A pro-abortion legal group filed a lawsuit today to force the Food and Drug Administration to allow sales of the contorversial PLan B drug over the counter to all customers — which would include teenage girls.
Currently, the Plan B drug is restricted to women over the age of 18 and younger teens must still obtain a prescription for the morning after pill from a physician. In March 2009, a federal court ordered the Food and Drug Administration to reconsider its decision preventing minors from purchasing the morning after pill without a prescription.
The Center for Reproductive Rights is complaining “the Obama Administration’s FDA has ignored a court order to reconsider its refusal to make emergency contraception (EC) available over-the-counter to women of all ages.”
Nancy Northrup, the president of CRR, added, “the FDA has disregarded the evidence and is breaking the president’s promise to restore scientific integrity to federal policies. The Center for Reproductive Rights is taking the FDA back to court today.”
The pro-abortion group sued the FDA in 2005 for not granting over-the-counter status to the Plan B drug and the agency later agreed to make the morning after pill available without a prescription but only to women 18 and over.
“The Center continued to pursue its case because there are no medical grounds for denying young women access to emergency contraception,” Northrup contends.
Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, responded to the lawsuit in comments to LifeNews.com.
“Plan B has been an utter failure in reducing pregnancies and abortions, and its availability may increase sexually transmitted diseases,” she said. “Rather than admit they were wrong, CRR is diverting attention by running to the court to impose a political judgment.”
“This radical abortion group is attempting to bypass doctors and parents so that minor girls will be vulnerable to adults who would manipulate them. This won’t benefit girls, who would rely on this ineffective drug and end up pregnant or with a disease. It will only benefit drug companies and abortion groups,” she added.
Previously, Wright said the age restrictions need more enforcement, not less.
She worries a parent, older sibling or other relative or older friends could purchase the morning after pill for young teens, avoiding the requirement that they visit a doctor first before using the drug.
Wright said selling the morning after pill over the counter will make it easier for men who abuse young women to cover up their crimes.
“Any adult male who is having sex with a minor could walk into a pharmacy, buy the drug, and coax the girl into taking the pill,” she said.
Wright also said that Planned Parenthood and abortion advocates were given certain restrictions by the FDA on the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, but that those haven’t been followed.
“Those restrictions have never been followed, women have died, yet no one has been punished nor the drug approval pulled,” said Wright.
The morning after pill has been hailed by abortion advocates as a method of reducing abortions, but stats in the United States and elsewhere prove otherwise.
According to the London Daily Mail, teen pregnancy rates in England are now higher than they were in 1995 and pregnancies among girls under 16, below the age of sexual consent, are also at the highest level since 1998.
That is despite the British government spending £300 million (that’s over $454 million for those of us in the United States) in an attempt to cut the number of teen pregnancies in half by promoting comprehensive sexual education.
The British teen abortion rate, according to the newspaper, has also climbed steadily since 1999 when the government released its Teenage Pregnancy Strategy.
In 2008, officials in Sweden reported that the number of abortions 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. In that time, sales of the drug tripled in the nation’s capital and doubled nationwide.
Still, new national figures show 37,205 abortions in Sweden in 2007, up approximately 17 percent from the 30,980 done in 2000. In Stockholm, 10,259 abortions were done — a 6.9 percent increase in just one year from the 2006 figures.
Meanwhile, last year the number of abortions in Scotland 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. That increase came after NHS reported 13,081 abortions in 2006, up from 12,603 the previous year — an increase of nearly 3.8 percent.
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.
NHS reports more than a quarter of women, 26.3 percent, who had an abortion in Scotland in 2008 had at least one prior abortion before that. That’s 3,600 women who had one or more abortions prior, according to the government’s statistics.
Finally, a report from Planned Parenthood of Western Washington shows abortions are on the rise in Washington state even though it participated in 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.
Yet the PPWW annual report indicates abortions rose 16 percent from 7,790 in 2006 to 9,059 in 2007.
The failure of birth control, the morning after pill, and contraception to lower the number of abortions is no surprise to Dr. Joseph Stanford, associate professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
He says studies he and fellow researchers have done show a lower effectiveness rate than the 89 percent that Plan B maker 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.
He said studies from Europe, China and the United States show that the morning after pill does not reduce abortions.