User Login    
 + Register
News : All Girls To Have Access To Morning After Pill
Posted by Randy on 2013/6/11 8:10:07 (323 reads) News by the same author

The federal government on Monday told a judge it will reverse course and take steps to comply with his order to allow girls of any age to buy emergency contraception without prescriptions.

Click to see original Image in a new window


The decision ends a years-long fight between President Barack Obama’s administration, which had argued that age limits for the morning-after pill are common sense, and women’s rights groups, which insisted the drug should be made as freely available as aspirin.

The Department of Justice, in the latest development in the complex back-and-forth over access to the drug, notified U.S. District Judge Edward Korman it will submit a plan for compliance. If he approves it, the department will drop its appeal of his April ruling.

According to the department’s letter to the judge, the Food and Drug Administration has told the maker of the pills to submit a new drug application with proposed labeling that would permit it to be sold ‘‘without a prescription and without age or point-of-sale prescriptions.’’ The FDA said that once it receives the application it ‘‘intends to approve it promptly.’’

Last week, an appeals court dealt the government a setback by saying it would immediately permit unrestricted sales of the two-pill version of the emergency contraception until the appeal was decided. That order was met with praise from advocates for girls’ and women’s rights and with scorn from social conservatives and other opponents, who argue the drug’s availability takes away the rights of parents of girls who could get it without their permission.

Advocates for girls’ and women’s rights said Monday the federal government’s decision to comply with the judge’s ruling could be a move forward for ‘‘reproductive justice’’ if the FDA acts quickly and puts emergency contraception over the counter without restriction.

Annie Tummino, lead plaintiff in a lawsuit over unrestricted access to the morning-after pill and coordinator of the National Women’s Liberation, said women and girls should have ‘‘the absolute right to control our bodies without having to ask a doctor or a pharmacist for permission.’’

‘‘It’s about time that the administration stopped opposing women having access to safe and effective birth control,’’ she said in an emailed statement.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards, in a statement, called the government’s decision to drop the appeal ‘‘a huge breakthrough for access to birth control and a historic moment for women’s health and equity.’’

But opponents of easy access to the morning-after pill, such as the anti-abortion Family Research Council, criticized the government for not sticking with its decision to appeal.

‘‘We’re very concerned and disappointed at the same time because what we see here is the government caving to political pressure instead of putting first the health and safety of girls (and) parental rights,’’ said Anna Higgins, director of the council’s Center for Human Dignity.

The government had appealed the judge’s underlying April 5 ruling, which ordered emergency contraceptives based on the hormone levonorgestrel be made available without a prescription, over the counter and without point-of-sale or age restrictions.

It had asked the judge to suspend the effect of that ruling until the appeals court could decide the case. But the judge declined, saying the government’s decision to restrict sales of the morning-after pill was ‘‘politically motivated, scientifically unjustified and contrary to agency precedent.’’ He also said there was no basis to deny the request to make the drugs widely available.

The government had argued that ‘‘substantial market confusion’’ could result if the judge’s ruling were enforced while appeals were pending, only to be later overturned.

The morning-after pill contains a higher dose of the female hormone progestin than is in regular birth control pills. Taking it within 72 hours of rape, condom failure or just forgetting regular contraception can cut the chances of pregnancy by up to 89 percent, but it works best within the first 24 hours. If a girl or woman already is pregnant, the pill, which prevents ovulation or fertilization of an egg, has no effect.

The FDA was preparing in 2011 to allow over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill with no limits when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled her own scientists in an unprecedented move.

The FDA announced in late April that Plan B One-Step, the newer version of emergency contraception, the same drug but combined into one pill instead of two, could be sold without a prescription to those age 15 or older. Its maker, Teva Women’s Health, plans to begin those sales soon. Sales had previously been limited to those who were at least 17.

The judge later ridiculed the FDA changes, saying they established ‘‘nonsensical rules’’ that favored sales of the Plan B One-Step morning-after pill and were made ‘‘to sugarcoat’’ the government’s appeal.

He also said they placed a disproportionate burden on blacks and the poor by requiring a prescription for less expensive generic versions of the drug bought by those under age 17 and by requiring those age 17 or over to show proof-of-age identification at pharmacies. He cited studies showing that blacks with low incomes are less likely than other people to have government-issued IDs.

The decision marks a sharp reversal for Obama and his administration. His previous decision to appeal set off a storm of criticism from girls’ and women’s rights groups, who denounced it as politically motivated and a step backward for their health. Abortion rights advocates who had counted Obama as among their supporters angrily questioned why a Democratic president had sided with social conservatives in favor of limiting women’s health care choices.

Reluctant to get drawn into a messy second-term spat over social issues, White House officials have argued that the FDA and the Department of Justice were acting independently of the White House in deciding how to proceed. That approach continued Monday, with the White House referring all questions about the decision to Health and Human Services.

Still, Obama has made clear in the past that he feels strongly about the limits, and he said in 2011 he supported Sebelius’ decision to impose them despite the advice of her scientists.

‘‘As the father of two daughters, I think it is important for us to make sure that we apply some common sense to various rules when it comes to over-the-counter medicine,’’ Obama said then.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2014/10/31 9:42:05 - KC Royals Acquire Minor League Catcher
2014/10/31 7:40:47 - PSC Cold Weather Rule Takes Effect November 1
2014/10/31 7:33:53 - MoDOT To Hold Winter Readiness Drill
2014/10/31 6:31:42 - Trenton Police Department Offers Halloween Safety Tips
2014/10/31 4:35:51 - Halloween Is A Dangerous Night For Impaired Driving
2014/10/31 4:26:18 - Student Threatens To Bring Gun To School; Lack Of Communication Upsets Parents
2014/10/31 4:21:03 - Ameren To Lower Gas Rates For Missouri Customers
2014/10/31 4:12:03 - Elderly Man Shoots Woman Who Kicked In Door
2014/10/31 4:07:35 - Trenton Woman Arrested On Violation Of Probation
2014/10/31 4:05:02 - Unity Road To Be Closed For Railroad Crossing Work
2014/10/30 10:19:14 - 11 Men Sentenced In International Child Porn Ring
2014/10/30 10:07:13 - Plane Crashes Into Building At Airport In Wichita, Kansas
2014/10/30 9:22:06 - Grundy County Circuit Court News
2014/10/30 9:19:12 - Summit Natural Gas To Raise Rates
2014/10/30 9:13:29 - Chillicothe Police Make Additional Arrest In Drug Investigation
2014/10/30 4:40:00 - Mother Upset After School Vaccinates Her Child Without Her Permission
2014/10/30 4:36:29 - Illinois Teacher Calls Jamaican Students "N" Word After They Object To 'Afro-American'
2014/10/30 4:09:13 - Kirksville Teen Arrested For Child Molestation
2014/10/30 4:02:02 - Missouri Inmate Indicted For Killing Cellmate
2014/10/30 3:59:21 - Wentzville Parents Charged In 10-Week-Old's Death
2014/10/29 12:36:00 - "Mr. Mizzou" John Kadlec Passes Away at 86
2014/10/29 12:33:08 - NCMC Announces Cancellation of "Meet the Pirate" Night
2014/10/29 12:28:54 - Pre-Season Parent Meeting Approaches For THS Wrestlers
2014/10/29 12:24:51 - Alex Smith Suffers Shoulder Injury
2014/10/29 12:19:43 - 7th Heaven : Royals Push World Series To Dramatic Final Game
2014/10/29 10:40:56 - Health Fair To Be Held Saturday In Mercer County
2014/10/29 10:38:44 - Solar Farm, Electric Rates Topic Of Trenton Board Of Public Works
2014/10/29 10:36:41 - Program On Ebola To Be Presented Saturday In Chillicothe
2014/10/29 10:34:22 - Chillicothe Police Department Makes Arrests On Drug Charges
2014/10/29 7:33:09 - Ebola Containment Topic Of Local Emergency Planning Committee



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM