Judge Orders F.D.A. To Make Plan B Available To 17-Year-Olds

Great news, 17-year-olds! A federal judge has ruled that you can now avoid accidental babies by partaking in the emergency contraceptive wonder that is Plan B. Back in 2006, the Food and Drug Administration limited the contraceptive to women 18 and over, and ordered pharmacists to hide the drug behind their counters away from other common contraceptives. Judge Edward Korman ruled this week that the agency’s decision was based on politics not science, and that it constituted an unacceptable public health buzzkill.

Such “political considerations, delays and implausible justifications” showed that the F.D.A. had acted without good faith or reasoned decision making, Judge Korman wrote.

Susan F. Wood, a former F.D.A. director of women’s health who resigned in 2005 to protest the handling of Plan B, said Monday that the judge’s decision to send the drug back for reconsideration signaled hope of the agency’s ability to act independently under a new administration.

There is a new chance to “restore the scientific integrity of the F.D.A.,” said Ms. Wood, now a professor of public health at George Washington University.

The FDA, which said it was “reviewing the ruling,” has 30 days to comply with the judge’s order.

Contraception Pill Strictures Are Eased by a Judge [The New York Times]
PREVIOUSLY: FDA Says Plan B Causes Teen Sex Cults


Edit Your Comment

  1. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:


  2. crazylady says:

    Finally. One step at a time. Eventually maybe this will lead to over the counter hormonal contraceptives as well. I never understood the arguments against these things…OTC Plan B is easily $40 at my local pharmacy and can you find 17-18 year olds who’d pay $40 often? It makes a hell of a lot more sense to learn how to have safer and pregnancy-free sex (and abstinence, if one *chooses* to do so fully aware instead of the nonsensical abstinence-only crazy going around right now) with condoms and birth control pills than it does to have unsafe sex and rely on expensive Plan B.

    Anyway, nitpick: it’s not women 18+, it’s anyone 18+: the boyfriend, the parents, whomever.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @crazylady: I think the idea was that, since every sperm is a precious human being, then wearing tight pants in a Jacuzzi was killing Little Baby Jesus.
      Yup, makes perfect sense to me, too.

      • the_wiggle says:

        @Trai_Dep: but but but every sperm is sacred. . .Monty Python song below

        • madog says:

          @the_wiggle: the problem is that many people use plan b on a regular basis as a form of birth control, and then wonder why the don’t have a period for a month. The long term effects of this drug seem bad to let anyone use it.

          • Trai_Dep says:

            @madog: That sounds pretty anecdotal. Do you have any cites suggesting #s that do this?

          • edwardso says:

            @madog: I call bullshit. It’s the same argument the pro-lifers use against abortion when in reality both are cost-prohibitive to use as the only form of contraception in most cases

          • crazylady says:

            @madog: you would have to be thoroughly retarded to be using plan b on a regular basis for birth control because it’s more expensive than many forms of birth control meant to be used on a regular basis (i.e. the pill, IUDs, condoms and more). It really fucks you up (for good reason, just imagine what kinda higher dosage is in them vs. regular bc) and in fact, if anything, the *two* times I have used plan b in the past five years (there was a guy allergic to latex and poly condoms are looser than latex condoms…) I was swearing for a couple weeks afterwards cause my period was delayed by that much and I could have sworn I was pregnant.

            Honestly. $40 is expensive. You’d have to be incredibly loaded and ignorant to be using this like regular BC.

            • Trai_Dep says:

              @crazylady: Why do I suddenly get the feeling that @madog’s a guy?

            • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

              @crazylady: “poly condoms are looser than latex condoms”

              not so much looser as less flexible. they don’t stretch to fit the same way and the two brands of male polyurethane condoms i know of are approximately the same size as each other. i’m allergic to latex…. some of my partners in the past have had a good fit, some have had a tightness or looseness problem. and one guy i was with for a while – well having to take antihistamines and deal with the latex factor of trojan magnums wasn’t the worst problem i’m ever had, but it sure was annoying.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @crazylady: “Eventually maybe this will lead to over the counter hormonal contraceptives as well. I never understood the arguments against these things”

      With the hormonal contraceptives, there are real risks. I would really, really like to be able to get my birth control OTC or, hell, from a BC vending machine so we don’t have to risk hurting any uptight pharmacists’ tender feelings, but I recognize the issue with that is that you really do need a doctor’s evaluation to start them and a doctor’s evaluation every so often while on them to ensure everything’s working the way it’s meant to work.

      It’s annoying as all get out to only be able to get one month at a time and to have to deal with insurance and call in renewals and the whole nine yards on a routine drug most women take for YEARS at a time with no problems. But I’m not really sure how to make the maintenance of the drug easy while keeping the gatekeeping function of doctors intact for the initial prescription.

      • Vanilla5 says:

        @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): BC vending machine FTW!

        But I do agree that the hormonal BC methods (pill, patch, ring, etc.) do warrant an evaluation first and a discussion afterward if it’s not right for you (i.e. making you batshit crazy).

        I’m able to get my BC Rx filled @ 3 months at a time and it reduces the price a little bit. I know that’s not possible for some drugs like narcotics but I thought all BC was available that way?

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @Vanilla5: I think it varies by state, and probably by insurer. When I lived in NC I could get six months at a time (at a discount as well) until the state leg changed a ruling and then it may have just been one month at a time (I moved right after). Now, in IL, I can only get one month at a time, but I’m not sure if that’s my insurance or the state (I’ve been under different plans in IL, but always BC/BS plans, so I have no good comparator).

          I know in a few states you can get only get it month-at-a-time normally but if you go to Planned Parenthood or similar clinics, 3 or 6 months at once. Which means a lot of women in those states see their regular doctors for everything BUT birth control, since getting 6 months at once is SUCH a nice benefit. Again, that may be insurance restricting its purchase at the regular pharmacy (not the state) but when you go to the clinic you usually don’t involve insurance.

          I do know I’m only allowed to get a year-long Rx for BC in IL and after that the doctor has to renew it — and presumably is supposed to check me up. I do see my doctor yearly for checkups, but the renewals don’t always fall when the physical does so she just calls it in. (Or called it in. I’m all knocked up now so it’s a bit of a moot point.)

          • BlondeGrlz says:

            @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): I am surprised by this one-month-at-a-time rule. My government-provided health care gives me 6 months at a time, with 1 refill. Then have to go back in for my yearly checkup to get it renewed.

          • MsAnthropy says:

            @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle):

            In the UK my prescriptions were never for less than six months’ supply, and more usually for 9-12 months. When you go to fill your prescription, the pharmacist gives you the amount that the prescription is written for, all at once. And you don’t have to pay a penny… sigh.

            Drives me NUTS having to go and pick up a new pack of pills every four weeks. Planned Parenthood gave me six months’ supply in one go, although a trip to Planned Parenthood invariably involves having to run the gauntlet of mouth-frothing lunatics protesting outside, which doesn’t seem to be a regular feature of a visit to my local CVS.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          @Vanilla5: depends on your insurance plan. not all insurance plans permit a 90 day supply. mine tried to limit my BC to a 30 day supply. their plan failed horribly when they discovered that my doctor prescribed seasonique which only comes in a 90 supply because it’s for only having periods 4 times a year. now they keep bugging me and my doctor to put me on a cheaper monthly pill, which my doctor and i both keep reminding them is not even chemically the same dose of medicine.

          the 30 day thing for BC is especially weird because i can get a 90 day supply of my diabetes prescriptions with no argument

        • Anonymous says:

          @Vanilla5: In England, I saw a doctor, got birth control for six months and paid less than $20 dollars. I think that’s a model we need to follow!

      • BytheSea says:

        @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): Wots this I hear not about tecknologee?

        How about BC vending machines with thumbprint readers that know who is approved for its use and who isn’t.

    • TWinter says:

      @crazylady: Would you really want all birth control pills over the counter?

      I’ve met several women over the years who’ve had serious side effects from birth control. Bad reactions are obviously in the minority, but it still seems like a bit of medical oversight is warranted, at least at the very beginning.

      • orlo says:

        @Esquire99: I doubt a 17-year-old is physically that different from a 12-year-old. Of course moral issues are exactly what’s preventing further trials. They’ll never see if it’s alright for 10-year-olds because people are too uncomfortable thinking about it. Meanwhile, the FDA thinks it’s safe to smoke cigarettes if you’re 16.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @orlo: “I doubt a 17-year-old is physically that different from a 12-year-old”

          A 17-year-old who has gone through puberty is quite different from a 12-year-old who hasn’t. One of the problems is that women go through puberty at widely variant ages, and that marker is much more important than age-qua-age.

      • ailema says:

        @TWinter: I’m happy my 17 year old self had to talk to my doctor to get birth control. I had really bad reactions to the pill. It’s unlikely that without talking to a doctor I would have understood I could switch types of hormonal birth control to lessen the effects.

      • Anonymous says:

        People have side effects to thousands of drugs that are available over the counter. People have side effects when taking aspirin. No drug will have no side effects to everyone, so we shouldn’t limit new ones coming out based on that.

    • atashida says:

      @crazylady: Gynos withhold the BC every year to make you come in and get a cervical cancer exam. It’s annoying but I don’t see it as necessarily bad. And I’m one of those that have had severe side effects from a BC, so that happens too and it’s good to have a relationship with a doctor who already knows what they’re taking.

      Since condoms are OTC, it’s not like there’s no prescription-free option.

      • crazylady says:

        @atashida and others: I don’t disagree that there are risks and issues with BC, but I didn’t say they should be dispensed like candy. Just that pharmacists or similar check for risks like smoking first and provide some counseling, and only do this as some kind of last resort/emergency provision. God knows my gyno is a jackass and occasionally won’t give me a refill in time (partially insurance limitations), where I then rush off to planned parenthood and wait like 5 hours before i get a prescription. I’d rather much just go off to the local pharmacy to get a month’s supply at full cost. Speaking of which, I <3 planned parenthood anyway, and I got a year’s worth of refills of NuvaRing from them once that my gyno wouldn’t do even though she knows I’m really good about coming in for pap smears and more.

        Actually, my idea was a lot like the idea the UK had when they started their test program of OTC birth control a while back.

        Lastly, condoms are OTC i know, and prescription free, but it’s one of those things where I’d feel a lot comfortable having my own birth control and not just rely on a condom.

    • DoktorGoku says:

      @crazylady: We, as physicians, have to do a full history and physical before writing a prescription for hormonal contraceptives. The risks are very low, but they do exist, and can be severe/life-threatening. Obviously, the primary risk involves thromboembolism, especially in smokers/women over 35, but there are some others. Hormonal contraceptives are VERY SAFE when used properly, and can be VERY DANGEROUS when not used properly.

      Asking for over-the-counter hormonal contraceptives is dangerous and misinformed. I recommend you read the literature that ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) provides on the subject. They also used to occasionally send out a contraceptive wheel that easily let you look at what contraceptive options were right for most women- I’m not sure if it was only given to physicians, but I’m sure you can find one somewhere.

  3. Gorphlog says:

    This is asinine. It is illegal in most states for someone under the age of 18 to have sex so why should they be able to buy this? The only exception I could see is if they were raped. It is like letting a 17 year old buy alcohol. They can buy it but not use it.

    • Baron Von Crogs says:


      lol. no.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Gorphlog: People start having sex (and babies and abortions) by around 14 – 15 years old in some cases. Whether it is “legal” or not, it is happening. I would imagine 17-year-olds make mistakes and have regrets occasionally, and Plan B might just save them from grief. And babies. And abortions.

    • Tightlines says:

      @Gorphlog: I know most people under the age of 18 NEVER have sex because it is illegal, just as most teenagers don’t drink either, but for the tiny, tiny minority that do, perhaps this would be beneficial?

      • Anonymous says:

        @Tightlines: It seems that many people are ignorant to the fact that teenagers engage in sex, it makes no sense to make something that is as private as sex a public issue, stating that you must be 18 to engage in intercourse. Not to mention that I’ve never heard of such nonsense, the age of consent in many states is 16. Teenagers, like myself will do as we please based on our morals and beliefs… If a law is passed that we can not engage in such affairs then so be it, it hasn’t stopped minors from drinking and it won’t stop them from engaging in a private matter like that.

        Some people are as ignorant as Sarah Palin here, preach abstinence yet your daughter gets pregnant… It’s hilarious.

    • theczardictates says:

      @Gorphlog: “It is like letting a 17 year old buy alcohol. They can buy it but not use it.”

      No, it’s more like refusing to treat a car crash victim’s mortal injuries because they ran a Stop sign.

      Because, as we all know, teenagers are famous for their ability to make good decisions on the spur of the moment, especially when faced with a temptation like sex. And who wouldn’t agree that the penalty for a moment of experimentation should be 20 years of child-rearing? They certainly shouldn’t be allowed to take remedial steps the following day when they recognize the risk they’ve taken.

      Here’s a reality check: Some teenagers are going to have sex. Period. Making sex more scary and dangerous is not a solution. It’s just a way of creating scared and hurt teenagers while pretending to protect them.

      • taney71 says:

        @theczardictates: I think having a bady isn’t the same as a car crash.

        Where you come down on this probably depends on if you believe life starts at conception or birth. Of course it is before birth because babies live well before the 9 month due date when born early. But it is a debate when that is (this is all Roe v. Wade issues etc.).

        Also, I am not sure Consumerist calling being pregnant having “accidental babies” is very accurate. At 17 most people know right from wrong and having unprotected sex produces babies. I’ll probably hear that the protection broke. Ugh. That is a tired argument. Most likely they just had unprotected sex without thinking at that moment about the long term implications of their actions. That isn’t an accident.

        • edwardso says:

          @taney71: Plan b is not the abortion pill, it is a larger does of standard birth control pills that prevents ovulation.

          Also, condoms do break it happened to me once and while it may be a “tired argument” to you it was a serious matter to me and I am greatful that I had access to Plan B

          • Mike_Hawk says:


            THis is not correct, Ovulation occurs some time before (a day or two) penetration and ejaculation, and is compeltely independent of it. So at time of coitus, the egg is already hanging out somewhere near the ovary and slowly meandering towards the fallopian tubes. Fertilization most often occurs in the fallopian tube, the egg continues to drift into the uterus and then may (or may not) implant on the wall and begin to gestate.

            This pill prevents implantation of the fertilized egg. Still, not an abortion in a box, but a little different than you thought.

            • edwardso says:

              @Mike_Hawk Actually it is. If you have already ovulated at the time of unprotected sex there is a good chance you will get pregnant. Plan B is used because sperm can also hang out for awhile so if you ovulate soon after unprotected sex there is a chance of pregnancy Plan b prevents this just like the regular pill. In some cases doctors will have a patient take several pills instead of Plan b

              From Planned Parenthood:
              Emergency contraception is made of the same hormones found in birth control pills. Hormones are chemicals made in our bodies. They control how different parts of the body work.

              The hormones in the morning after pill work by keeping a woman’s ovaries from releasing eggs – ovulation. Pregnancy cannot happen if there is no egg to join with sperm. The hormones in the morning after pill also prevent pregnancy by thickening a woman’s cervical mucus. The mucus blocks sperm and keeps it from joining with an egg.

              Some people say that the morning after pill works by keeping a fertilized egg from attaching to the lining of the uterus. But there is no proof that this actually happens.

              You might have also heard that the morning after pill causes an abortion. But that’s not true. The morning after pill is not the abortion pill. Emergency contraception is birth control, not abortion.

              Plan B is a brand of hormone pills specially packaged as emergency contraception. Plan B contains the hormone progestin.

              Certain brands of birth control pills may also be used as backup birth control. Our chart can show you how. Usually, birth control pills with two hormones – progestin and estrogen – are the ones used for EC.


              • edwardso says:

                @edwardso: sorry, I really didn’t mean for that all to be underlined

              • PittsburghJen says:

                @edwardso: @PittsburghJen: So apparently none of us know anything about this pill, beyond that it’s not an abortion in a box.

                Thanks for correcting us! …though, in hindsight, I should have known that. Everyone knows that if something happens and you can’t get a hold of Plan B, you just take three of your birth control pills. I’m only being minorly sarcastic though but am definitely condoning the safety of doing so.

              • the_wiggle says:

                @edwardso: well said. no doubt the laws limiting how much BC may be bought is yet another sneaky way of “punishment”

            • PittsburghJen says:

              @Mike_Hawk: You’re completely right. I would add, however, that just because sperm and egg come together, it does not mean that they will implant themselves into the uterine wall, thus beginning to form into a fetus. There a multitude of reasons that this doesn’t happen without Plan B — making Plan B all the more precautionary.

              It’s amazing what they don’t teach women in sex ed…or anywhere else that you’d assume. I’m 25 and have looked into trying to conceive a baby. It was in those pregnancy books (How-To Guides in getting pregnant! Not avoiding it!) that I learned how everything actually works when it come to ovulation, how and when I can get pregnant, and the like.

              Of course I knew the basics from high school and from “the talk” my mom had with me. But the details I didn’t know at 17 – 25 could have meant a little PittsburghJen in this world. And it blows the mind that you only find the details in the books telling you how to overcome them rather than avoid them.

              • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

                @PittsburghJen: If you’re looking into “how to get pregnant” books that are telling you your fertile window is AFTER ovulation (as Mike Hawk said and as you’re apparently agreeing), I think I’ve found your problem.

                It IS amazing what they don’t teach women in sex ed .. or anywhere else. You may need to talk to your doctor about conception strategies if you’re getting information this bad from books.

                • PittsburghJen says:

                  @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): No, I’m not getting my conception strategies from comments on Consumerist or poor book. I am fully aware that to conceive you should be having teh sexing prior to ovulation as afterward is too late. I am, apparently, very bad at expressing myself in a comment box today, though.

                  • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

                    @PittsburghJen: Sorry, I was pretty annoyed there at the Mike Hunt’s wrong correction of right information. I probably didn’t need to be quite so strident about it. :)

                    • PittsburghJen says:

                      @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): No worries. Agreeing was a mistake as I was thinking more about the second half of what I said than the first. I’m amazed at how much I learned about my own body from trying to get pregnant books than the let’s not get pregnant classes from my youth.

            • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

              @Mike_Hawk: “This is not correct, Ovulation occurs some time before (a day or two) penetration and ejaculation, and is compeltely independent of it. So at time of coitus, the egg is already hanging out somewhere near the ovary and slowly meandering towards the fallopian tubes.”

              Ovulation MAY occur before or after the sex act that leads to pregnancy, but most often occurs AFTERwards if you want to get successfully pregnant — and as a woman who just spent a year TRYING to get pregnant before succeeding, I can tell you for DARN sure the fertile window is BEFORE ovulation as I spent a great deal of time (and medical advice) contemplating this very issue.

              Plan B prevents ovulation, the same way birth control does. It *may* theoretically prevent implantation, but there’s no evidence of that.

              If you’re trying to have fertile sex AFTER ovulation, it’s going to be quite a while before you manage to get successfully pregnant, as your luck is far better in the five days before ovulation instead of the two days after. (Which is about your general fertile window.)

              • Rachacha says:

                @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): And with this timing, one can help to control the sex of the child. I read that the female sperm lives longer than the male sperm, so if you have intercourse a bit before the egg is released, and you ahve a couple of strong female swimmers you have a higher liklihood of having a girl (because all of the boy sperm have died). I forget where I read this and I may be off on the exact timing, and it may be complete bunk, but I do have a boy and a girl and we tried this technique, so I am sold!

            • Miguel Valdespino says:

              @Mike_Hawk: And of course some people are against this on moral grounds as they believe the fertilized egg is a human life. I won’t comment on that belief, but I will say that according to most research a large number of fertilized eggs do not implant without intervention.

          • hypochondriac says:

            @edwardso: I was under the impression Plan B prevent implantation of the fertilized egg

        • edwardso says:

          @taney71: also, I wouldn’t be so sure that everyone knows how to prevent pregnancy considering the woeful abstinence-only sex education kids have been getting. I’ve known plenty of people who consider withdrawl, douching after sex, having sex while on their period etc to be reliable birth control

          • taney71 says:

            @edwardso: Most likely not, but at 17/18 and up everyone should know that having sex can cause a pregnancy. Of course some will might not but that doesn’t absolve them from the consequences of such a decision.

            BTW I am not implying that they should not be able to abort.

        • Rachacha says:

          @taney71: Except adults in their mid 30s and 40s have “Accidental” babies. Perhaps the protection broke or was defective? Perhaps the couple fell into the 0.02% where condoms are not effective?

          My question is, why stop at 17? what about 16, or 15?

          • ZekeSulastin says:

            @Rachacha: … because you’re very quickly going to run into a very politically-displeasing slippery slope – not to mention the different statutory rape laws from state to state.

            • AdvocatesDevil says:

              Hey, am I the only one who is shocked by how level-headed and calm everyone was in this thread, even though some of them obviously disagree? Where is the Internet we know and love where people call each other names and compare each other’s views to the view of Hitler???? :)

            • Rachacha says:

              @ZekeSulastin: Agreed, and while I am not condoning teenage sex, the article says that political pressures helped to influence the current age, why arbitrarially stop at 17 if not for political pressures (well that and real science as @Eyebrows McGee indicated below…but to heck with REAL SCIENCE :-) )

          • Mike_Hawk says:


            @Ihaveasmartpuppy: To hell with that, lets put it in the water!

        • Anonymous says:

          @taney71: Condoms break. No contraceptive methods besides abstinence and exclusively gay sex are 100% effective with perfect (as opposed to average) use. And even if they did have unprotected sex, it’s still not a reason to deny them access to OTHER contraceptive methods such as Plan B.

        • Anonymous says:

          1. Correct, having a baby isn’t the same as a car crash. It has longer term ramifications for both the teenage mother AND the child.

          2. Accidents do happen, and young women in their teens are more fertile than they will be at any other time in their lives

          3. Plan B PREVENTS conception. It does NOT work if you are already pregnant. This is not about Roe v. Wade, and Plan B is not an abortion drug

        • ailema says:

          @taney71: Do you understand how plan B works? The ‘abortion pill’ RU486 works in a completely different manner. Do you also consider IUDs to be morally wrong? What about hormonal birth control?

          “Also, I am not sure Consumerist calling being pregnant having “accidental babies” is very accurate.”

          If you do not mean to get pregnant and you do, that baby is an accident.

          “I’ll probably hear that the protection broke. Ugh. That is a tired argument.”

          Seriously? It is a tired argument because it is a common occurrence. Condoms break. Teenagers are unlikely to understand how important lube is to keep condoms from breaking. The are unlikely to ask a shopkeeper for advice on purchasing condoms. If, when I was 17, I had felt comfortable walking on up to someone at at a pharmacy and saying “The condoms my boyfriend and I use keep breaking, what should we do?” Then maybe I wouldn’t have had to take plan B twice.

          I am very, very happy I was able to get plan B. I am even more happy that kids who have unprotected ‘in the moment’ will be able to purchase it.

          • Miguel Valdespino says:

            @ailema: I agree, and another issue with condoms is misuse. If you do not withdraw while still rigid and hold the condom, some sperm may leak out. For many guys, myself included, this takes some getting used to. While some leakage is not as bad as getting the full squirt, all it takes is one lucky sperm.

        • BytheSea says:

          @taney71: I think having a bady isn’t the same as a car crash.

          I think there are many similarities, especially when the parents are 17.

        • Cassius98 says:

          @taney71: Oh I see so punishing the baby born to a teenager who can not take care of it is the solution…? What world does this seem right? I am sure you will pull the adoption argument which is the true “tired” argument.
          Even if the worst case is true that the teenagers actually thought of the risk in the heat of the moment and decided to act in a risky way anyhow, IS IT FAIR TO ANYONE to withohold treatment that would prevent another teen pregnancy or worse a back alley abortion?

      • Alys Brangwin is a Tar Heel bred says:

        @theczardictates: The only who ones who get pregnant are dirty sluts. They should stay pregnant as punishment!

      • the_wiggle says:

        @theczardictates: along with penalizing the child should said teen age choose to keep it.

        family rule in our house – you may have the right to screw up your own life & but you sure don’t have the right to screw up someone else’s life.

        • theczardictates says:

          @the_wiggle: I can certainly respect that rule. It’s the one I followed when my half-brother made the step from doing drugs to selling drugs, and tried to persuade me to be one of his first customers…

    • Mr.DuckSauce says:

      @Gorphlog: 17 year old could buy alcohol, what kind of idiot state are you from where this information of your general understanding of this to be true, sex is a impulse not something with pure understanding of whats going to happen, and things does get blurred when hormones are in effect at a age where reason and thought are not always used.

    • RedSonSuperDave says:

      @Gorphlog: Well, you could stick your head in the sand as you apparently prefer to do, or you could deal with reality like an adult.

      Your solution is to say, “teenagers under 18 shouldn’t be having sex, so they shouldn’t get contraception either”.

      The rational adult solution is to say, “even though teenagers probably shouldn’t be having sex, we have to face the fact that they WILL, as they’ve been doing for as long as there’s been a human race. Therefore we make contraception available to them so that babies don’t end up being raised by parents mentally and/or financially incapable of taking care of them.”

    • Brontide says:

      @Gorphlog: [en.wikipedia.org]

      The most common ago of consent is 16 among all 50 states. It’s usually still legal to have sex with someone under the age of consent is you too are under a certain ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Gorphlog: actually, the age of consent is 16 in 31 states, and 17 in another 7 states. I’m pretty sure 12 states @ 18 isn’t ‘most.’ As far as the illegality of sex between those below the age of consent, it also varies. Read up on your statutes.

    • backbroken says:

      @Gorphlog: Wait…what?

      It’s illegal for kids under 18 to have sex?

      Boy if that’s true I think I see an area ripe for deregulation.

      • Miguel Valdespino says:

        @backbroken: Sadly, few politicians would back a lowering of the Age of Consent. Especially as the stories that get out are those of the older predator taking advantage of the younger girl.

    • Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

      @Gorphlog: I say lower it to 16, which is the average age of consent:

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @Ihaveasmartpuppy: “I say lower it to 16, which is the average age of consent:”

        For the *FDA* to do this, there will have to be medical studies showing it is adequately safe in women 16 and older to be sold OTC. The issue behind this case, which has been poorly reported, is that the studies showed it was safe for women 17 and older (a fairly random age, but the age in the study). The FDA is to decide about OTC availability based on medical evidence. If there is going to be an age limitation based on anything OTHER than medical evidence, that’s up to Congress or state legislatures to decide.

        For the FDA to say it ought to be available to 16-year-olds OTC, it needs studies on 16-year-olds that meet its criteria for safety for OTC sales. Those weren’t the studies in question here.

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      @Gorphlog: Wow. I think your post is a direct result of too much:

      Girls Gone Wild + Evangelical Programming = It’s illegal to touch girls and letting them do anything is as bad as the Holocaust!

      Why GGW? Because of the “I’m finally 18” garbage. That’s when MEDIA of them is no longer illegal. It’s not illegal for them to have SEX, just illegal to PHOTOGRAPH them while they are doing it.

      And I think the Evangelical programming needs no explanation.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @Gorphlog: So, is necking illegal too? Getting to second base? Because if so, I’ve got to rush to the local high school and inform the students there. Aw, heck, the middle school too.
      Because once I do, I’m sure that will put an end to such illegal nonsense!
      And broccoli too!

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @Gorphlog: What are these “most states,” kemosabe?


      “Most” states — more than half — set the age of consent at 16.

      @Rachacha: “My question is, why stop at 17? what about 16, or 15?”

      I had to read like half a dozen articles to figure this out (it’ll come up in class when I teach it later this spring, so I needed to know) but the initial study was about its safety on women age 17 and older.

      The complaint was that the drug was proven safe by the studies for women 17 and up, and the FDA for political reasons set the minimum age at 18 instead.

      Its safety for 16 and 15 year olds has been less well-established, that’s why not 16 or 15.

      Whether one thinks there ought to be a minimum statutory age for buying drugs OTC is a different question — and one for Congress, NOT for the FDA. The FDA makes decisions about availability based on the medical evidence. Decisions on laws and statutes come from legislatures.

      • Trai_Dep says:

        @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): I wonder if the safety stats are based on a relatively smaller sample size as the test subjects got younger, and not efficacy and safety in general. I’d think it’d be increasingly harder to get enough 17, 16… year-old subjects to participate (rather, them and their parents, and the constellation of finger-wagging moralist pols circling about excitably), which would increase the margin for error, leading to a “less safe” label.
        Not a doctor, but I’d think that a couple years after puberty, the risks would normalize: the whole womanhood thing would sync up pretty much as it will until menopause. And female puberty is around what these days, 12, 13 years old?
        Not that I’m saying it should be okay for 14-year-olds to have unrestricted access to, but just that perhaps the studies don’t reflect safety for the younger part of the range.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @Trai_Dep: Yes, I wondered about that too … I can’t imagine getting a good sample set of 15-year-olds. But the RANGE of puberty is still pretty wide — like anywhere 9 to 16 is well within the range of normal, and some women can go through puberty even older or younger. So I’m not sure at what point it’s “too chancy” that a random x-year-old won’t have gone through puberty and the hormones will act weirdly. Or even, not being a doctor, if they DO anything in women who aren’t yet menstruating.

          I also assume that in most states, Plan B availability will be determined by existing state laws about access to birth control and things like that. So even if the FDA ruled it was safe OTC for women as young as 14 (how many 14-year-olds have ID?), it might fall under State X’s pre-existing law (or rapidly-amended law) that women under 16 have to get parental permission for birth control, but over 16 can get it without.

          The FDA just makes the medical decision. The legislatures still get to make the practical (and moralistic) decisions.

    • Shalingh says:

      Great news!

      It’s been like this in Canada for a while, available from the pharmacist only without a prescription. The price will likely be enough to act as a deterrent.

      I’m really not sure about having it available with the other contraceptives, though. It does seem like the kind of thing that might lead the less informed to buy it in lieu of condoms and other such things. Here’s hoping that’s not the case.

    • Vanilla5 says:

      @Gorphlog: Uh…have you stepped into 2009 yet? We’re way past 17 year olds (and younger) simply having sex. They’re also making babies and considerably contributing to STD and HIV statistics.

      Welcome to the 21st Century.

    • ElleDriver says:

      @Gorphlog: your type of “asinine” logic is the same rule of thought that has US lawmakers trying to ban access to HPV vaccines for teenaged girls because it may “encourage them to have sex”, even though it’s been proven to potentially protect against cervical cancer. Thank god I live in Canada.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @Gorphlog: age of consent in florida is 16. but a pregnant female in florida can legally get married with a judge’s consent without her parents being involved as low as the age of 12…. but the lowest age a male in florida can get married is 16, regardless of the pregnancy.
      i still can’t figure out the precedent for that one and why a 16 yr old was with a 12 year old…
      but obviously, a 12 year old might be a plan B candidate someday, should clinical trials ever get that far.

      • Trai_Dep says:

        @catastrophegirl: Just so I have this straight: nodding approvingly as a 40-year-old marries a 12-year-old – and times being what they are, the relationship was probably already consummated before the vows were exchanged – is a cherished right in Florida.
        Umm. What exactly are the religious nutcases “protecting marriage” from?

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          @Trai_Dep: the 12 year old has to be pregnant for the judge to approve the marriage. so unless it’s a miracle or that kid is really good with a turkey baster – it’s likely that the groom is in jail for statutory rape anyway. the law, as far as i recall from my high school social studies paper, does not require that the groom be the father of the baby. but the groom must be at least 16 yrs old, with or without judicial or parental consent.

  4. Yossarian says:

    Yay for legislators in robes.

    • RedSonSuperDave says:

      @Yossarian: As compared to unelected bureaucrats at the FDA? Because I can’t tell if that’s supposed to be sarcastic or not.

      • Yossarian says:

        @RedSonSuperDave: As compared with those who have the legitimate authority to promulgate the rules.

        The FDA can be altered indirectly through elections. Federal judges are beyond reach.

      • Optimistic Prime says:

        @RedSonSuperDave: I can’t tell if there was sarcasm there or not, but it is the role of judges to provide checks and balances in the government. I’m guessing that this judge determined that the old FDA ruling did not jive with the peoples’ freedom to pursue happiness and generally be free…

    • Brontide says:

      @Yossarian: In this case the FDA decided that it was safe for 17 and up, but doe to political meddling they changed the labeling before it went to market.

      The ruling basically said that the FDA does not have the authority to change the label for political, rather than health and saftey, goals.

    • MrEvil says:

      @Yossarian: How is this legislating? The Judge is ordering the FDA to do its job, which is approve/disapprove medications on a SCIENTIFIC basis. Instead the FDA based its approval of Plan B on a political agenda.

      • Esquire99 says:

        It’s legislating because the Court didn’t just tell them to do their jobs, it told them to do their jobs and that anything but X result is unacceptable. So in essence, the Judge is saying “Go back and conclude that it’s OK to sell it to 17 year olds”. In my opinion it’s borderline legislating from the bench. GIven that there is evidence that the FDA already concluded that it was safe for 17 year olds, but changed their mind because of political pressure, one could argue that the Judge is just telling them to go back and adopt the initial decision, I do get a bad taste i my mouth when a Judge tells a quasi-legislative body what kind of ruling to actually make. I think it’s more appropriate to just say “This regulation doesn’t comport with Administrative procedure, try again” and give some non-binding guidance. Making an explicit ruling that only X result is acceptable crosses the line.

        • Trai_Dep says:

          @Esquire99: Except that the facts on the ground (studies found 17-and-up could safely use Plan B; hardcore Christian finger-waggers made FDA change recommendation to exclude 17-year-olds; judges said, “FDA, you can’t legislate since the Constitution hands that role exclusively to Congress”) are the opposite of what you’re claiming.
          The Executive Branch is not “a quasi-legislative body. By definition.
          Don’t you like the US Constitution?

          • Esquire99 says:

            The FDA is a quasi-legislative branch. They have been delegated the power to promulgate rules by Congress. They may be within the Executive branch, and you’re right about the executive branch it self not being quasi-legislative, but the FDA has the power to create rules based on the mandate given to them by Congress. I’m not sure how you view that as not being quasi-legislative.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @Esquire99: The FDA is bound to make medical rulings based on medical evidence. What state legislatures and Congress decide to actually LEGISLATE about those issues is a matter for those legislatures.

          The judges could say “you must rule X” because the evidence was quite clear. The FDA was actually legislating from the executive chair instead of following the rules the legislature created for it. The judges were simply requiring them to follow the rules duly created by the legislature.

          I think the confusion comes from the fact that this story has been very poorly reported in most media.

    • PunditGuy says:

      @Yossarian: @Yossarian: A bit OT, but needs to be said: “Activist Judges” made it so that I don’t have to drink from a separate drinking fountain. “Legislators in robes” ensured that I can marry who I want and have that marriage recognized in all 50 states. So I, for one, don’t have a problem with the checks and balances of our government system.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @Yossarian: Why is it when people nurture responsible, individual choice some call it judicial activism, yet when others restrict what other people (usually in the most hypocritical fashion possible) do, it’s “moral values”?
      If you don’t trust parents, young adults and doctors to make personalized, optimal decisions on an individual, rational, local basis, what makes you think that grumpy, old, Washington DC bureaucrats imposing their will from 4,000 miles away is better?

      • floraposte says:

        @Trai_Dep: And when judges overturn legislation in order to profit businesses, that doesn’t count as “judicial activism.” It doesn’t apparently matter how often a judge overrules legislation, it’s whether or not you agree with the legislation Antonin Scalia–excuse me, she or he–overrules.

        • Esquire99 says:

          Claiming that judges overturn legislation merely so that a business can profit is a bit too conspiracy-theorist for me. Further, simply striking down legislation is well within the power of the judiciary, and I have no problem with that. The ability to strike down unconstitutional legislation provides an important check against Congress. However, i don’t think they have/should have the power to rewrite legislation. They should essentially do nothing more than give it a thumbs up or thumbs down, with sufficient reasons for a thumbs down that Congress can figure out how to get a thumbs up next time. The people entrusted Congress with the power to write the substance of the laws, not the courts.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            @Esquire99: “However, i don’t think they have/should have the power to rewrite legislation.”

            What you’re actually arguing is that they shouldn’t have the power to ENFORCE clear legislation.

            • Esquire99 says:

              @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle):
              I know precisely what I’m arguing, thanks. My point is that the Judge shouldn’t explicitly tell the FDA exactly what words to put in the statute. I think this is a close case. Had he selected his language differently, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. I think it’s the judges job to simply give a thumbs up or thumbs down, with sufficient explanation. It’s not the judges job to say “You have to put X phrase in the rule”, unless the mandate from Congress to the FDA says “All rules must contain X language”. He could have just as easily said “you determined that it was OK to give these to 17 year olds, then decided, because of political influence, that you were going to make the rule 18. That was improper. Go back and try again”. Instead, he basically told them exactly what words to put in the statute. I think that comes very, very close to legislating form the bench.
              Don’t get me wrong, I don’t disagree with the decision. I simply believe that it’s imperative that judges very carefully select their words, because of the immense weight they carry. The judge could have easily avoided the appearance of legislating from the bench, and accomplished the exact same purpose, by simply telling them to go back and try again, using the data they had compiled.

              • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

                @Esquire99: “”you determined that it was OK to give these to 17 year olds, then decided, because of political influence, that you were going to make the rule 18. That was improper. Go back and try again””

                First, the FDA doesn’t write statutes.

                Second, the part where the judge says “You determined that it was OK to give these to 17 year olds” MEANS the FDA is REQUIRED BY LAW to rule that it is okay to give it to 17-year-olds. There is no “go back and try again.” There is “follow the law you’re chartered under.”

                If the FDA had not come to a conclusion yet, “go back and try again” would have been appropriate. But since the FDA had a conclusion (safe for 17-year-olds) and is bound by law to follow those conclusions, I don’t see how you feel this is “legislating from the bench.”

                • Esquire99 says:

                  @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle):
                  I never said that the FDA writes statutes, they write rules, under a delegation from Congress.

                  Second, I said I feel like this is a close call as to whether it’s legislating from the bench. You seem to think that I’m convinced that it is, while I’ve said more than once that it’s a close call. I also think that we’re basically on the same page, as my only complaint is with the particular language the judge used, not the result. When it comes down to it, I think that this probably falls on the side of not legislating from the bench, but it’s no slam dunk for me. I have no problem with doing things that push the limits of ones authority, so long as it doesn’t cross the line. However, when something gets close, it generally provides opportunity for debate.

                  In the opinion, the judge leaves open the option for the FDA to come up with a better justification for the 18 year old limitation. He simply says that their justification for making it 18 and up, that enforcement would be difficult, lacks credibility. If the FDA really wants to keep it at 18, they seem free to come up with a better justification that is credible.

                  Finally, my wording was poor when I said “You determined that it was OK to give these to 17 year olds”. What I should have said was “your staff determined that it was OK to give to 17 year olds”. The FDA hasn’t concluded anything until the Commissioner signs off on it. What the court is saying is that the Commissioner’s decision was unsupported, as it isn’t in concert with the staff recommendation and the justification given is not credible.

                  • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

                    @Esquire99: “I never said that the FDA writes statutes, they write rules, under a delegation from Congress.”

                    You said: @Esquire99: “My point is that the Judge shouldn’t explicitly tell the FDA exactly what words to put in the statute. … Instead, he basically told them exactly what words to put in the statute.”

                    That’s where I pulled that from.

                    • Esquire99 says:

                      @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle):
                      Touche. My quick writing caused me to use the word Statute when I meant to use the word Rule, given their legally different meanings.

                      Semantics aside, the FDA has been delegated the legal ability to promulgate RULES pursuant to a STATUTE passed by Congress. The judge shouldn’t tell them explicitly what words should be in the RULE.

                    • SteelersAreGo says:

                      @Esquire99: @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): I’ll start off by saying I completely agree with the decision.

                      Let’s not kid around, federal agencies definitely consist of powers from all three branches. Some say that makes them too powerful (and I’d agree with that). But they are technically members of the Executive branch, and they’re certainly bound to the “purpose” aspect of whatever Act created the FDA. As Ms. McGee stated (congrats on the pregnancy!) their direction in this case seems pretty clear. And the judge was clear that they had failed their role by making decisions not based on their guiding principles. So while a judge shouldn’t tell them what should be in their rules, I’ve got no problem with a judge saying what -should not.- Semantics again, but it is law and government we’re talking about.

      • Yossarian says:

        @Optimistic Prime: There’s very little checks and balances when courts are involved, particularly if the court claims to base the decision on the Constitution. When a federal judge decides to run a state prison system, or run a school district, or any number of other decisions, the legislative and executive get to stand by and watch.

        @snowmoon: On what statute or Constitutional language does the judge base his ruling that his view of an acceptable decision-making process should prevail over the FDA’s? If Congress thought the FDA was going astray here, it could act.

        Is it OK to, say, pass a confiscatory 90% tax rate aimed at certain people because of a political agenda? How many decisions of any kind are made in DC by anything other than a political agenda?

        @PunditGuy: No, people who understand what the word equal did that. There is plain text in the Constitution to support Brown, for example. Where the activism comes in is, for example, mandating busing in areas which were never de jure segregated.

        @Trai_Dep: Your questions have nothing to do with my position. In this context, I don’t especially care what the outcome is so much as the process. It isn’t a judge’s responsibility to nuture responsible, individual choice, it is to apply the law. If that leads to a poor result, that is for the legislature to fix (or their authorized agents), not the judge.

        It’s entirely possible that parents, young adults, and doctors can make optimal choices, particularly as against DC bureaucrats, but that’s now how the system is structured. Hell, if the mom or dad thought this drug was the optimal choice, they could go buy it, couldn’t they?

        • Trai_Dep says:

          @Yossarian: Your understanding of Checks & Balances is sloppy.
          Of COURSE there aren’t many checks and balances once the courts are involved, since their role is to review. They’re the last branch to weigh in and once they do, they arbitrate. Which, when you think about it, HAS to come last.
          That’d be like blaming the Executive because “all they do” is to execute, or for being in the middle of the process.
          You might want to read up on it on Wiki: it’s a fascinating concept and something that the US introduced to the world.

          To your reaction to my point: you guys always cry “judicial activism” under circumstances I described, but not to the others I described. Why the inconsistency?

  5. eabu says:

    great, now we’re going to see under age kids having a bunch of deformed babies because they are going to try to get rid of a 2 month old pregnancy. some kids under 18 are incapable of responsible thought, will not follow the instructions on the box, will be in denial and will try anything to get rid of a pregnancy.

    pharmacies withhold drugs, that’s what they do, eg, cold medications, prescription drugs, narcotics, etc. this is done to protect the public. how did pharmacies all of a sudden become a political issue?

    voting rights at the age of 18, legal drinking and gambling at 21 in the US were created certainly not because of politics.

    • Catsmack says:

      @eabu: Actually there’s no evidence to show that oral contraceptives pose any risk to the fetus.

      how did pharmacies all of a sudden become a political issue?

      Erm, when they started selling drugs?

  6. Anonymous says:

    actually depending on where you believe conception begins determines if you view the plan b as a possible abortion pill. plan b delivers a massive dose of hormones which is all well and good but it does not prevent an egg from being fertilized. it will prevent the egg from attaching itself to the uterine wall. so if you don’t consider it life from conception it is a fabulous birth control product. i personally would never take it but that’s just me

    • specialista says:

      @SalmaPegasus: you are incorrect. it is not known – by anyone – exactly how it works each time: “Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs)-sometimes simply referred to as emergency contraceptives (ECs) or the “morning-after pill”-are drugs that act both to prevent ovulation or fertilization and possibly post-fertilization implantation of a blastocyst (embryo).”

  7. rpm773 says:

    Yay for “scientific integrity”, whatever that means!

  8. pollyannacowgirl says:


    A step in the right direction.

  9. Mike_Hawk says:

    @undefined: @taney71:

    Is it a tired argument? I’m sorry do you have a pregnant daughter? Did you face a pregnancy when you were 16? Then I guess you don’t know anything about this do you. My guess is that you have done plenty of things in your life that were stupid and ill-advised, and i am sure that on more than one of those occasions, somebody cut you some slack. Maybe they helped you with the rent, maybe they took your car keys from you that night in the bar you were drunk and hitting on that drag queen. The point is sir, none of us are perfect, least of all you.

    I have a daughter, and while I would like to think that she is smart enough to not do something stupid, stupid is a part of the human condition. I assure you if she came to me and told me she might be pregnant, I am going to care more about her future than some high moral ideal that I didn’t adhere to growing up (and neither did you) and not let her get the pill. The welfare of live people trumps potential people.

    • taney71 says:

      @Mike_Hawk: There are always exceptions to the rule. Yes, protection sometimes doesn’t work but 99% of the time they do.

      As I said before my point was that having sex isn’t an accident, its about making a choice. Maybe a smart one for some and a stupid one for others. Either way the choice isn’t an accident.

      • Friday says:

        @taney71: Correction: various forms of contraception have rates of effectiveness up to 99% (I believe the pill is 99% and condoms are something like 97%) when USED CORRECTLY. Real rates of efficacy are lower because many people do not use these methods correctly, i.e. taking their pills at the same time each day or putting a condom on properly before any and all sexual activity. And sometimes the methods can be used properly and still not work. Teenagers, adults, and yes, even YOU can have sex with protection and still get pregnant.

        In short, sex is not an accident, but sometimes pregnancy is accidental.

        • Friday says:

          @Friday: I forgot to add something! The only form of contraception that is 100% effective is total abstinence, which many adults have trouble adhering to.

          • crashfrog says:

            @Friday: Abstinence is only 99% effective (when used correctly) because it’s possible to be raped. Real rate of efficacy is about 35% for abstinence (because people don’t “abstain” correctly.)

            Look, apples and apples, you know?

          • oneandone says:

            @Friday: Total abstinence from penis + vagina sex. There are lots of other types of sex you can have that will not result in pregnancy – though as crashfrog said, there’s still some risk. And they can spread diseases.

            • crashfrog says:

              @oneandone: People who are abstaining from penis/vagina sex are still having penis/vagina sex, in the same sense that people who “use condoms” don’t always use condoms. Worse, people who are abstaining usually aren’t using any “backup” method of BC/protection, so they’re even more at risk than, say, people who use condoms+spermicide or pill+diaphragm or what=have-you.

              It’s called “rate of effectiveness” because it includes real rates of ineffective use.

  10. sponica says:

    Plan B for everyone! Yet you need to be sign your life away to buy Sudafed…and cough syrup that kids use to get high.

    Well maybe if we stop people from having babies, we can get our sudafed back and buy cough syrup….

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      @sponica: … you think buying Sudafed is more difficult than getting Plan B? REALLY?. Do you need a prescription for Sudafed? Do pharmacists deny to sell you Sudafed because it’s against their religion?

      • VitaminH says:


        Actually… it should be more difficult to obtain Sudafed than Plan B. Legally, for Plan B, you show me your ID proving that you are >18 (up and to this point at least), and I hand you the box, take payment and send you on your way if you have no questions/concerns. For pseudoephedrine purchases, I need your full name, address, phone #, DOB and drivers license # all of which must either be documented on paper or in the computer and signed off by a pharmacist before you can have it.

        It is also a very small minority of pharmacists who refuse to dispense it on “moral reasons”. They are generally despised by the rest of us, as they as practitioners should know how the damn thing works (see edwardso’s posts above) and that it’s no different than the standard daily BC pill.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          @VitaminH: sadly, some pharmacists also refuse to sell regular daily birth control pills on ‘moral grounds’

      • TWinter says:

        @The_IT_Crone: I had a pharmacist scowl and act all weird once when I bought Sudafed. It was very strange. I certainly don’t look like a meth addict.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @TWinter: I expect it’s as big a hassle for them as it is for us buying it. Pharmacies around here tend to be understaffed and I would get annoyed if I had to keep taking 3-5 minutes out of my day to sell Sudafed when I could be, like, dispensing drugs and stuff. They know as well as I know that the Sudafed laws have had no impact on meth production in our state.

          • Phexerian says:

            @VitaminH: It is just as difficult to get Sudafed from a pharmacy as Plan B depending on the pharmacy you visit. If you walk into the pharmacy and look a little rough, tired, hung over, etc.. The pharmacist may tell you that they are out of sudafed when they are not. Generally sudafed is not refused on religious reasons but certainly is on moral reasons which is to stop the production of meth. At my pharmacy, we refuse many people of sudafed, but have never refused anyone Plan B. Like I said, it depends on the pharmacy. I’ve worked at other pharmacies that don’t care who they sell sudafed to but the pharmacist will refuse Plan B.

            -3rd Year PharmD/MBA Candidate

            • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

              @Phexerian: glad my pharmacy has the sudafed clearly visible behind the counter so i know when they really are out of it. because when my allergies or sinuses are acting up, i’m usually looking a little rough around the edges and exhausted. and that’s why i need the sudafed- so i can breathe and then feel better.

              • Phexerian says:

                @catastrophegirl: I’m glad you don’t have problems getting sudafed. Fortunatly, we only refuse a small handful of people. Generally we can pick out the meth users from the average sick person. Especially if they are sniffling at the counter…

                Pharmacists in general have very good bullshit detectors and see a lot of people try to lie and cheat them on a daily basis. We get quite good at figuring out who is on meth and who isn’t. However, my area that I work in is a known meth production area. Many other pharmacies are way out of that area and probably don’t see it much.

                • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

                  @Phexerian: i know for a fact [i know a couple of local cops personally] that the mobile home park about a mile from my house is a regular on the meth lab bust list. and the 24 hour cvs where i get my sudafed is the closest pharmacy. those pharmacists probably see the same folks all the time and have incredibly good bullshit detectors.

    • ailema says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): “A raped 13-year-old IS going to have access to Plan B … through emergency medical services and/or her doctor.”

      If she tells an adult that she was raped. Out of all the girls I know who were assaulted in junior high only one of them told a parent. The rest freaked out to their friends about the possibility of pregnancy, begging someone to find an older sister who could tell them what to do. Most rape victims will purchase Plan B OTC because most of them will not seek medical help.

      In theory we should get all these girls to visit a doctor, tell a parent, take legal action, but that is years and years away from happening.`

      • Trai_Dep says:

        @ailema: Wow, that just plain sucks.
        And, for the girls that are date-raped, know the attackers, or think it’s partially their fault*, I could imagine would make it even harder for her to report it to authorities.

        * wrongly, of course

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          @Trai_Dep: yeah, i was date raped when i was 17. fortunately i was on the pill but i sure didn’t tell my parents because i had snuck out of the house to meet the guy anyway. that was 6 months of sneaking around to get a couple of HIV tests at the local health department.
          sadly, date rape is one of the hardest crimes to prove.

  11. Trai_Dep says:

    Oh no! Now what will the shrill moralists rail on about?

  12. Peter Nincompoop says:


    Most people are ignorant and can be slapped in the face with fact and information numerous times and still not have a clue. Teens are going to have sex no matter what form of sex education they’re taught. Abstinence and the empty threats of eternal damnation are hardly adequate when dealing with raging hormones. That’s why teens should know that IF you have sex, you use a condom. If by some ‘remote’ chance the condom breaks or comes off, you go to the Rx and get the Plan B pill. Simple information. A $40 insurance policy against the unimaginable monetary toll having a baby takes on you and the fact that one less child will be raising a child of their own.

    When something goes wrong with my car I take it to a locksmith. When I’m sick I go to the post office and ask for advice. When I need someone to fix the pipes under my sink I call an ambulance. When I want to get new glasses I go to the butcher. And when I want advice on whether or not condoms decrease the spread of HIV and should be used as a contraceptive, I turn to an old man in a funny hat that’s never had sex in his life – the pope.

  13. Adah says:

    I’m confused as to why the judge thinks it’s okay to give Plan B to 17 year old girls without a prescription, but it’s not okay to give women over 18 regular birth control pills without a prescription. It’s the same hormone.

    I used Plan B once, a couple of years ago in Illinois. I went through a website that gave me a prescription, no doctor’s visit was required. I was over 18, I went to my local pharmacy which had been faxed the prescription, and I picked up my pill. It wasn’t a huge hardship. However, the website warned strongly against using Plan B again in the next couple of months due to possible side effects. It basically induced menstruation, and the website warned that future complications from repeated use were possible, but required more study.

    I’m not against issuing Plan B without a prescription, but having it next to the condoms in the drugstore, available to every 17 year-old kid seems like a bad idea. At least put it behind the pharmacy counter (where they keep those other birth control pills with the same exact hormones), and issue a pamphlet that informs the user about the possible side effects when you distribute it.

    I admire some of the goals of the far left, who push for enhanced reproductive rights, but I fear sometimes in their eagerness to promote greater reproductive freedom, they ignore the possible negative things that come with it.

    • edwardso says:

      @Adah: what about when the pharmacist has gone home? Also, some people get embarassed when buying contraceptives so having to ask makes is less likely they will be used. The idea is to not restrict access.

      Also, taking the pill regularly can have side effects ranging from minor (breast pain) to deadly (blood clots) Even though it is one of the safest perscriptions available people should discuss it with a medical professional before beginning, especially since taking the pill properly is so vital to having it work correctly

      • Adah says:

        @edwardso: Taking Plan B properly is also vital to its success. Using Plan B more than once every couple of months can lead to those same side effects, by my understanding. And even if the person can pick up the pill from the aisle along with the condoms, they will still have to present it to the cashier in order to purchase it. Is the embarassment really going to be so much different?

        As for the pharmacist having left work already, most pharmacies have extended hours now, and are open for most of the time the store they are located in is open, if not 24 hour service. I don’t think that’s a hardship that justifies taking the potential risks of having this medication out on the shelf.

        • edwardso says:

          @Adah: It’s one less person you have to face who. I think it’s important to remember that not everyone lives in a big city where there are multiple pharmacies and extended phamacies. The idea is that plan B is an occasional thing and of course there will be abusers, as there is with almost anything.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            @edwardso: I don’t exactly disagree with you, but I’m always a little troubled by this rationale — “a certain percentage of people live in very small towns where everything is everyone’s business or are served by pharmacists who are buttheads. Therefore, for that small percentage, we should make it available on a rack.”

            While I recognize that some people are simply too shy to handle buying contraceptives (I was probably 17 before I could manage to buy feminine products without wanting to DIE on the spot), I really wonder if we should err on the side of possibly compromising safety when someone who’s perfectly capable of having sex ISN’T capable of buying a drug from a (hopefully) disinterested professional. Or having it overnighted via the internets. There’s a part of me that’s really bothered by this. I don’t know if this is a good part or a bad part to listen to. :)

            (And I do know all about small-town drugstore gossip — the teenaged checkout girl was so impressed when my husband picked up some tampons for me that she told the ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD about it, and people kept coming up to me and starting conversations with, “Oh, that’s so sweet that your husband will buy your tampons! I’ve been trying to get Gary to do that for years!” I’m like, “Um … thanks?” while wanting to fall through the floor. I will admit I bought my pregnancy tests at the pharmacy counter when we started trying, because the pharmacy’s a little more discreet than the regular checkout.)

            • edwardso says:

              @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): I don’t necessarily think that they should be on the shelf next to condoms, but I think a better solution would be to put it behind the checkout counter (like cigarettes), as those are always staffed during business hours

              • padams89 says:

                @edwardso: I have to disagree on placing a very potent and potentially dangerous drug behind a checkout counter next to the cigarettes. It is VITAL that patients who purchase Plan B purchase it from a pharmacy counter because they will more inclined to get their questions answered when a knowledgeable person (who should be more than willing to dispense the drug and answer questions) is the one dispensing the drug rather than some teenager trying to make some extra money checking people out on the weekends.

                Quite a few common drugs are potentially dangerous. Take Tylenol for example. The normal dose of Tylenol is 1g every 4-6 hours not to exceed 4g/24hr period. Tylenol is extremely toxic to the liver and the toxicity becomes severely damaging at 5g-6g (varies depending on individual body weight and chemistry). Just because something is OTC does not mean it is not potentially dangerous (and fatal).

                I am sure I will get flak for calling Plan B what it truly is: potent and potentially dangerous. Just because a drug is widely prescribed or used does not mean it doesn’t warrant cautious use. Plan B and other forms of oral contraceptive contain hormones. Hormones are strong chemicals that cause significant changes to the body both chemically and physiologically. Take epinephrine: Most commonly seen in an Epi-Pen, epinephrine is a hormone that cause near instant changes to the body. All it takes to halt a fatal anaphylactic allergic reaction is 0.3mg of Epi. While the effects of the hormones found in birth control and Plan B (which are synthetic forms of natural hormones) do not have effects that are seem so systemically, they still cause significant changes to the body chemistry. These hormones affect prothrombin time (clotting time), blood flow to various areas of the body, body temperature, and cell division among other things. Each effect of a hormone binding to a receptor within the body caused a cascade of metabolic changes both within local tissue and systemically. While the body can tolerate the “shock” of these changes (from the higher doses found in Plan B) on a infrequent periodic basis, it is very unwise for Plan B to be used as a regular form of contraception (and it doesn’t seem that anyone is suggesting that). The nature of teenagers to think after acting puts me at unease with having such a potent pharmaceutical “next to the cigarettes” or even right next to condoms. It is vital that it be behind the counter and that a pharmacist or pharm tech be required to ask, as they are with any Rx drugs, if the patient has any questions about the drug before dispensing it.

                • edwardso says:

                  @padams89: Well that partially defeats making it over the counter. People are free to ask pharmacists questions about any medication, at least in my experience. My comment about putting it “next to the cigarettes” was addressing the problem of when the pharmacist is already home/refuses to dispense. But it would also keep people who object to it from stealing it, like what occasionally happens in libraries with books about sex education

                • Trai_Dep says:

                  @padams89: I’m profoundly amused that you’re alarmed that “very potent and potentially dangerous” Plan B not be placed next to the potent and proven to be dangerous and addictive cigarettes.

                  I’d think Plan B would be much more effective if placed next to the 300-packs of disposable diapers, baby ear-ache medicine and those toddler-leashes. Perhaps have someone whip up an 8′ poster-sized copy a child support court order, just to rub the point in. :D

                  Since aspirin and Tylenol are potentially toxic, should they be OTC as well? Vitamin E? Zinc?

                  • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

                    @Trai_Dep: “I’d think Plan B would be much more effective if placed next to the 300-packs of disposable diapers, baby ear-ache medicine and those toddler-leashes.”

                    I keep telling my friends who are teachers they should send me around as a sex-ed program. 7 1/2 months and STILL barfing daily. I make pregnancy as unattractive as it can possibly be!

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @Adah: “I’m confused as to why the judge thinks it’s okay to give Plan B to 17 year old girls without a prescription, but it’s not okay to give women over 18 regular birth control pills without a prescription.”

      You’re somewhat confused on the issue the court ruled on, I think. The court ruled that the FDA has to make a ruling on OTC availability based on the medical evidence of various studies. The studies in question here were about Plan B in women 17 and up — not about birth control, not about women 18 and up, not about 15-year-olds — about Plan B use in women 17 and up. The medical evidence showed it safe for OTC use in women 17 and up. The FDA ruled 18 and up, due to political pressure. The FDA can’t do that.

      Now, Congress — or state legislatures — can still make drugs LESS available than the FDA’s ruling on OTC safety (like putting Sudafed behind the counter in many states is a great example).

      “At least put it behind the pharmacy counter (where they keep those other birth control pills with the same exact hormones), and issue a pamphlet that informs the user about the possible side effects when you distribute it.”

      That’s almost certainly what will happen. “Over the counter” doesn’t have to mean “on the rack,” just “available w/o prescription.” “Behind the counter” is still “over the counter.”

      • Vanilla5 says:

        @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): This. Very well said.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): most of my local pharmacies, by choice, not legislation, keep even the condoms, pregnancy tests and lube in locked glass cases where you have to go find the person with the key.

        for some reason every time i go to CVS and ask to get something out of the case, the guy automatically starts to open the pregnancy test side. and i have to say ‘no, i’m trying to avoid needing those, i need condoms please’

        as far as i have been told, it’s an antitheft measure, so i am betting that most places will be putting a $40 and up medication in a place where it has to be unlocked, gotten down, handed over, etc. just to keep desparate or embarassed folks from shoplifting it. whether it’s someone trying to save money or to save face, it seems a high theft risk item

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          @catastrophegirl: oh, the same stores also keep all my expensive diabetes supplies in the next glass case over, so the anti theft rationale seems likely

          • oneandone says:

            @catastrophegirl: My local CVS locks up the deodorant and body lotion also (as well as condoms, pregnancy tests, and diabetes supplies). Either they have a strange type of morality, or there is something that makes people shoplift body lotion. And not even the expensive stuff.

            Locking up diabete supplies might also have to do with the potential hazard of finger-prick needles? I’m not too familiar with the equipment, but it seems like something a teenager might steal to use for non-diabetic purposes.

            • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

              @oneandone: actually the lancets are locked up in the case in front of the counter, regular syringe/needles are OTC [up to 10 in NC without a prescription] but you have to ask the pharmacist and pay at the pharmacy, like sudafed.

              and the blood glucose meters, test strips and ketone test strips are locked up, presumably because they are very expensive.

              but they also lock up the glucose tablets, glucose gel, and $1.99 *sharps* containers. target, walmart, walgreens, rite aid and sams club around here have all of those things on end caps facing the pharmacy or regular shelving.

    • mythago says:

      @Adah: Then why don’t you read the judge’s opinion? That should clear up your confusion.

  14. razremytuxbuddy says:

    This is good news. I just hope teenagers will use the product when they need to. For one thing, it will cost money, which not all teenagers have the next morning after a night of fun. Second, as a Big in the BB/BS program, I see way too many teenage girls like my 15yo Little Sis, who WANT a baby because their friend has one.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @razremytuxbuddy: So, maybe she should demand the overheated boy pony up the Plan B cost before necking commences? Nonrefundable, ‘natch.
      (ducking for cover)

      • razremytuxbuddy says:

        @Trai_Dep: Oooh yes. Excellent idea (from the girl’s point of view). I hadn’t thought of that. I assume he’d be more than willing to foot the bill at that particular moment. Assuming he gets everything he was after, it would then be in his interest to stick around to make sure she actually buys and consumes the pill.

        • the_wiggle says:

          @razremytuxbuddy: given that sorry attitude + 18-24 yrs of financial responsibility w/o any meaningful access to the result, i would like to hope teen males would have brains enough to make sure they condom up each & every time.

          but i’m on the pill is as often a flat out lie as but i’ll pull out is.

  15. Amanda Boles says:

    you are woefully ignorant. Plan B is not an abortion. It just prevents ovulation, just like oral contraceptives. Are you against those too? And having condoms break does happen. I am a grown, married woman and have had this happen, and was glad that Plan B was available. Now I am sterilized, so no worries anymore. Not everyone wants children in their life, and it doesn’t mean they are horrible, irresponsible people.

    • ARP says:

      @Amanda Boles: Careful on the insults, this isn’t Facebook. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think it prevent ovulation. It basically induces a period so that everything gets flushed out before contraception can even happen. Or, if it has, it prevents implantation.

      • edwardso says:

        @ARP: no, it prevents ovulation and can thicken cervical mucus. There has been no proof that it prevents implantation. Some women do experience bleeding after taking plan b from the extra hormones though

      • johnva says:

        @ARP: You’re wrong. It does prevent ovulation.

    • Phexerian says:

      @Amanda Boles: There are two theories towards PlanB. First is that it inhibits ovulation and the other that it inhibits implantation. Most of the studies done on these two theories show that Plan B inhibits ovulation and not implantation though there was 1-2 studies that showed some implantation inhibition along with ovulation inhibition.

      The generally accepted theory now is that Plan B inhibits ovulation.

      -3rd Year PharmD/MBA Candidate

    • padams89 says:

      @Amanda Boles: Plan B functions in multiple ways. If ovulation has not yet occurred, it halts the process from occurring by affecting the level of FSH. It also thickens the cervical mucous, which significantly limits, but does not eliminate, the ability of sperm to enter the uterus. In many cases and largely depending on where in the menstrual cycle a woman is, Plan B MAY cause the endometrium of the uterus to slough off which prevents implantation (this is not the primary function of Plan B). If this does not occur, it is largely because a woman was not at the point in her menstrual cycle where ovulation was about to or had just occurred and therefore there is no developed endometrial tissue to slough off.

    • rrapynot says:

      @Amanda Boles:

      WRONG. Plan B prevent implantaion of a fertilized egg.

      • johnva says:

        @rrapynot: Even if it does do that (and it’s not clear that it actually does), that’s not the same as an abortion unless you believe that “life begins at conception” (which many/most people do not). A woman is not pregnant until after implantation occurs. Also, regular birth control pills do the same thing. And finally, by that definition, God is the biggest abortionist out there since most fertilized eggs fail to implant naturally.

  16. MadelineB says:

    Er … yay? I guess this is good news, but some REAL good news would be that Plan B was available to anyone capable of becoming pregnant. What about a 15-year-old who has unprotected sex and realizes she’s at risk for getting pregnant? Is she any less entitled to take Plan B than a 17-year-old? What about rape victims under the age of 17?

    As soon as girls are old enough to become pregnant, they should have access to the resources that will help them stay not-pregnant. Otherwise, there’s a huge gap in years during which teenage girls are unprotected. Many of them are having sex, but they don’t have the same right to protect themselves that older girls and women do. How is this right?

    • Esquire99 says:

      While I agree with you, I’m hesitant to say that anyone of any age should have access to Plan B. I say this solely because I’m not a Doctor, and I don’t know how such a high dose of hormones might affect a younger person. This is what we should expect the FDA to decide, based on medical information. It shouldn’t consider moral or political views when doing so, simply whether or not it is medically safe for a person of X age to take this drug. Unfortunately in this case that was affected by the White House. The Judge was right to tell them to go back and try again, based solely on medical information.

    • johnva says:

      @MadelineB: It’s not right. And on top of that, I’ll add that they should have access to abortion services, discretely and for free (government subsidized if necessary). Teenage girls need access to abortion MORE than other women do, so it makes no sense to restrict it to adult women.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @johnva: But given that women can get pregnant as soon as they start ovulating, and the age of 9 is well within the realm of possibility (7 isn’t unheard of), at what age do we say “you’re old enough to make reproductive decisions and have these options available” and at what age do we say, “holy shit, put social services on speed dial”?

        These would be easy rules to make if all women reached menarche at the same age, but they don’t, and I think there’s a CLEAR difference between a 9-year-old and a 15-year-old having sex.

        I think we need to probably split out a few ideas here — at what age do we want women to have access to reproductive services without parental involvement? At what age should they have access to OTC reproductive services without doctor involvement? They’re not the same question, and the younger the teen (or child) we’re talking about, the more likely there’s abuse going on. And at a certain point, statutory rape is going on no matter what.

        A raped 13-year-old IS going to have access to Plan B … through emergency medical services and/or her doctor. But not OTC. SHOULD a 13-year-old be able to buy Plan B OTC? Or should any 13-year-old buying Plan B set off alarm bells and an investigation?

        • Esquire99 says:

          @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle):
          While I’m definitely pro-contraception, abortion, etc., I do feel like you’ve got a point that there needs to be a line at some point. However, how do we draw that line? There’s no easy way, and wherever it’s draw, 14, 15, 16, 18, it’s going to be essentially arbitrary. There are huge differences in maturity and intelligence between the various ages, which makes it hard to set a fair, bright-line rule.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            @Esquire99: Totally agree, and I don’t have even the BEGINNINGS of a good answer. And some of those issues are things it’s hard to attack through law, more matters of culture, you know?

            • Esquire99 says:

              @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle):
              I think that at some point, the states just have to draw a line, proffer a legitimate justification for where they drew it, and hope the Courts will uphold it. However, I suspect it would be tough to pass without some reference to morals, religion, family values being the central focus, rather than the real ability of the child to make a conscious, informed decision. As soon as you get a legislative history full of religion and values, it becomes more difficult to get the courts to uphold it.

              • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

                @Esquire99: I’m honestly not sure, since morality, religion, and family values (however you opt to define those) are all integral parts of humanity that have been around SINCE humanity, it’s even possible to pass such a law without awareness and influence from those issues. And I’m not sure a child’s ability to make a conscious, informed decision is independent of those cultural forces — morality, religion, family values, etc. One imagines a child of parents who are pretty open about sex and educate their child fully is ready to make those decisions earlier than an otherwise-equally-mature child from a family where sex is taboo and junior has no information available.

                But I suppose these messy issues are what make law and ethics interesting and complicated. :)

        • johnva says:

          @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle):

          Yes, I do think that a 13-year-old should be able to buy Plan B OTC in some cases. It should probably be behind the pharmacy counter though so they can receive counseling along with it.

          It’s completely impossible to make a blanket age rule that makes sense and accounts for all situations, so we shouldn’t even try. It’s an inappropriate matter for the law to address.

          And while obviously things like rape and abuse are problematic, that cuts both ways. Some girls would suffer abuse if they had to involve their parents even in those cases (for example, in some fundamentalist households). We should just make it available, with counseling accompanying it, and let culture sort it out from there.

          • the_wiggle says:

            @johnva: doesn’t even have to be a fundamentalist household. i went to high school with one girl & worked with another who’s households appeared perfectly ordinary, functional & loving than others throw their under 18 daughters OUT – as in there’s the door & don’t let it hit you in your whoring ass on the way out – when they got pregnant.

            didn’t matter either that one wanted to keep it & the other wanted to give it away. just get out.

            and those don’t even count the others i knew who were ordered to abort or get out.

            family ~ the original curse word.

        • MadelineB says:

          @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): I’ve thought about what you’ve said, and here’s how I would write the law, if I was in charge …

          Anyone should have access to Plan B, regardless of age. Women and girls who are over the age of 15 can get Plan B over the counter without seeing a doctor. Girls who are under 15 must be prescribed Plan B by a doctor. This allows the physician in question to make a judgment regarding the safety of the girl who is requesting Plan B. He or she still has to prescribe the drug if it is warranted and safe, but can take the appropriate steps if he or she believes that the girl is the victim of sexual abuse or is taking part in risky behavior that the parents should know about.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          @Eyebrows McGee (on Twitter: LPetelle): sadly this only applies to an ‘ideal world’ as i am sure you well know.
          one of my friends from high school had an issue in that her little brother was actually her half brother – and also her son. she had him when she was 11, her stepmother was aware and was complicit in the deception of authorities and her father still had primary custody of her due to her mother’s alcoholism.
          her father was DELIGHTED when she got pregnant and would have in no way condoned going to get her plan B. and what does a 10 yr old know about contraception? [although plan B wasn’t even an option at the time]
          sadly, even making plan B available isn’t going to help someone that young and naive in that situation. but it might help a 17 yr old in that situation

  17. ash says:

    Some posters have wondered why Plan B is over the counter and birth control pills are not.

    Hormonal birth control is associated with the possible side effects of elevated blood pressure and/or blood clots among other things. That’s why women need to get a prescription because these side effects are sufficiently dangerous that a doctor’s care is needed.

    Although Plan B has similar hormones to BCP, it does not have these side effects since it is only taken on an occasional basis. Plan B’s most serious side effects are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, irregular periods etc. Which is why the FDA has approved it for over the counter.

    Hope this helps.

  18. esd2020 says:

    @Rachacha: They’re working on it; the court also required the FDA to re-examine why it can’t be offered to everyone

  19. bohemian says:

    This is a step in the right direction. The FDA should be focused on age in relation to the medical factors of the drug, not age in relation to what the religious reich wants.

    It should be completely over the counter (out on the store shelf. Not behind the counter where activist pharmacists can harass and deny people. I don’t know if I would even put an age limit on it.

    • padams89 says:

      @bohemian: While I agree wholeheartedly that the FDA’s decisions should be based solely on science and proven effects of a drug on people based upon age, etc., I staunchly disagree about having Plan B on the shelf next to condoms let alone not having an age limit on it.

      I will be the first to admit that there are pharmacists out there (though are distinctly in the minority) that will break from behind the counter and refuse to dispense Plan B. That does not mean that we should account for the minority and put such a potent and potentially dangerous drug on the shelf for anyone to grab.

      As a healthcare professional I can tell you that it is VITALLY important the people who purchase this drug understand how to use it. Putting an insert that people will throw out in their haste to get to the pill is not the answer either. Plan B should be behind the counter (just like sudafed) where a patient can walk up to the counter and request it. Just like with Rx drugs, pharmacists or pharm techs should be REQUIRED to ask the patient if they have any questions about the drug. Asking if a patient has questions is by no means the same as lecturing the patient about the drug. When asked if there are questions by a professional, a patient is significantly more likely to ask any questions they might have which would encourage proper use of the drug. I know from my experience that if I ask a patient if they understand their condition (after I explain it) they will often say yes, but if I ask if they have any questions, they will often have questions showing they don’t completely understand. While access to this drug is important, it is dangerous if the increased access results in improper usage.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Of course Plan B will stay behind the counter just like it is now. The only difference is that the pharmacist will now sell it to 17 year olds as well as those 18 and older.

    This whole thing may be reasonable. Drugs need to be safety tested. Probably it was tested on 18 and older, now tests have been done on 17 year olds as well.

  21. Alys Brangwin is a Tar Heel bred says:

    @bohemian: I try to avoid the places they congregate. It’s easier now that high school is over, but they’re still out there. If someone said that to my face now, though, I’d give them a severe reprimand. Sadly it’s also a learned behavior, so there are parents teaching kids that it’s okay to slut-shame.

  22. the_wiggle says:

    hallelujah! about dang time.

    and none of the behind the counter crap either. it belongs right out with the rest of the sex related items.

    • DoktorGoku says:

      @ash: Thank you. Quite a few people here are severely misinformed. They need to speak to their physicians about the proper usage and reasons why.

  23. mythago says:

    @Gorphlog: The decision says that the FDA did not follow its own rules (Code of Federal Regulations) in reaching its decision. It’s not about whether girls a certain age should have access to Plan B, it’s that the FDA did not do what it was supposed to do in making that decision.

    I know, governments having to follow rules! What will they think of next?

  24. Blueskylaw says:

    Do you mean to tell me that politics actually plays a role in the decision making process for things like this?

  25. Justin Linett says:

    I think with how many fucked up people i’ve met especially in my generation and younger that you should have to have a damn permit from the government to have kids if your under 25. This country is going down the shitter.

  26. Wombatish says:

    Why just 17 year olds?

    17 year olds is championing public health, and taking this decision out of the realm of politics.

    16 year olds? Oh no, those are still politics.

  27. mythago says:

    @Rachacha: It is complete bunk. There is no reliable way to affect the child’s gender with timing. I do know a family that took years to conceive their third child because they were trying to “time” for a boy, though.

  28. theczardictates says:

    taney71: Is that a deliberately misleading setup? Most people I know think life begins somewhere between conception and birth… and most thoughtful people would admit they don’t exactly know where. Pretending those are the only two options is dishonest at best. Unless you think life begins at the exact moment of conception (do you?) there’s no argument that Plan B is contraception, not abortion, and your whole position is bogus. But anyway…

    “At 17 most people know right from wrong and having unprotected sex produces babies.”

    This isn’t about right and wrong. It’s about what teenagers do when they’re not thinking clearly. The thing about teenagers is, sometimes they act as sensibly as adults. Sometimes they act as foolishly as children. Are you seriously saying that they shouldn’t be allowed to have second thoughts the morning after when they do realize the implications of a few minutes of succumbing to temptation?

    Do you also believe that every time a child succumbs to temptation they should be punished for the next 20 years? Or only when the transgression involves sex?

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @theczardictates: Err, just for clarification, the Anti-Choice people not only believe that life begins @zygote, but that everyone else should live that way, at the point of a gun (or fire-bomb).
      That’s sort of the point, right? If they respected others’ viewpoints, they’d be Pro-Choice.

  29. RedwoodFlyer says:

    @everyone who opposes this:

    Two words: Bristol Palin

  30. i_love_life says:

    That’s weird, (don’t hate) but I was able to take Plan B when I was 16…….. and that was only a couple years ago. hm.

  31. crashfrog says:

    @Mike_Hawk: No, you’ve got it backwards. Most pregnancies are the result of ovulation after sex, and it’s known that the rate at which the Plan B pill suppresses ovulation and the rate at which, in trials, Plan B prevents pregnancy are the same, so just by statistical pidgeonholing we can conclude, fairly confidently, that Plan B doesn’t prevent implantation.

  32. Con Sumer Zealot says:

    I think this is just wonderful that the good ol’ “Christian” boys who want to keep women, underage or not, barefoot and pregnant at least have another obstacle to the former now.

    We all know the above types were the ones who forced the FDA to restrict it in the first place. That should never be allowed to happen again. Organized “religion” has no place in the consideration of availability of public health options.

    If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

  33. axiomatic says:

    How about some of you religious types mind your own business and stop meddling in the affairs of others. Your opinion was neither asked for nor welcome it looks like?

    Leave the decisions about a persons body to only the people involved.

  34. vladthepaler says:

    OK, so keeping the pills from 17 year olds is politics & therefore unjustified, but keeping them from 16 year olds is..?