I knew I shouldn’t get my hopes up: the Secretary of Health and Human Services (a woman!) has overruled the FDA’s recommendation to allow the morning-after pill to be sold on drugstore shelves without a prescription. If Plan B is taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, it is almost 90 percent effective in preventing a pregnancy. The sooner emergency contraception is taken after unprotected sex, the more effective it is.
The FDA had until today to decide whether Plan B could be available on drugstore shelves (as opposed to behind the counter) without a prescription for anyone of any age. Feminist activist Jessica Valenti had claimed her reproductive justice sources said the FDA would OK putting Plan B on drugstore shelves. Indeed, she was correct. But Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has overruled the FDA, claiming concern for its use by young teens. Currently young women ages 16 and younger can only get Plan B with a prescription.
But apparently the status quo will stay the same. “16 & Pregnant” auditions for everyone!