The Food and Drug Administration yesterday approved over-the-counter sales of emergency contraceptive Plan B, the so-called “morning-after” pill manufactured by Barr Pharmaceuticals to women 18 and older. Sales are expected to start by the end of the year, allowing women or their male partners to purchase the pill, which sells for $25 to $40, without a prescription, which will still be required of minors.
Senators Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y.) and Patty Murray (D.-Wash.), applauded the agency’s decision, telling the New York Times: “This long overdue decision is a victory for women’s health and the American people who have been waiting years for the F.D.A. to act.” Look on the bright side — acting F.D.A. chief Dr. Andrew C. von Esehenbach can now be confirmed by the Senate without incident, and there are thousands of new medical malpractice lawsuits just waiting for the trial lobby to take on.
While Thursday’s decision was both heralded and ridiculed by abortion advocates as a positive step, yet a setback for younger women seeking contraceptives, pro-lifers vowed retribution. Sen. Tom Coburn (R.-Okla.), an OB-GYN by trade, said that “Exposing women to the high-dose hormones in Plan B without the guidance of a physician will put them at risk.”
Democrats and the abortion lobby called the decision a triumph of science over ideology. Choosing to ignore the fact that Plan B, which consists of two pills, the first taken up to 72 hours after sexual intercourse, and the second 12 hours later, has caused approximately 8 deaths. If you thought Merck created a mess by withholding information linking Vioxx to increased risk of myocardial infarction in its study which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, wait until more women start hitting the floor after taking Plan B. Barr Pharmaceutical’s days are numbered once the trial lawyers tap into the benefits of this decision.
This wrong-headed decision opens many doors which will compromise the safety of women. The easy availability of Plan B will logically lead to an increase in the occurrence of unprotected sex, sending the risks of contracting a sexually-transmitted disease skyrocketing. Washington-based conservative lobbying group Concerned Women for America said that the ability of male partners to purchase Plan B for a woman will allow victims of rape and incest to be silenced.
Liberals, of course, downplayed this concern, valuing the reproductive rights of the larger population over the general welfare of American women. Much like the link between abortion and an increased risk for breast cancer was dismissed as a right-wing scare tactic, liberals seem to hypocritically disregard science if it does not conform to the goals of the pro-choice movement.
Most disturbing, perhaps, is the disappointment among abortion advocates that over-the-counter sales of Plan B were not approved for girls 14 and older. This was the decision sought by the abortion lobby in Congress from the Food and Drug Administration. It seems as if we have lost the definition of the parent-child relationship, as it is often dismissed as an obstacle to reproductive rights of minors. Abortions sought for young girls by boyfriends and acquaintances other than a parent or guardian go criminally unreported by agencies such as Planned Parenthood. The endangerment of minors in the name of “rights” is a conscious effort by hippie radicals to eliminate the parent-child relationship. At the same time, I sincerely doubt that Senators Clinton and Murray would be pleased to find out that their 15 year old daughter is having sex.
The debate over nonprescription sales of Plan B is reported as the most controversial and protracted battle in the FDA’s 100-year history. Framed by liberals as a debate in which right-wing ideology was placed over science, it is most accurately a debate in which the abortion agenda was clearly and recklessly placed above the safety and health of American women.