Easy access to Plan B pill causes controversy

PALM DESERT, Calif. - Plan B one step will soon be available to everyone over the counter, without a prescription. The Justice Department announced it will no longer try to block young girls from having easy access to the emergency contraception.
Women's right groups applaud the White House's decision as a huge step forward for reproductive freedom.

"We're ecstatic. I think Obama finally is doing the right thing and putting the morning after pill on the shelf where it should have been ten years ago,"  Erin Mahoney of the National Women's Liberation said.

"The last thing I want is for children to come into the world that a teenager is not ready to raise," Tameiko Dellinger said.

Dellinger said this new access helps control the inevitable.
"Teenagers are going to have sex period. They have always had sex, period. It's going to happen whether or not you give them access to birth control or not," Dellinger said.

This major change brings in major opposition.

"We would say it's a chemically induced abortion that is directly trying to terminate a possible pregnancy which is being created," Father Howard Lincoln of Sacred Heart Church said.

Plan B can prevent ovulation or fertilization of an egg if taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex.  It will not end a pregnancy.

"I would think parents would say, "Gosh, I can't imagine my 12-year-old daughter having that kind of freedom to make that choice independent of any consultation independent of any prescription whatsoever," Father Lincoln said.
"I think it sends a message of false safety, that if they have relations at a young age they will be taken care of through the pill, without describing other diseases out there and how it could affect their life," Natalie Keller, who has two daughters, said.

President Obama had been trying to prevent selling these pills to teens under age 15 since he took office. In April, the fda announced plan b could be sold without a prescription to those age 15 or older.

Sales had previously been limited to girls at least 17 years old.  
The Food and Drug Administration said it has asked the drug's manufacturer to submit an application to make Plan B available over the counter without restrictions.

The company would not say how soon the pill would be on pharmacy shelves.

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