Thursday, August 24, 2006

Over-the-Counter But Underhanded?

Fundamentalists Christians and Catholics cannot be happy while every 18 year old girl and boy breathes a sigh of relief: the morning after pill is cleared for over-the-counter use. WaPo reports:
The Food and Drug Administration approved an application today making the long-debated emergency contraceptive Plan B, commonly known as the "morning-after pill," available without a prescription to women 18 and older.

The FDA said Barr Laboratories, the maker of Plan B, could begin selling the drug, but only at pharmacies and health clinics. Women purchasing the drug will have to show proof of age.
It's nice to see parts of the government are regaining their balls and implementing policies that demonstrate reason and a healthy respect for the individual's decision to do what they think is best.

I don't want to color Christian reaction to this as hysterical since I'm no fan of abortion, although I do believe it is the woman's choice. Here's the big concern:
While the FDA concluded that the pill works like a traditional contraceptive -- preventing an egg from becoming fertilized -- it has not ruled out the possibility that it can also prevent a pregnancy by keeping a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman's uterus. That possibility has led some social conservatives to liken emergency contraception to abortion.
But then all you have to do is head over to the Family Research Council's blog and you'll get this:
On top of overstepping the law, the FDA has no procedures to ensure that children are acquiring Plan B only with a prescription, or that nefarious adults (say a 45 year old dating a 13 year old) are getting the drug for equally nefarious reasons.
FRC's arguing that the FDA and the President do not have the authority to grant the over-the-counter status. I don't know if that's correct, but they weren't complaining when Bush adamantly opposed the "morning after pill's" over-the-counter status. Nevertheless, this is a good argument. We should all be concerned when the federal government does not obey its own procedures.

But FRC blogger, Tom McClusky, can't help himself, resorting to the usual scare tactics and off-the-wall scenarios about "nefarious adults" using the morning-after-pill after having sex with 13 year olds. McClusky argues there must be procedures in place to stop this type of activity. Have there ever been procedures in place to stop this sort of thing? I'm skeptical. Think about it. When say a 41 year old elementary school teacher comes in the pharmacy for the "morning after pill," will the pharmacist turn and ask, "Yes m'am, I can fill that prescription, but only if you tell me you aren't diddling a minor you may or may not be teaching."

Ridiculous and such an obvious assault on the Bill of Rights.