Government’s Choice?

December 8, 2011

Political Theory


The Right to life debate, as well as making the Plan B or “morning after” pill available over the counter to girls older than 17 have been prevalent issues in the country for years. This Wednesday the secretary of Health and Human services overruled a FDA recommendation that would have made the Plan B contraceptive pill available over the counter to women under the age of 17.

The manufacturer of the Plan B pill had asked the FDA to conduct an investigation to see if the pill was safe for use of woman under 17. The manufacturer believes that this emergency contraception pill should be available to all sexually active girls. The FDA says the pill is most effective when used within 24 hours of the act and must be used within the first 72 hours. The manufacturer claims that the need for a prescription for girls under 17 is making it hard for girls who need to take the pill to receive it in time for the pill to have the desired effect.  

Certain groups, such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, believe that the secretary has made the wrong choice by not following the FDA’s recommendation. Many believe that sexual education among the youth in the United States is not where it needs to be at to help slow down unwanted early pregnancies. Making the Plan B pill available over the counter to girls under 17 may be for now one of the best ways of combating unwanted teen pregnancy until there is more education on contraceptive measures.

I believe that a woman should always have the right to decide whether she wants to terminate her pregnancy. Having a child, especially if it is unwanted at an early age can not only ruin the plans a young woman has, but also bring a child into the world with parents that are not ready and often unfit to be proper parents. The FDA has gone out and said that the Plan B pill is safe for adolescent use so do you think government should have the right to make the Plan B pill not available over the counter to women under 17? More importantly do you think it is appropriate for government to have control over a woman’s right to choose if she is ready to have a child or not?

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3 Comments on “Government’s Choice?”

  1. lkpeacock Says:

    I think the Obama Administration is making a bold move to essentially boost unplanned teen pregnancy rates. I think the pill should be available to all women who are in need of it. Girls that are 17 and younger are even less likely to be able to support a child, and if they have to wait longer than the recommended time, they have a higher chance of getting pregnant. Something seems strange about that.

    I do understand the fact that selling it over the counter does not prevent teens from thinking twice about having sex. They essentially have a back up plan if they feel they need one. I understand this concern, but I think selling it over the counter could save so many women from having unexpected pregnancies.

    This product should be available to Americans who want to buy it. This bureaucratic decision has been reached without appropriate public debate or vote, or judicial consideration and decision in my opinion. I don’t think drug companies should take on the role of parenting, and they should leave that to the actual parents themselves.

  2. adamskt Says:

    The part of this debate that concerns me the most is the politicizing of the issue. I understand that there are two sides to the argument, that making Plan B more available could increase unprotected sex, while not making it available could increase unwanted pregnancies. However, I think the more pressing issue here is the health of women in our country. Numerous studies have shown that girls are able to understand the packaging of the Plan B boxes, and that there are only minor side effects to using it. Regardless of what any of us would personally do in a situation like this, I think that women should be allowed to make their own choices. This is an issue of health, not religion or politics, and I think it needs to be treated like that. Scientific research is not being taken into account, while personal opinions and beliefs about religion are. While it is the duty of elected officials to make decisions about policies, this seems like one that should be made much more democratic, as it significantly and very personally affects people’s lives. Every situation can not be considered by these elected officials; and when the issue is time-conscious, I think it may be better to err on the side of more options for Americans.

  3. thelenj1 Says:

    This can be a very difficult subject. I do think girls should have the option to take this to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but at the same time where do you make the cut off. I think if you are below the age that you are legally allowed to give consent to having sex then you should not be able to just walk in to a pharmacy and receive the drug. There are two reasons for this. One is if an individual is having sex at such a young age an adult needs to be aware so they can explain the risks. Secondly, at this age if an individual is being sexually assaulted a parent should know and legal actions should be taken. If one is over the age of legal consent, but below seventeen I am still wary about the drug just being given out to anyone. I think girls should not feel like they can do whatever they want because they have the pill to fall back on. At the same, I do not think a child should be brought into the world because of an irresponsible act. I do not believe that taking the pill compares on any level to bringing another human being into this world. Overall though I really do believe that a woman have the right to make her own choice and should be able to get the pill if she needs it. The health risks associated with the pill tend to be low so I believe that any individual of the age of consent should be able to get the pill and if they are below the age they should only need a parent or legal guardian to be present.

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