Tag archives: Plan B

FRC in the News: June 17, 2013

by Karah Kruger

June 17, 2013

Anna Higgins Comments on the Obama Administrations’ Prioritization of Politics over Children

Anna Higgins, FRC’s Director for Human Dignity, was quoted in The Washington Times about the Obama administration abandoning a recent lawsuit that would have stopped the over-the-counter distribution of the abortifacient “Plan B” to girls of any age. Higgins stated:

It’s “a clear example of the administration’s willingness to put politics ahead of the health and safety of little girls. We’re disappointed that this administration has once again sided with its political allies and ignored the safety of girls and the rights of parents.”

The Obama Administration to Make Sure Same-Sex Couples Have Access to All Federal Benefits, Regardless of State Borders

Chris Gacek, FRC’s Senior Fellow of Regulatory Policy, was quoted in The New York Times about same-sex couples receiving benefits on the federal level, if DOMA is overturned, depends on if they reside in a state that currently does or does not allow same-sex marriage. Gacek said the following:

We certainly wouldn’t go for imposing gay marriage on the country administratively,” Mr. Gacek said.

He continued, “Once you open up this can of worms, there are a lot of issues here.”

The Supreme Court Decides to Place a Ban on Patenting Human Genes

David Prentice, FRC’s Senior Fellow and Director of Life Science, was quoted in The Washington Times about the Supreme Court decision to ban the patenting of human genes. Family Research Council also determined the 9-0 ruling as an important legal decision. Prentice made the following statement:

That the patent office approved patents on our genes is a profoundly disturbing idea, as is the idea that someone else can own parts of your body, especially your genetics.”

Plan B and the Demise of Parental Rights

by Anna Higgins

May 3, 2013

Parents are meant to be the fundamental guiding influence of a child’s life. They are responsible for nurturing, educating, protecting, and providing for their children. This system, established at creation by God, is the foundation of every stable, prosperous society.

However, our government has attempted to undermine parental rights and distance parents as much as possible from important decisions affecting their children. This is happening despite the fact that the Supreme Court has long upheld the highest standards of protection for the rights of parents to educate and bring up their children without interference. The latest blow to the traditional family structure has been leveled by “reproductive rights” groups, a federal judge, and the FDA – all of which support the availability of a high dose hormonal contraceptive over the counter to young girls without a prescription.

In 2011, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, denied a recommendation by the FDA that would have allowed over the counter access to Plan B, a high dose “emergency contraceptive,” for young girls. Both she and President Obama stated that the FDA did not present enough evidence to show that this hormone would be safe for girls.

In fact, there have been no studies on the effects of Plan B on teens. All safety studies have been done on adults and assume proper use. There is no reason to believe that young girls understand that this contraceptive should only be used once a month and that it is not meant to replace oral contraceptives.

Yet a federal judge, Edward Korman of the Eastern District of New York, unilaterally disposed of those concerns when he handed down a ruling last month requiring the FDA to provide over-the-counter access of Plan B to all girls of reproductive age without a prescription. Family Research Council authored a letter to Sebelius asking her to appeal this decision, and thankfully, the Department of Justice has decided to appeal the judge’s decision. In the midst of this controversy, however, the FDA issued an approval of over the counter access to Plan B to teens as young as 15 (the previous age limit was 17).

This decision is particularly disturbing because it allows Plan B to be sold on store shelves, not behind a pharmacy counter. Thus, the only thing standing in the way of a girl purchasing this product is the local drug store cashier, who supposedly is required to check the purchaser’s ID before selling the product. There is no indication that Sec. Sebelius will overturn this new FDA decision. In fact, President Obama, in an about face from his previous support of keeping Plan B off retail store shelves, came out in support of the FDA’s new decision.

This decision is troubling, to say the least. It will only serve to distance young girls most at risk for sexual abuse and sexually transmitted infections from medical care and parental guidance. The decision to exclude parents and doctors from dealing with the sexual behavior of underage girls and the administration of a serious drug is irresponsible and dangerous.

Parents have every right to be informed and to consent to any decision affecting their child’s health, education, or upbringing. It is important to encourage parent-teen communication regarding the moral and medical issues associated with pre-marital sexual activity, as the consequences of such activity are weighty.

Teenagers under the age of 17 cannot even be admitted to an R–rated movie and schools are required to obtain a parent’s permission to administer any type of medication to a child or teen, for good reason. The new Plan B decisions, made without regard to parental or medical concern, will only serve to endanger the health and safety of children. Parents should remain vigilant as this debate continues.

Parental Rights Trampled by NY Judge

by Anna Higgins

April 15, 2013

In a stunning overreach of authority last week, a District Court Judge overruled the decision of U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding Plan B, an “emergency” contraceptive. In 2011, Sebelius refused to extend over-the-counter (OTC) status for Plan B to teens under 17 years of age. Judge Edward Korman of the Eastern District of New York ruled that within 30 days, the FDA must make Plan B available OTC for all ages – putting the health of girls at risk and trampling the right of parents to be involved in decisions regarding their daughters’ well-being.

There have been no studies on the effects of this powerful hormonal drug on adolescents. Additionally, the label comprehension study done on Plan B did not include young girls. As a result, even if it were safe for young girls to use this drug, there is no way of knowing whether they have the capacity to administer the medication properly. In fact, in the defense of her decision, Sebelius noted that there are “significant cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls and the youngest girls of reproductive age.” These potential dangers highlight the necessity for parental guidance and professional medical input into the administration of contraceptives to young girls.

No parent wants a teenage daughter to acquire potentially dangerous medication without his or her consent. Allowing OTC access for a drug that has a close correlation to premature sexual behavior presents dangers of increased sexual activity among minors and with it, the increased likelihood of the contraction of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The total number of STI’s in the United States has reached 110 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control. This represents the total number of STIs, not the total number of persons infected. Because a person may have several STIs simultaneously, sexual promiscuity plays a key role in their spread and quantity. Most of the new cases crop up in young people, ages 15-25. In the UK, where emergency contraception is already available OTC for teens, there has been a spike in the incidences of STI’s. To compound the problem, since teens will not need a prescription for these emergency contraceptives, they will avoid routine medical screenings during which STI’s would have been identified and treated.

Additionally, there is a very real danger that making Plan B available OTC will result in administration of the drug to young girls under coercion or without their consent. Doctors and parents are the first line of defense for girls who have experienced some kind of sexual abuse. By allowing this drug to be available without medical supervision, we run the serious risk of not identifying instances of sexual abuse among teens, especially as human trafficking becomes more widespread in our country.

In a day and age when the family unit is under attack from all angles, it is extremely irresponsible to create a new situation that will serve to drive a further wedge between parents and teens. Instead of distributing contraception like candy to teens, we should encourage honest communication within families. Parental guidance is areas of sexual behavior and health is essential to the development of responsible, healthy adults.

Plan B Linked to Greater Risk for Heart Disease

by Family Research Council

March 10, 2011

This week there have been a number of media outlets reporting on a link between taking over-the-counter contraceptives (Plan B) and an increased risk for heart disease. The bottom line is that too much estrogen in a woman’s body is harmful for her heart. In particular, young women and girls are reportedly suffering from these heart problems.

Here are quotes from one such story out of India:

A vascular disease called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is on the rise and doctors say it has a lot to do with the increase in sales of over-the-counter contraceptive pills.”

Any amount of estrogen that is not required by the female body is harmful for her. The pills tend to increase the hormone level, resulting in pain and swelling caused by blood clot formation in the veins, explained Nutan Agrawal, professor of gynaecology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). ”

The reason that the problem of DVT and contraceptives is serious is that we are seeing a lot of young girls in their 20s coming up with cases of the disease, points out Parakh, who said he gets over 15 cases of DVT in a month.

Agrawal cautioned on how over-the-counter contraceptive drugs have dominated birth control measures for the teen population: Because of the availability of drugs with retailers, these contraceptives have become the quick fix to abortions in a very short span of time. There is certainly a need for awareness among young girls about sexual health.

Sadly, Teva Pharmaceuticals recently began the FDA process to make Plan B available OTC for girls of any age; currently it is OTC for those 17 and older. Especially with this new information about the link between Plan B and heart disease, I can’t help but wonder if once again young women’s health is being sacrificed on the altar of a liberal, pro-abortion agenda.

Ella vs. Plan B

by Family Research Council

September 28, 2010

In the following youtube clip, Dr. Donna Harrison, OBGYN and president of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) continues her series of short videos explaining the medical perspective and science behind ella, the abortion drug approved by the FDA on August 13th, misleadingly labeled as an emergency contraceptive (EC).

In this 48 second clip, Dr. Harrison succinctly explains how ella is different than Plan B. The FDA has categorized both drugs as ECs. Until now, Plan B has been the most widely used EC in the United States. But Plan B is in a completely different class of drugs than ella and RU-486. It is believed that Plan B does not impact an already implanted baby, although it can prevent implantation. Ella, however, can work both before and after implantation.

For more information watch the clip below. We encourage you to send this clip and others in the series far and wide to the women you know. Women who deserve to know the truth about ella — how it will work in their bodies and on their babies.

Plan B: A Failure to Meet Falsely Inflated Predictions

by Moira Gaul

October 16, 2009

A recent article published in the journal Contraception, discusses the failed “effectiveness” of the drug Plan B (a form of emergency contraception or “EC”) on a population level. The author of the articles concedes:

Our expectations for EC’s effectiveness were biased upwards by an early estimate that expanding access to emergency contraception could dramatically reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancy and subsequent abortion. This estimate made a compelling story and is likely a key reason why donors and other were willing to support efforts to expand access to EC.

The falsely inflated predictions noted above were —- in order to dramatically decrease the incidence of unintended pregnancy and subsequent abortion —- touted as valid estimates during the lead up to and the drug’s change to over the counter status to women 18 years and older in 2006. The admission of failures at a population level following expanded access is poignant. Additionally, it is clear that Planned Parenthood has been a primary profiteer through the increased marketing and sales process.

The article goes on to deflect from valid flags raised by the continued self-administration of Plan B and ignores salient women’s health issues surrounding drug usage including: the lack of medical oversight by a licensed clinician during usage to screen for contraindications; the lack of medical studies to determine safety for repeated and long-term usage; and, the failure to inform women of the potential abortifacient action of the drug —- a violation of informed consent.

Additionally, the non-medical provider oversight during drug usage ignores a 2008 study release by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating that young women most at-risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections and disease are not being referred for testing and treatment. The self-administration of Plan B knocks out a critical link in the care and referral chain for many women at-risk for disease. Such a link is vital for both secondary prevention or screening efforts and thus, the protection of women’s reproductive health.

Expanded access of Plan B to both women and adolescent girls are not in the best interest of either adolescent or women’s health promotion and disease prevention.