Members of Congress Ask Bush to Keep Morning After Pills Off Shelves

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 14, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Members of Congress Ask Bush to Keep Morning After Pills Off Shelves

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 14, 2004

Washington, DC ( — A group of forty-nine pro-life members of Congress have written a letter to President Bush asking him to direct the FDA to disapprove a proposal that would allow the so-called "morning after pill" to be sold over the counter.

In December, an FDA panel recommended that the full Food and Drug Administration allow the drugs to be sold without a prescription.

The members of Congress, led by pro-life Rep. Dave Weldon, a doctor by profession, said in the letter that making the drugs more available, and without consultation with a physician, would put teenagers’ health at risk.

"We are concerned that adolescent exposure to sexually transmitted infection will increase because of the availability of levonorgestrel over-the-counter. This availability may ultimately result in significant increases in cancer, infertility, and HIV/AIDS,"

Weldon said the representatives were concerned that the FDA advisory panel failed to consider the impact the drugs would have on teen health.

"The FDA panel only looked at whether it worked and whether it was safe," Weldon explained. "Amazingly, they did not look at all on the impact it may have on teenage sexual behavior."

Pro-life groups say the pills sometimes cause an abortion.

They oppose Plan B because, like another "morning-after" pill called Preven, can prevent the implantation of an unborn child into the uterus following fertilization, forcing the body to artificially reject the pregnancy and killing the newly-conceived unborn child.

Weldon said that he would have been able to obtain at least twice as many signatures had Congress been in session.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said a final decision by the FDA is expected next month.