A new age is upon us as the Plan B One-Step pill is ordered to be out on the market for women of all ages. According to The New York Times, a judge ruled at the beginning of April for the FDA to reverse the decision from 2011, which limited the pill to women ages 16 and under.
The Plan B One-Step pill (or simply known as Plan B) has been out on the market as an emergency contraceptive, and is not recommended as a method that should be used often. If a woman’s normal method of contraception fails, the Plan B pill is a backup. It is most effective if used in the first 72 hours after unprotected sex.
Parents are worried and even appalled. They don’t want their 11-year-olds going to the pharmacy every weekend and purchasing this emergency contraceptive. Many parents and other adults believe this over-the-counter contraceptive is the abortion pill, which it clearly is not.
According to the FAQ section of the Plan B One-Step website, this pill works similarly to the birth control pill. It contains the same hormone, levonorgestrel, as the birth control pill but with a stronger dosage.
“It works mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary,” said Plan B One-Step’s official website.
A user on the Huffington Post’s website commented on the new ruling.
“Again, we let our government run our lives. Americans are a simple species,” said user Mike Love. “11 year olds performing self abortions? Awesome. No PTSD there. . .”
The Huffington Post also interviewed a few doctors and they all agreed that Plan B is not the abortion pill. Dr. Corey Hebert, CEO of BlackHealthTV.com, explained exactly what the Plan B pill is.
“It’s not an abortion pill, let’s be very clear about that,” said Hebert. “It can prevent ovulation, therefore decreasing the ability for someone to get pregnant.” Hebert continued to say that teen pregnancy is happening not because of access to contraception, but lack of education.
Shows like “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant” are capitalizing on teen pregnancy, but at the same time they are trying to steer kids away from having sex at a young age, or at least tell them to be more careful about what they are doing with their partners. Despite these intentions, teen pregnancy is still on the rise.
According to ThinkProgress.org, the states with the highest rates of teen pregnancy are in the South, which has a direct correlation to a lack of schools offering sex education in the classroom.
There is a need for better sex education as well as increased availability of Plan B for women of all ages. It is the safest way to prevent pregnancy outside of regular contraception (condoms, birth control pills) and may save families from going through an unwanted pregnancy.
Those who are surprised or offended by this ruling are usually misinformed and think this is some sort of abortion pill,which it is not.
To ease the wary parent’s mind, perhaps a program should be created that keeps track of every time someone under the age of 17 purchases Plan B and only allots them a certain amount of purchases per year. While this may be slightly flawed, it could still help put parents’ minds to rest.
If used responsibly and infrequently, Plan B One-Step can help provide an option other than pregnancy.