesse says:

    it’s NOT an abortion pill!!! ugh

  2. Jesse McBesse says:

    thank you for the edit! :)

  3. Which makes sense, as nobody under 17 ever has unprotected sex

    Or even gets raped or sexually assaulted. It’s a magical age where all sex is consensual, condoms never break, and every female is on the pill.

  4. Wonkette: “Because ‘Plan A’ Is Reckless Sexing”

  5. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    Take that middle America….Zing????!!!121211

  6. etinterrapax says:

    I know a self-righteous pharmacist who’s sobbing into his Cheerios this morning, and I am not even a little sorry.

  7. konstantConsumer says:

    BABY MURDERERS!

  8. North of 49 says:

    So a 14 yo boy can go into a pharmacy and buy condoms but a 14yo girl can’t buy the “cure” for the condom failing. What a wonderful bit of hyprocracy there. Let’s have teenages pregnancies galore.

  9. Mary Marsala with Fries says:

    It’s a long-fought victory that involved one FDA director resigning and some serious public bitching about the department ignoring obvious science because the Administration wanted them to — my favorite study concluded that Plan B was “markedly safer than aspirin”, yet after that study the FDA *still* withheld its approval.

    Now, unfortunately, they’ve done exactly what they absolutely had to and no more. Notice the “pharmacy only” restriction — whyfore that? Ibuprofen isn’t restricted to pharmacies, and neither are condoms (wait, those aren’t age-restricted either…yet…), so why this?

    Why, because so many pharmacists are willing to be asshats because of their “religious beliefs”, that’s why. I’m sure this finally got through because it was a) so glaringly unjustifiable to not approve it, and b) the theocracy was appeased by as many additional restrictions as could possibly be dreamt up. I especially love the justification that it’s pharmacy-only because of the age restriction…yeah, because a gas station is capable of checking ID for cigarettes, but not for this. They simply know that if it wasn’t restricted to pharmacies, it’d quickly be available everywhere, because of how much money you’d make carrying it. Unlike pharmacists, corner-store owners and the like aren’t well known for turning down a profit for the privelege of imposing their morality on others. (Pharmacists are also generally better paid, so there you go.)

    Prediction: Next thing you see will be restrictions against bulk buying, because they’ll want to stop women’s groups and resellers from making it any more available than the Zealot Pharmacy community is comfortable with.

    The truth eventually does win out…but man, it takes a long time these days.

    -M.

  10. Triteon says:

    Q’s: How many of you have children? How old are they?
    I have a 15yo daughter and, perhaps paradoxically, I am less concerned with her becoming pregnant than contracting a serious STD.
    I have two objections to the widespread availability of the Plan B pill, one on moral grounds (and not the one you may think!) and the other for the above implied medical reason. I don’t want impressionable youngsters to feel that this type of birth control, much like ‘the pill’ of an older generation, makes sex “safe.”
    There has been a marked rise in the instances of gonorrhea and syphilis in many areas, and I can’t see where Plan B will help. What the hell is wrong with taking a little personal responsibility and just using condoms?

  11. Morgan says:

    Plan B isn’t meant to replace condoms, Triteon; as the name Plan B implies, it’s a backup for when condoms fail. The only way that teens would assume that Plan B is an appopriate form of birth control would be if we were giving them some sort off ass-backwards sex education that placed more emphasis on abstenance than teaching them how to be safe (that is, use condoms) if they decide abstenance isn’t for them.

    Oh, wait. Now I see the problem.
    Out of curiosity, what are the moral grounds you object on?

  12. There has been a marked rise in the instances of gonorrhea and syphilis in many areas…

    I’ve yet to hear or see an add for any birth control pill that does not point out that it does not protect against STDs or STIs like HIV/AIDS. They don’t always mention HIV/AIDS specifically but they do always say it won’t protect you from infection.

    There’s no reason for anyone to think these pills will protect them from a STI. Not only do they not claim to do so they actually point out that they don’t.

  13. konstantConsumer says:

    i wonder what would happen if I, a 25 year old male, went into a pharmacy to buy plan B. would they give it to me?

  14. etinterrapax says:

    I’m not sure what having children has to do with anything, but I have an infant son, so whatever he’d do with them, I don’t want to know. Having a kid has not changed my point of view about Plan B, or even abortion. I had options. I exercised this one. I’m married, we’re stable, and while I had to make some less-than-awesome choices concerning having a baby right now, this choice did not completely, totally upend my very existence. But what if it had? What if I were considerably less fortunate, less flexible, less healthy, and more alone in the world? And why on earth would I be making that decision for someone else, especially but not exclusively if she’s over 18?

    One thing I don’t see emphasized often is that although Plan B is safe to take, you aren’t going to be feeling all that hot, physically, after you do. It forces menstruation, and that’s pretty unpleasant. Casual use, unless you’re a masochist, would be extraordinarily disruptive to your life. If needing it forces someone to think twice and make better choices, or if it saves a woman from having to bear the child of her rapist, I don’t know how that could be bad.

  15. Triteon says:

    Morgan– Thanks for asking. I think it’s morally wrong to fail to accept responsibility for actions we choose to take. I could go on but I’m aware that my politics don’t always jibe with others on this site.
    RP– Please finish quoting me. Yes, you are absolutely right in what you said; but my point is that Plan B really does nothing to help the situation. A condom is a prophylactic against many things, Plan B has one use.

  16. konstantConsumer says:

    yeah, but you aren’t getting it, triteon. for example, a friend of mine and her boyfriend were going at it. the condom broke. fuck, she thought. so, she went to the university health center, got a perscription for Plan B, and took it. that’s the whole point. today, she wouldn’t even have to go to the health center, which is a good thing.

  17. konstantConsumer says:

    triteon, you aren’t getting it. the point IS that you can take it in case a condom broke. so lets say you are being really careful, and have sex with your long-term boyfriend. you are using a condom, because you are super smart. during sex, the condom breaks. OH SHIT! you think. with plan B, you can go to the store and pick up the pill, and not have to worry about getting pregnant. that’s a good thing.

  18. konstantConsumer says:

    oops. sorry about the double post. but the point is still valid.

  19. Anonymously says:

    The best reason I can see for the 18-year-old restriction: 17-year-olds are still minors and are under their parent/guardian’s care. I think it’s fair for them to have to notify their parent that they are at risk of pregnancy before taking Plan B.

  20. Morgan says:

    Greg, I’m fairly certain that minors don’t even need to inform their parents to have an abortion (I remember there being a controvery over this a couple of years ago, and if anyone can point me towards something that confirms/denies this memory I’d appreciate it). Taking that into account, it would be odd to require a parent’s consent about this.
    Triteon, I can respect the need to take responsibilit for your actions, but I don’t agree that taking this pill when something happens that might have gotten you pregnant counts as avoiding responsibility. Taking the pill is taking responsibility, making sure that you don’t end up having to deal with something you aren’t prepared for.

  21. GenXCub says:

    Greg, they can get doctor approval as well, which may not have to involve the parent, but then they could have done that before now anyway.

    Anyone who has objections to this on moral grounds (but doesn’t mind other birth control) should take it to its logical extreme and consider male masturbation to be mass murder. If you have one birth control method available, why not this?

  22. Mary Marsala with Fries says:

    I have a daughter, and since she’ll actually be getting a sex education (from me), I’m not worried about her thinking that Plan B functions as a replacement for condoms. I can see how someone who was going to leave their children’s sex ed up to the government or schools would have reason to be concerned, though. They’ll probably mystify the poor pill into such a gargantuan monster that the kids will be taking it to see if they can get high.

    I am, however, happy that she’ll have one more chance to not end up a pregnant teenager because of rape, or a stupid accident, provided I can drive far enough to find a pharmacist that actually carries the pill. No kid deserves to get stuck raising an unwanted child, nor to *be* an unwanted child, period.

  23. Ben Popken says:

    Soraya writes:

    “Enlighten Morgan that many states do require parental consent before having an abortion – my state, Florida, is one of them. For the record, I voted against it.”

  24. alimc83 says:

    Adding to Soraya/Ben’s point, my home state, Mississippi, also requires the parental consent for abortion (from both parents).

    There is only one abortion clinic in the entire state now (down from 6 in 1996, and 4 in 2000). The case is probably most extreme in Mississippi, but if you aren’t in a more liberal, metropolitan area of America you are going to have to go through hoops to get an abortion.

    Because of that data, my worry is that the states hostile to abortion may also be hostile to the Plan B pill. It may now be approved for over the counter use, but there’s no law mandating that a pharmacy must carry it and a law protecting pharmacists who don’t feel it “morally acceptable” to dole it out.

    In theory, I’m pleased with this long overdue approval, but I’m curious as to whether this will reach the areas most in need of this sort of after-the-fact pregnancy prevention.

  25. HawkWolf says:

    I think there’s a logical fallacy implicit in the “If we give people the ability to buy Plan B, they’ll have more unsafe sex because they think plan B makes it safe!” argument.

    Take drugs. A lot of people do illegal drugs such as marijuana. A lot of people do legal drugs such as tobacco or liquor. Would more people do marijuana if it was made legal? Would fewer people do tobacco or liquor if they were illegal but readily available?

    I don’t think that mass numbers of people are going to start having sex just because the girl knows she can pop a pill and dump some blood instead of having a baby. I think people will continue to have sex regardless of Plan B, and any small rise in the numbers will probably be offset by some natural statistical drop in some other number.

  26. Triteon says:

    For the record, I’m not an absolutist on Plan B– cases of rape are in an entirely different category.
    Answering konstantConsumer (and with a nod of appreciation to Mary Marsala): “you are using a condom, because you are super smart….”– agreed, agreed. However, I would argue the breaking condom is not what caused the hypothetical pregnancy, the sex did. When you have sex that’s the risk, even if you are safe. And if it happens (and here MMwF I apologize) you need to deal with it. If you don’t want the kid then adoption is a very viable option in EVERY state.
    I was a kid of the pre-Roe v. Wade ruling born to teenagers, and they made the decision to place me for adoption to two wonderful people who couldn’t have children. What is wrong with that choice?

  27. konstantConsumer says:

    well, for one thing, you have to carry around the damn thing for 9 months. not only is there extreme discomfort, there is social stigma, and there are many jobs that you could be deemed unable to do. you seem to have some (perhaps religious) fear of sex. while that’s all fine and good for you, not everyone is religious, and lots of religious people don’t think that abortions, plan B, or that abortion pill is a bad thing. i’m lucky enough to engage in the type of sex that has a 0% chance of pregnancy, so it’s not really a worry for me. however, condom use is. so the fact that there is some risk doesn’t really bother me that much. the key is to reduce the risk as much as possible. plan B helps to do that. so that’s good.

  28. Triteon: I meant the ellipses to indicate that I was responding to the rest of your post. Sorry for the confusion.

    Plan B isn’t meant to treat or prevent STIs and STDs, it’s meant to prevent pregnancy. No it won’t do anything to protect you from diseases but neither does the Pill.

  29. Triteon says:

    konstantConsumer– By no means am I a member of ANY religion, neither by thought, word, nor deed; nor do I wish to ever be associated with a religion. That I may share an opinion with any of the various dogmas is a complete coincidence, I can assure you. And my only fear of sex is the potential for broken bones.
    HawkWolf I agree: I have no belief that Plan B will encourage or increase promiscuity.