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Pro-Life Groups Launch Campaign on Plan B Morning After Pill

by Steven Ertelt | WASHINGTON, DC | LIFENEWS.COM | 8/5/05 9:00 AM

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 5, 2005

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — As the Food and Drug Administration prepares to decide whether or not it will allow sales of the Plan B morning after pill over the counter, pro-life groups are launching national education campaigns. They say the drug, which sometimes causes an abortion, should only be made available after a doctor’s visit.

Family PAC Federal has launched a nationwide effort to warn of the dangers inherent in taking the pill without a physician’s advice and counsel has launched a nationwide effort to warn of the dangers inherent in taking the pill without a physician’s advice and counsel.

Executive Director Paul Caprio said selling the drugs over the counter means women won’t learn as much about the dangers and side effects of the pills.

"There is a long list of recommended restrictions and possible dangerous side effects for those women who would take these pills," Caprio said. "There is also the issue of substituting the morning-after pill for safe sex which can lead to an increase in sexually transmitted diseases as has happened in Britain."

He said there are no studies that have been conducted showing the harm the Plan B drug could cause to minors or younger adults.

Meanwhile, the Virginia Family Foundation, is encouraging pro-life advocates to contact the FDA to express their opposition to approving over the counter sales.

The agency is expected to make its decision by September 1 and observers say it’s likely it will grant Danco Laboratories request to sell the drugs directly to women over the age of 16.

"Drugs that have an abortifacient effect should not be dispensed in this irresponsible manner," the group said in an email alert to its members. "It is imperative that the FDA hears your voice on this very important decision. With no opposition, it will make the decision to allow such a drug to be released to minors much easier."

An FDA advisory committee voted 24-3 in December 2003 to allow sales of the Plan B drug over the counter, but FDA officials went against the recommendation because Barr Laboratories, maker of the drug, failed to provide sufficient information about its affect on teenagers.

An FDA advisory committee voted 24-3 in December 2003 to allow sales of the Plan B drug over the counter, but FDA officials went against the recommendation because Barr Laboratories, maker of the drug, failed to provide sufficient information about its affect on teenagers.

Barr submitted a revised application for OTC sales, seeking to limit sales of the morning after pills to women over 16 years of age.

Pro-life groups oppose the drug because it can sometimes cause an abortion of a newly conceived unborn child by preventing its implantation into the mother’s uterus. They also worry the drug causes teens and young adults to engage in risky sex because it offers no protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

A recent study, conducted by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco, that found increased access to the "morning after" pill did not lower pregnancy rates because many women did not use the pills.

Wendy Wright, of Concerned Women for America, said the study showed "easy access to the drug increases sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates," a situation she called "alarming."

"Furthermore, studies show that the abortion rate is unaffected, and in some cases has increased," she explained.

Barr submitted a revised application for OTC sales, seeking to limit sales of the morning after pills to women over 16 years of age.

Pro-life groups oppose the drug because it can sometimes cause an abortion of a newly conceived unborn child by preventing its implantation into the mother’s uterus. They also worry the drug causes teens and young adults to engage in risky sex because it offers no protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

A recent study, conducted by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco, that found increased access to the "morning after" pill did not lower pregnancy rates because many women did not use the pills.

Wendy Wright, of Concerned Women for America, said the study showed "easy access to the drug increases sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates," a situation she called "alarming."

"Furthermore, studies show that the abortion rate is unaffected, and in some cases has increased," she explained.

ACTION: You can let the FDA know your thoughts by filling out their online form at http://www.fda.gov/cder/comment.htm