Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Plan B Back In The News

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Emergency contraception is proven safe and effective, and there is no reason why young women under the age of 18 should need a prescription to use Plan B. In fact, the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of New York has recently rejected the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 2006 decision to limit over-the-counter access to the emergency contraceptive Plan B to women over the age of 18, a ruling based on politics and ideology instead of science.

The court ordered the FDA to reduce the age to 17 within 30 days, which is good, but I think it should have gone down to age 14, at least. Do not get me wrong - I am not encouraging sexual activity in young teens, I just wish there were alternatives to abortion, adoption, and teen parenthood for young teens who find themselves pregnant after having sexual intercourse without protection.

I particularly believe that all teens should have access to Plan B based on recent research suggesting that Plan B is not replacing more reliable methods of birth control but is truly being used in emergencies.

I send a big thank you to the Center for Reproductive Rights who filed a lawsuit against the FDA in 2005 for failing to grant over-the-counter status to Plan B in spite of overwhelming evidence about its safety.
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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