The FDA will allow seventeen year old girls to buy the morning after pill without a prescription, reversing its previous decision that required the pill only be sold to adults. Last month a U.S. District Judge in New York ruled that FDA officials let politics, not science, drive their decision to approve "Plan B" without a prescription for women 18 and over.
Plan B has been a topic of debate for several years. Those opposed to the drug say it will promote promiscuity among teenagers and that it's a form of abortion. Supporters argue the pill is safe and effective, and could actually reduce the number of abortions. "We're concerned that these may be used in lieu of other types of birth control that's prescribed by a doctor and monitored by a physician. Secondly, it does nothing to protect against disease transmission and may heighten sexual activity amount this age group when they are not prepared mentally or maturity wise to handle this responsibility," says Dr. Randy Brinson of the Alabama Christian Coalition. "In our experience in the health department in terms of providing this method of emergency contraception is not that it's been abused or that people rely on it as their primary method of contraception, " explains Tom Miller of the Alabama Department of Public Health.