Members of Congress Concerned About Military Promoting Morning After Pill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 7, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Members of Congress Concerned About Military Promoting Morning After Pill

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 7
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Members of Congress are concerned about the Defense Department’s policy on the stocking and distribution of the morning after pill, also know as Plan B. In February, the Obama administration began requiring all U.S. military health facilities to stock the drug, which can sometimes cause an abortion.

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry and 13 pro-life members of Congress have sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates seeking clarification on its policy.

Fortenberry’s office provided LifeNews.com a copy of the letter.

“It is our understanding that the Department (DoD) announced plans to add the morning after pill to the Basic Core Formulary by recommendation of the DoD Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committee and is in the process of implementing a comprehensive policy regarding the mandatory stocking of the morning after pill that would encompass all facilities under the DoD’s jurisdiction in the United States and abroad," the letter states.

They noted that the FDA has approved the morning after pill as an over-the-counter drug but still required women under the age of 18 to get a prescription for it.

The pro-life lawmakers warn that the FDA panel that approved the drug warned that it could "have adverse health consequences for women and girls" and that this "concern remains unresolved."

They also noted the abortifacient properties of the morning after pill, which gives them additional concerns about “the adequacy of informed consent standards regarding the communication of Plan B’s potential abortifacient effects to prospective users.”

They also advise that the military should be worried about the potential for both girls under 17 to gain access to the drug from an adult without a physician or for the drug to be used to cover up potential cases of sexual abuse.

“For these reasons, some pharmacists and physicians throughout the United States refuse to prescribe, dispense, or refer for Plan B,” they said. “We urge you to ensure that any directive from DoD provides adequate conscience protections for any personnel who may be in a position to prescribe or dispense the morning after pill.”

The letter also requests the Defense Department explain the “counseling, informed consent and prescription procedures,” whether women will be informed about health risks of using the drug without medical supervision, and how the Department plans to “integrate conscience protections” for pro-life medical workers opposed to the drug.

They also want to know how many people have obtained the drug at home and abroad at military medical bases.

The pro-life members of Congress who signed the letter include Republicans Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, Mark Souder and Mike Pence of Indiana, Pete Olson of Texas, Chris Smith of New Jersey, Trent Franks of Arizona, Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, Jim Jordan and Robert Latta of Ohio, J. Gresham Barrett of South Carolina, Doug Lamborn of Colorado, Peter Hoekstra of Michigan and Donald Manzullo of Illinois.

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