by Steven Ertelt
April 14, 2006
Denver, CO (LifeNews.com) — Colorado Gov. Bill Owens on Thursday vetoed a bill that would make it the next state to allow sales of the morning after pill over the counter without a prescription. He said the measure "strays radically" from accepted medical practice whereby patients consult a doctor before getting prescription drugs.
Owens said he was most concerned about teenagers buying the Plan B drugs, which can sometimes cause an abortion. He doesn’t want them to purchase the drugs without a parent knowing.
"I believe it is irresponsible to allow minors to obtain emergency contraception without the counsel and guidance that could be provided by a doctor," Owens said, according to media reports.
Sen. Betty Boyd, a Democrat who sponsored the measure (HB 1212) blasted Owens’ veto and said it took rights away from women.
"I doubt people who need emergency contraception consulted with their parents the night before on their decision to have sex," she said, according to an AP story.
She indicated she would try again next year to get the legislation through the state legislature and indicated she didn’t think it would be worth trying to override the veto because the legislature doesn’t have the two-thirds vote necessary to approve it.
Kathryn Wittneben, spokeswoman for NARAL, claimed the bill didn’t contravene standard medical practice because other states have adopted similar proposals.
However, the Food and Drug Administration rejected an application from Barr Laboratories, the maker of the morning after pill, to sell it over the counter. The FDA specifically pointed to concern about its affect on teenagers in declining the application. Barr has submitted a revised proposal to sell the drug only to women over the age of 16.
Other states which have allowed the morning after pill to be sold over the counter at a drug store include Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Washington.
The Colorado House approved the measure on a 37-28 vote while the Senate backed it 21-14.
Owens previously vetoed another variation of Boyd’s bill in the past, which would have required hospitals to give the morning after pill to women who were victims of rape. The legislature killed that bill two times before that.