by Steven Ertelt
June 7, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading abortion advocacy group is launching a campaign to encourage its supporters to lobby local pharmacies to carry and dispense the sometimes abortifacient morning after pill. The campaign marks the 40th anniversary of a Supreme Court decision legalizing birth control.
In 1965, the Supreme Court, in its Griswald vs. Connecticut decision, said the Constitution, under a nonexistent privacy protection, allows Americans the right to use birth control and contraception. That privacy-based ruling later became the precedent for the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized unlimited abortion.
On Tuesday, NARAL asked abortion advocates to "honor history and make history at the same time — simply by going to the pharmacy."
NARAL asks its members to "visit your local pharmacy and ask the pharmacists to do two things."
First, NARAL wants every pharmacy in the country to honor prescriptions for birth control and the morning after pill. The group also wants its members to press pharmacists to hang a sign in the store window saying they will honor prescriptions for such drugs.
Pro-life groups are concerned about efforts to promote the Plan B morning after pill, which sometimes causes an abortion. They point to 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.
Cathy Cleaver Ruse, speaking for the nation’s Catholic bishops, said that the study, co-authored by a Planned Parenthood doctor, "blows the lid off the main argument for putting morning after pills on the drugstore shelf."
"Proponents have repeatedly claimed that making the drug available without a prescription would reduce abortion numbers by as many as half; now their own study debunks that claim," Ruse said.
In January, the FDA delayed its decision on whether to allow sales of the so-called morning after pill over the counter in the United States. FDA officials said they needed more time to review the drug.
Six U.S. states, including Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico and Washington, allow the morning after pill to be purchased without a prescription.