Survey: Plan B Drug More Available, Refused Less, But Abortions May Not Drop

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 28, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Survey: Plan B Drug More Available, Refused Less, But Abortions May Not Drop

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 28
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — A new national survey shows the Plan B drug, as known as the morning after pill, is more available across the United States following a 2006 FDA decision to sell it to adults over the counter. However, anecdotal stats from other places where it is readily available show it not reducing abortions.

Dr. Rebekah Gee of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine conducted the study, which involved surveys of pharmacies in Atlanta, Boston, and Philadelphia in 2005 and again in 2007.

Some 1,087 pharmacies participated in the first round of surveys while 795 were involved in the second.

Overall, according to a Reuters report, Gee found that 23 percent of the pharmacies in the 2005 survey were unable to dispense the Plan B drug, which can cause an abortion post-conception, within 24 hours of a request. That number dropped to 8 percent in 2007.

The survey also found four percent of pharmacists refused to dispense the drug in 2005 but that number fell to two percent in 2007.

The numbers of refusal and of failures to dispense the drug in 24 hours fell in all three of the metropolitan areas Gee surveyed.

However, greater access to the morning after pill drug doesn’t mean a reduction in abortions as pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood claim will happen.

Its own annual report shows that abortions are on the rise at Planned Parenthood of Western Washington despite Washington state’s Take Charge pilot program.

Take Charge is a Medicaid section 1115 Waiver program initiated in 2001 to provide free contraceptives to low-income women not already covered under Medicaid. It was originally funded for five years in 2001, then extended for three more years, and comes up for renewal in 2009.

Despite the taxpayer-funded contraception and birth control, the PPWW annual report indicates abortions actually rose 16 percent from 7,790 in 2006 to 9,059 in 2007.

Meanwhile, the number of abortions has increased 17 percent in Sweden from 2000 to 2007 despite sales of the morning after pill increasing during the same time period.

The morning after pill became a drug that could be sold over the counter in Sweden in 2001 and abortion advocates touted non-prescription sales in the United States as a panacea for reducing abortions. In that time, sales of the drug tripled in the nation’s capital and doubled nationwide, but abortions increased.

Also, in May, Scotland officials noted that the number of abortions rose for the third straight year despite a heavy push for women to use the morning after pill.

Abortions in Scotland rose four percent according to a report from the British national health service and now number 13,703.

Not only is the increased promoting of the morning after pill resulting in more abortions, not less, the number of women having repeat abortions is increasing as well.

Abortion advocates have claimed higher use of the Plan B drug through over the counter sales will result in a drop in unintended pregnancies and fewer abortions. However, research and reports show that’s not happening.

Dr. Joseph Stanford, associate professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine, says studies he and fellow researchers have done show a lower effectiveness rate than the 89 percent Barr Laboratories claims.

"We did more a precise meta-analysis that shows it’s effective only 72 percent of the time, and even that number is optimistic," he indicated.

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