Earlier today, a federal judge ordered the federal Food and Drug Administration to allow the sale of the “morning after” birth control pill to people of any age without any prescription. Prior to the ruling, the FDA had required prescriptions for anyone under age 17.
Democrat Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) is among the first to praise the ruling. In a statement released this morning, Murray says “Today’s ruling highlights the importance of the Food and Drug Administration regulations being based on science, not politics. As numerous medical societies and patient advocates have argued, improved access to birth control, including emergency contraception, has proven to benefit a woman’s personal, economic and social health and stability. Increasing access to obtain a safe and effective product they may need to prevent an unintended pregnancy is an essential part of basic health care.”
Murray’s statement neglects to note that adult women are not the issue here, nor is their access to Plan B. The ruling sweeps safeguards aside and allows young girls to obtain the medication without a prescription and without their parents’ awareness. Doctors warn that the pill does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and should not be used as primary birth control. Potential side effects from adults using the drug include abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue and even vomiting and diarrhea. Unexpected bleeding may also result.