While FDA Debates, Hawaii Allows Morning After Pill Without Doctor Visit

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 17, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

While FDA Debates, Hawaii Allows Morning After Pill Without Doctor Visit Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 17, 2004

Honolulu, HI (LifeNews.com) — While the Food and Drug Administration weighs a proposal to allow sale of the so-called morning after pill over the counter, pharmacists in Hawaii are now allowed to sell the sometimes-abortion drug to consumers without a prescription.

Last year, the Hawaii legislature passed a state law allowing pharmacists to dispense the dangerous drug without a prescription. Now that the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs created protocol for pharmacies to follow, the drug can be made available statewide.

Anyone wanting to purchase the morning after pills now has no need to visit a doctor’s office, where they have been available since 1998.

However, pharmacists selling the drugs must receive appropriate training and work with a physician’s office to monitor the drug sales.

Governor Linda Lingle, a pro-abortion Republican, gave final approval for the state rules to be implemented.

After failing in their first bid for over-the-counter sales of the dangerous morning after pill, the maker of the drug is launching a new effort to get the Food and Drug Administration to allow it to be sold to anyone over the age of sixteen.

In May, the FDA denied Barr Laboratories’ request because the pharmaceutical company failed to provide enough data about the impact of the drug on teens.

Pro-life advocates point to numerous complications that young women can develop by using the drug.

If the drugs, which sometimes act as an abortifacient, are sold without a doctor’s approval, "It is likely that many women, particularly young women, would suffer physical consequences," said Dr. Gene Rudd, associate executive director of the Christian Medical Association.

"These high doses of hormones have not been adequately tested for their effect on teenagers, yet teenagers are a prime market for the drugs," Rudd said.

Cathy Cleaver Ruse, of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, added that the morning after pill has been associated with a heightened risk of ectopic pregnancy, a potentially fatal condition.

Meanwhile, a British study conducted earlier this month shoed the morning after pills did not reduce the surgical abortion rate.

Researchers at Dundee, Edinburgh and Oxford Universities found giving women advanced supplies of the morning after pill did not reduce the abortion rate among women given the pills.

Alaska, California, New Mexico and Washington also allow the morning after pill to be sold without a prescription.