In 2004, the FDA visited the question of whether Plan B – commonly referred to as the “morning after pill” – should be available without a prescription. The agency’s staff and advisory panel said yes, antiabortion groups said hell no. The FDA leadership got cold feet and decided not to decide, kowtowing to the wishes of conservative Congressmen.
While politics in this case effectively quashed the recommendations of the FDA medical professionals, the publicity was a boon: requests for Plan B are up over 200%.
States have gotten busy throwing up their own legislation:
More than 60 bills have been filed in state legislatures already this year, and that follows an already busy 2005 session on emergency contraception. The resulting tug of war is creating an availability map for the pill that looks increasingly similar to the map of “red states” and “blue states” in the past two presidential elections — with increased access in the blue states and greater restrictions in the red ones.
Former first lady of Missouri Jean Carnahan has a website that features a great post about Missouri’s bogus S.B.609, which equates the day-after pill with abortion, and protects pharmacists who would refuse to sell it on the basis of “conscience.”
When I was in high school, it was common knowledge amongst my gal pals that if you had unprotected sex, you could take a bunch of birth control pills right after the fact and avoid pregnancy. When Plan B (which is essentially the same thing) became available, I was jazzed. I thought it would be universally embraced and would drastically reduce the number of abortions performed. I had no inkling that pro-lifers would somehow view the prevention of blastocyst implantation (which is what birth control pills do) BABYKILLING.
It is estimated that 40 to 80 percent of human blastocysts on their own never implant in the uterine wall and therefore do not result in pregnancy. They just tumble on out. Plan B is a red carpet, if you will.
The men who are penning bills to restrict women’s access to Plan B are idiots. They underestimate women’s resourcefulness. Red state gals will just go back to “back alley” Plan B, doubling up on birth control pills like they did before. Or they’ll get an abortion.