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Plan B over the Counter Question


Mama Mia

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Not sure if this should be here or chatter, but since I think the reasoning behind the controversy might be religious based I'll put it here.

So Plan B, the morning after contraceptive just went to over the counter status, available to everyone 15 and over. Previously it was behind the counter, and available to everyone 17 and over.

My question is, what on earth is the reasoning behind these ages ????? There was a big controversy and court decision that said to make it available to all ages. They are currently compromising by changing the age to 15.

I don't get it. Why 17 ? 18 is the legal age of majority, so why pick something random like 17 if you are trying to restrict access to minors ? And then why switch to 15 ? If you're going to lower it to a specific age - why 15 ? Wouldn't either 16 ( when a girl is at least somewhat likely to have some sort of I.D. that even has her age ) or 13, cause she's a teenager not a child -- make more sense ?

I don't understand the randomness of these ages. And for some reason it is annoying me. Any ideas ?

Here's a news article

nytimes.com/2013/05/01/health/fda-lowers-age-for-morning-after-pill.html?_r=0

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15 is supposed to be a "compromise" between 17 and all age no questions asked. I imagine it has something to do with the majority of teenage girls having their period by 15. But 15 year olds generally don't have state IDs, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to me. When I was 15, I used my school ID for everything - public transportation was free for students with ID & most of my activities were school based. So I don't know.

Our local radio guy didn't realize there is a difference between Plan B and the Abortion Pill. And he's actually intelligent, at least compared to his callers. The mind boggles at times.

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It is also most likely based on data, from clinical and/or human factors-type studies, determining where on the bell curve the risk:benefit ratio is clearly in the benefit category. I do agree though, 15 is tricky as most 15-year olds don't have a a photo-based government ID. Though maybe other things, like a birth certificate might serve as proof of age, I'm not sure.

When I read this on CNN, of course the Family Research Counsel had to weigh in on how bad this is. Because now, a 15 year old may be forced to take the pill and needing a prescription from a medical care provider was serving as the protection from that. Yeah, right that is why they don't like it and want to keep it prescription :roll:

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At least in some states you can get a learner's permit at age 15 (preliminary to a driver's license), which is state-issued. Maybe that figures in?

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I'm very happy that this is happening. Its a small step for women's rights. Keeping it behind the counter restricts access to time in some parts and now having it over the counter allows women to not have the shame of getting the pill.

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A 15 year old is generally equipped to make his or her own medical decisions, including taking the Morning After Pill. Once someone is mentally able to make these decisions, he or she should be able to get the Morning After Pill without needing a prescription or parental involvement.

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I'm not sure about other states, but in Massachusetts anyone 14 or older can apply for state ID with or without a driver's license or learner’s permit.

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I wish it was more common to get state ID's. Like how I registered to vote early because someone was physically /at/ my high school to register us during business hours. If they had state-ID days, that would have been so helpful for avoiding the "I'm in school during business hours and can't ever get to the DMV" runaround.

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A 15 year old is generally equipped to make his or her own medical decisions, including taking the Morning After Pill. Once someone is mentally able to make these decisions, he or she should be able to get the Morning After Pill without needing a prescription or parental involvement.

I'd say it depends on the 15 year old. In today's infantilizing American suburban culture, where school aged children are no longer allowed or encouraged to walk to the store or school alone, where 12 year olds call home to see if they are allowed a snack from a friend's parent, where CPS is called when an 8 year old rides his bike alone, where parents call their 19 year old "child's" college professor to challenge a grade, there are 15 year olds who probably aren't equiped to make that decision. Just last month I spent a substantial amount of time explaining how periods, ovulation, and pregnancy work - to a woman who was 25. She had NO idea that periods weren't just unfertilized eggs, or what implantation was, or how different types of birth control worked.

Personally, I think it should be over the counter, and as available as condoms. It would come with an insert explaining what it is and isn't, and (i hope) any one who purchases it would have the information they need.

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At age 14 a teen(in my state, at least)can legally act for themselves in accessing mental health care.It makes sense to me to make Plan B available at that age also.An unwanted pregnancy can definitely affect mental health, and Plan B is safer than, say, lithium,IMO.

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Not sure if this should be here or chatter, but since I think the reasoning behind the controversy might be religious based I'll put it here.

So Plan B, the morning after contraceptive just went to over the counter status, available to everyone 15 and over. Previously it was behind the counter, and available to everyone 17 and over.

My question is, what on earth is the reasoning behind these ages ????? There was a big controversy and court decision that said to make it available to all ages. They are currently compromising by changing the age to 15.

I don't get it. Why 17 ? 18 is the legal age of majority, so why pick something random like 17 if you are trying to restrict access to minors ? And then why switch to 15 ? If you're going to lower it to a specific age - why 15 ? Wouldn't either 16 ( when a girl is at least somewhat likely to have some sort of I.D. that even has her age ) or 13, cause she's a teenager not a child -- make more sense ?

I don't understand the randomness of these ages. And for some reason it is annoying me. Any ideas ?

Here's a news article

nytimes.com/2013/05/01/health/fda-lowers-age-for-morning-after-pill.html?_r=0

Probably related to the age of consent.

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Why is there a need for an age limit at all?

Other meds are available OTC with no age restriction. Is Plan B more risky than aspirin or Advil?

Also - if you are old enough to possibly get pregnant, aren't you also old enough to make the decision that you would rather avoid pregnancy?

Really, in what alternate universe would we want to increase the likelihood that a girl under 15 will get pregnant? If a 14 yr old is trying to buy it, it's because she's had sex and doesn't want to get pregnant. Why would we want to prevent her from taking it?

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Because beybeez!!! The evil morning after pill will kill the perfectly formed fetus growing in her womb! No mommy!!!! I love you! Please don't kill me!!!!!

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People have this idea that below a certain age, girls should go to their parents asking for Plan B so the parents can tell her, "No, sweetie, sex is very very bad," and then she will immediately stop dating that boy who convinced her hanky-panky was a good idea and everyone will trip off into a sunset full of rainbows and butterflies.

I was much older than average when I started having sex, so I understand the ickiness people feel about young girls having sex--is it really consensual, and even if it is are they old enough to make good decisions regarding birth control or STD prevention--but for the love of Pete, whatever else bad might be going on at least if she has access to Plan B she can get out of a bad situation without a baby.

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Why is there a need for an age limit at all?

Other meds are available OTC with no age restriction. Is Plan B more risky than aspirin or Advil?

I don't know anything about the debate over the age but would guess it has something to do with data on when a significant percentage of girls are having sex. The percentage of kids having intercourse under age 15 is fairly low compared with those 15 and over, so it may have been a compromise age. Although I agree that an 11 or 14 year old should be able to obtain it as well.

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Probably related to the age of consent.

This is my guess as well. The age of consent varies state to state and drs (and pharmacists in some states) are mandated reporters a 14 year old who is potentially pregnant needs to be reported as possible abuse. The mandated reporter will know the age in their state and will report when required.

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Here's one article that I found on the age restriction: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 78538.html

Again: how is Plan B more dangerous than Aspirin or Advil or cold meds? They all have potentially serious side effects if not used properly, but nobody is checking ID if kids under 15 buy them.

Personally, I plan to point out the Plan B on the pharmacy shelf to my kids. They'll still know the rest of the safe sex speech - but I want them to ALSO know that if something happened, there is something that they can do right away to reduce the risk of pregnancy, without worrying about telling anyone. I'd hope that my kids would confide in me, but (1) I'm not willing to jeopardize their health over it, and (2) the very fact that I am open about these discussions would hopefully reinforce that I'm not going to react badly if they ever do need to come to me.

JenniferJuniper: That would make no sense. I hope that the number of kids under 15 having sex is lower, but that has nothing to do with the fact that those who do still need access to this.

Buzzard: It's not good, but it's also not statutory rape if the boy is also 14. I just think that the odds are too high that a 13 or 14 yr old will panic, not want to face their parents, and won't get the Plan B. Instead, you'll get a young girl having a baby or doing something stupid which could truly jeopardize her health.

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Am I the only one worried that the crazies will buy out the supply so it's not available to people who need it? It's easier to do that with OTC.

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Am I the only one worried that the crazies will buy out the supply so it's not available to people who need it? It's easier to do that with OTC.

Ah I've never thought of that possibility. I don't put it past some of them, but I'll bet others wouldn't want to personally contribute to the monetary gains of scary big pharma baby killers.

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This is the official story:

In April, US District Court Judge Edward Korman ruled that a 2011 decision by the chief of US Health and Human Services to require teens under 17 to obtain a prescription was "politically motivated" and "scientifically unjustified."

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the latest decision was based on a review of data submitted by the Pennsylvania-based pharmaceutical company Teva showed that women age 15 and older were able to understand how it works without the intervention of a health care provider.

"The data reviewed by the agency demonstrated that women 15 years of age and older were able to understand how Plan B One-Step works, how to use it properly, and that it does not prevent the transmission of a sexually transmitted disease," she said in a statement.

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One of the things good about it going OTC is that there will no longer be an "interview" by the pharmacist prior to dispensing it, nor will there be a required signature/documentation of the person purchasing it.

I am 47 years old. I have found it necessary to take Plan B 3 times in my life. Once before I was married but due to a condom break with my future husband and I was 28 years old. Then a couple of other times before he eventually had a vasectomy. The last time I needed it, I was 42 years old, had had two children, and we had yet another "accident". I went to the pharmacy, clearly NOT under 20 years old, and they refused to sell it to me because I slipped up and told them it had been over 48 hours since the suspected act of intercourse. I have never been so angry in my life. How dare they make that judgement on me for something that is OTC. So I drove across the street and went to a different pharmacy and lied, then promptly signed for my pills (forever documented!), and ultimately turned up not pregnant. You know, at age FORTY-TWO.

I think the way the FDA has handled this from the beginning has been insulting to women's health. I was responsible enough to go on the Pill at 15 when I knew having an unplanned pregnancy would ruin my life, so why when I was 42 I was denied a similar opportunity is just beyond me.

And yes, I think there will be the strong opposers who will go and purchase all the supply to keep the young girls who need it from having access to it. It's sad.

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Yeah my very conservative bother in law was all up in arms about this yesterday. I honestly think he has bought the lie that the plan B is the same thing as the abortion bill and big pharma is lying when it says it is not. Someone needs to explain to these yahoos that plan B is basically similar to a woman who forgots to take a day of birth control and takes two pills the next day.

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So, if the girl is under 15, she can't take it ? Or I misunderstood ?

And 17 years old ? Seriously? Around me the majority of my friends have had their first sexual intercourse between 15 and 17years old... In what world they live ...

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So, if the girl is under 15, she can't take it ? Or I misunderstood ?

And 17 years old ? Seriously? Around me the majority of my friends have had their first sexual intercourse between 15 and 17years old... In what world they live ...

No, they can take it. They just can't buy it. They have to find a 15 year old friend to go to the store with them and purchase the pills.

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