So because Obama has two daughters Plan One-B Step, or the morning after pill will only be available without a prescription to women over 17. Despite the FDA’s push to make the pill available for minors without a prescription, Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, used her authority to override the FDA. Her reasoning was that the makers of Plan One-B Step haven’t submitted sufficient proof that girls as young as 11 or 12 could use the medication safely and properly. Obama went on record as calling the move “common sense,” and invoking the dad card.
I agree with Sebelius and Obama that we should always be careful with medication and ensuring that most people who have access to it, will use it properly. But I have a couple issues with this reasoning – mainly the high price tag for the pill will probably make it cost prohibitive for most 11 or 12 to buy it. Also, instead of junking the whole idea of Plan One-B Step, why not just work with the manufacturers to make clear, concise directions (and also, aren’t there other medications available over the counter that can also be dangerous if taken incorrectly?). When we’re talking about a young girl who is sexually active and suspects she may be pregnant – or it the tragic case of rape or incest, which often leaves the victim hesitant to go to a parent or adult guardian (who are often the culprits) – time is key in using the Plan One-B Step.
The anti-choice people are rejoicing in this decision, arguing that allowing for Plan One-B Step to be available without a prescription, regardless of age, will encourage young people to use this as a birth control option. This sort of modified “slippery slope” argument has been trotted out by these folks who argue that women will use abortion as a birth control device, or that good and comprehensive sex education will encourage youth to go out and have sex. We know that people will have sex, and we also know (unfortunately) that women are raped and victims of incest. If we’re concerned about the safety of Plan One-B Step, then let’s figure out a way to make it easy and safe to use.