New York Lawmakers Approve Over the Counter Morning After Pill Sales

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 22, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New York Lawmakers Approve Over the Counter Morning After Pill Sales Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 22, 2005

Albany, NY ( — The New York state Senate on Wednesday signed off on legislation that will make the state the next to allow over the counter sales of the morning after pill, which can sometimes cause an abortion. The bill now heads to Gov. George Pataki.

The measure would allow women, including teenagers to purchase the drug at a local pharmacy without first seeing a doctor and obtaining a prescription.

The Plan B drugs can also be provided to a patient by a nurse or midwife. They can obtain blank prescription pads from doctors to complete on their own for the drugs.

The Democrat-controlled state Assembly approved the measure in January and it now heads to Governor Pataki for his consideration. Pataki spokesman Kevin Quinn told the Associated Press the governor will review the bill before deciding whether to sign it.

Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr., a Bronx Democrat, opposed the bill because it could cause an abortion and takes parents out of the equation when it comes to their daughter’s health care decisions.

"We have experts and all indications are that this pill might cause abortion," he said. "Day by day we see how parents are taken out of the picture. This is wrong, the wrong message."

According to an AP report, Republican Sen. Hugh Farley of Schenectady County called Spano’s proposal "a terrible bill … it’s flawed seriously."

"It’s absolutely ludicrous there is no age limit," Farley said, adding that he wished the bill would set an age minimum for girls buying the drugs. "I think it promotes unprotected sex … it’s one of the worst pieces of legislation, regardless of how you feel about abortion."

Lori Kehoe, the director of the New York State Right to Life Committee told her organization opposes any drug that can act as an abortion agent and terminate the life of an unborn child who has been conceived but not yet born.

Kathleen Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference told the New York Times she was disappointed by the vote but that her group would ask its members to call the governor and urge him not to sign it.

"We have a network of Catholics throughout the state which we are going to mobilize to contact the governor to veto the bill.

Abortion advocates, such as the New York chapter of NARAL, favored the bill, approved in the Senate on a 34-27 vote.

Seven other states have approved sales of the morning after pill over the counter. Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Washington allow the morning after pill to be purchased without a prescription. Canada has also made the sometimes abortion drug Plan B available over the counter without a prescription and Vermont and Oregon are considering similar proposals.