FDA weighs selling abortion pill off the shelf — UPDATED

FDA weighs selling abortion pill off the shelf — UPDATED December 6, 2011

The mind boggles:

The federal government is grappling with the explosive question of whether to let anyone of any age buy the controversial morning-after pill Plan B directly off drugstore and supermarket shelves without a prescription.

The Food and Drug Administration has until Wednesday to respond to a request from the drug’s manufacturer to make the pill as easy to get as toilet paper and toothpaste, a move pushed by some doctors, health advocates, family-planning activists, members of Congress and others to help women prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Opponents, however, say such a decision would expose girls and women to potential risks from taking high doses of a potent hormone, interfere with parents’ ability to monitor their children and make it easier for men to prey on vulnerable minors.

The request follows a series of steps in recent years that have gradually made Plan B easier to obtain. If it is approved, the pill would move out from behind pharmacists’ counters, eliminating the requirement that women produce a prescription or prove that they are at least 17 years old to get it without a doctor’s order. Instead, Plan B would be available on store shelves, along with condoms, contraceptive sponges and spermicides.

“Hopefully, it will be right on the shelves between the condoms and the pregnancy tests,” said Kirsten Moore of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, a Washington-based advocacy group. “We think it’s good news for women’s health and long overdue.”

Read more.

UPDATE: HHS’s Sebelius has overruled her experts and moved to block the sale of the drug off the shelf.

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment

43 responses to “FDA weighs selling abortion pill off the shelf — UPDATED”

  1. Maggie your response isn’t so far fetched.

    This will just be another “little step” to the final debasement of human life. The more the evil is “packaged for convenience” , the easier it is to sell. That’s why no one should be suprised when we are all reduced to “units” in front of government death panels. We will have done it to ourselves, from the people we put into office, to the reticence in the face of evil.

    As much as many on this blog wouldn’t vote for Newt (and believe me, I’m not his apologist, just using common sense), I ask that who ever the candidate is against Obama to be honest enough to ask yourself, “Under which man’s watch do I want these decisions made, including the Supreme Court Appointments?”

    We already know who this administration stands on “life and death.” Any one else couldn’t possibly be any worse.

  2. Really? She’s been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Planned Parenthood for decades without any ecclesiastical consequences. Why is this latest outrage any different from the countless ones prior?

  3. She has been forbidden to receive communion by two bishops I believe. It is on Wikipedia. I don’t know what further discipline could be imposed but at some point you are cooperating in the procurement of abortion and you are automatically excommunicated at that point.

  4. Kevin,
    I sit, somewhat corrected.
    She’s clearly excommunicated herself, and the Archbishop of Kansas City (in Kansas) has requested that she not present herself for communion per Wikipedia
    (I’m unaware whether the Archbishop of DC has done the same). I may have been confusing her status with Nancy Pelosi’s.

  5. We are in such a sad situation in this country. The pro-aborts hate the comparison to slavery but it is so apt. Because just like many callously pretended black people were not full persons back then, there are so many today, including the President, who arbitrarily believe that human life does not begin until sometime after birth (hence partial birth abortion). And these same people who tell us not to get an abortion if we regard it as murder, then want to force us to cooperate with legalizing it or making it available.

  6. The use of Plan B as emergency contraception IN THE CASE OF RAPE would be morally permissible just as one has the natural moral right to defend oneself and one’s family against an assailant or intruder. In the case of rape, the spermatozoa would be the intruder or assailant. That’s the only way Plan B can be morally used i.e. in the case of rape AND ONLY if no conception has occurred. It must be determined medically by professionals since menstrual cycles can vary widely for some women. Because, conception can occur from rape, Plan B has no business being readily available to the public who would and do use it for convenience (oh, I had one too many drinks and got plastered, I can’t afford a baby in my life right now, etc). Again, it may only be administered where no conception has occurred and only in the case of rape. If conception has occurred, it is not permissible to use Plan B because of its abortifacient nature, whether or not Plan B works 100% of the time. The intention is key here. If conception has occurred and Plan B is used, then the intent is to abort. There is no other explanation.

  7. I’m starting to wonder why slavery can’t be legal again at this point. Wouldn’t the right to choose include a person’s right to choose to be a slave? You choose to give up your freedom and be owned by someone else. Who’s to say it’s wrong? The Obama administration?

  8. Kevin, we have material slavery in this country right now, even if not formally so. The welfare state-created underclass, criminal justice system and the IRS, as well as capitalist structures of concentrated wealth and student debt and consumer debt, go a long way to ensure that a great many of us spend a large part of our lives working to support the interests of others. It’s done more subtly and genteely than the old days (not unlike Plan B, come to think of it), but the old plantations are very much in business.

  9. This isn’t that big a deal, at least not in terms of a change from the status quo. It’s essentially an over the counter item right now. Whether it’s behind the pharmacy counter or not, it is very readily accessible. Even the age requirement is a joke. There is nothing at all to stop an older sister or friend, or boyfriend, from buying the drug on someone else’s behalf. It carries no criminal penalties, at least not any federal ones. Any teen with a credit card can easily order it online too. At the same time, at 50 bucks a pop, it’s not exactly an attractive option for convenience contraception.

    Those using the story to get in another dig at Obama as a “Party of Death” president or somesuch nonsense should remember that Plan B was approved for nonprescription access during Bush’s tenure.

  10. I think we need to be careful about defining down such terms as slavery. Real people suffered horrible things in the history of our country due to that unjust and immoral system. A bloody civil war was fought over it, and over 620,000 American lives were lost, more than have been lost in any war before or since.
    Our present economic problems are in no way comparable to a system in which people were literally bought and sold like cattle.

  11. Alcohol and tobacco products require an ID to prove age before purchase. Perhaps this product could have an age requirement also—at least 16. Those younger who find themselves in need (and that should never happen but does) would obviously have to have a person over 16 purchase the product.

  12. I want to see where the USCCB comes down on this issue.

    And if this is a contraceptive, how did the Conn bishops approve this? Certainly not Catholic teaching on that one.

  13. You are 100% right George. Democrat abortion argument depends on the same argument the Democrats used for slavery and after the civil war for their right to beat, torture and lynch blacks. They were not quite human. That is one thing you can count on with that party as consistent, they always have those who are not quite human. It is also interesting that the party that supported slavery and lynching and whose membership in the KKK was all Democrats has also produced abortion mills that have a huge out of proportion ratio of black babies being killed. And all of this is totally factual even if it hurts feelings

  14. You can’t use it because it does not support the pro abortion position. It is the same with showing pictures of what abortion creats in dead mutilated babies is mean but showing stacks of bodies of those killed in the Nazi death camps is OK or showing the backs of blacks beaten by slave masters is OK. It is why they want to use the term pro choice rather than pro abortion even though the choice being legal results in tens of millions of abortions with 4000 a day being added to the rolls.

    And this act by the Obama administration on the abortion pill over the counter now firmly solidifies Obama as the most hateful abortion loving president ever in our history. Also note a major winner of this deal is Obama buddies at planned parenthood. The over the counter will cost much more than what Planned Parenthood is able to sell it exclusively for a discount making about $20 a purchase because they have a massive discount from the drug company who will make billions on this approval. This of course means more money donated to Obama and the Democratic party of abortion from both the drug company profits on dead babies and the abortion mills who have Obama solid support.

  15. romulus, you are correct in part of what you have listed here. LBJ and the Democratic party have created a permanent under class poor who have grown totally dependent on the welfare nanny state and tied firmly to the union driven horrible school system that the Democrats insist the kids have to attend. Despite the government providing trillions in the “war on poverty” started by LBJ as an extension and explosion of the FDR programs, the poor are in worse shape today and so much more dependent on their slave masters in the federal government than before this war on poverty started. They can never easily escape this nanny plantation and they have to keep supporting their slave master to keep the flow of even the small amount of cash. If they want more, they have to do things that will seal their fate by having more kids out of wedlock or not holding a job or not making too much money.

  16. Because she could become pregnant later by virtue of the rape. Sperm can live in fallopian tubes 5-7 days, thus making it possible to impregnate the rape victim a full week afterwards (average is 3-4 days). Again, it IS moral to defend against an aggressor, such as in the case where someone comes into your home and attempts to kill you. You have the moral right to defend yourself and your family. In the case of rape, the aggressor would not only be the rapist, but also the rapist’s sperm. So, Plan B is permissible because it is a defense against an aggressor (planned contraception is prevention of pregnancy by those who engage in consensual sexual union; rape is neither consensual nor pre-planned by the victim; perhaps emergency contraception is the wrong word here because it confuses people). And so, Plan B is only permissible in a rape situation. In every other situation it is not permissible. If the rape victim is found to be pregnant, then it is not permissible to abort. It is never permissible to take the life of an innocent human being, even if that life comes about because of rape.

  17. Kenneth from Planned Parenthood own site on its history.

    On August 24, the FDA approves over-the-counter status for Plan B emergency contraception (EC) for women 18 and older, after a series of delays that elicit national outrage. Two FDA medical advisory committees deemed Plan B safe and recommended its over-the-counter sale in 2004, but political appointees (of President Bush) within the FDA bowed to anti-choice pressure and stalled approval.

    It has a long whine about President Bush and his being pro life and has this to say about the election of Obama..

    “On January 20, 2009, a new day dawns for reproductive health and rights with the inauguration of President Barack Obama, who makes clear his commitment to ensuring access to comprehensive health care for women and their families. With a PARTNER in the White House and allies in Congress, Planned Parenthood renews its efforts to help secure reproductive rights and define health care reform for the 21st century.”


    It hammers away at Republicans and their pro life positions which is why Clinton had a high pro abortion rating from them and Obama is king of pro abortion ratings. Now we add this to his long list of attacks on innocent babies.

  18. Hey, they can buy it at planned parenthood cheaper and from all the proven incidents at Planned Parenthood of ignoring laws about statatory rape and giving abortions to minors wihtout parental notification, this is a no brainer for the abortion mills. Lets face it, those who work every day slaughtering 4000 babies a day are not going to be to upset about moral or legal issues. They have their friends in the party of death to protect them along with tainted judges they have managed to get on the bench.

  19. Melody you make a good point, however I would argue that MORE people suffer MORE unjust and immoralty owing to our current culture, one being sex without consequences.

    The “enslavement” of sin is far worse than even the horrfic acts of human slavery, especially in a moral relative and almost Godless Culture.

  20. Mark thanks for making the point that President Bush did NOT want this easily in the hands of minors. We all know just like cigarettes and alcohol that minors are going to get it if they want it, not easily, but they will get it.

    The “getting it” part isn’t as important as the message that minors being ABLE to get it sends, both to our respect for our kids and America, the land that not only kills it’s childrend for convenience, but now also easily allows its children to do so too, without parental consent.

    Like many things, it’s the”misuse” that is the problem. As someone pointed out earlier, it IS approved by the Catholic Church IMMEDIALELY after a rape IF the pregnancy test is negative, but only for rape. Sadly even that gets misused, as most won’t even bother do to the pregnancy test. If used for rape BEFORE a pregnancy has occured, it is NOT considered birth control by the CC because the victim did not plan the sexual encounter, and there is no fetus there to be killed, only “prevented”, which in cases of forced rape, is not immoral.

  21. The Washington Post reports that, under President Obama and his Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the Food and Drug Administration is considering letting “anyone of any age buy the controversial morning-after pill Plan B directly off drugstore and supermarket shelves without a prescription.” The Post writes.

    Obama = Culture of Death

  22. Interesting Notgiven. I will wait to see how the Church comes down on this issue by the USCCB and their right to life group. You certainly give me something to think about.

  23. I don’t think it is either or on this issue. Slavery was horrible and certainly a grave sin. Today, we often see ourselves putting on the chains of slavery to sin and our culutre. We see Catholics who vote to keep a holocaust legal and supported by our government directly resulting in thousands being slaughtered every day and watch their dance to try to justify this grave sin. Kind of like Hitler was bad on the death camp issue, but brought germany full employment and a growing economy.

  24. George, nothing this administration does in support of killing babies should ever suprise anyone. As I quoted from the abortion mill planned parenthood own site, Obama is their “partner” in the killing and the Democratic Party in power is their “allies.” http://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/who-we-are/history-and-successes.htm
    ““On January 20, 2009, a new day dawns for reproductive health and rights with the inauguration of President Barack Obama, who makes clear his commitment to ensuring access to comprehensive health care for women and their families. With a PARTNER in the White House and allies in Congress, Planned Parenthood renews its efforts to help secure reproductive rights and define health care reform for the 21st century.”

    This should be posted in every Catholic Church until the next election. I have sent it to the right to life group at the USCCB and also to the state pro life group. It should be a post to every Catholic blog and any other trying to fight to end the holocaust of abortion.

  25. “whose membership in the KKK was all Democrats” Not all of them. Edward L. Jackson, the Republican governor of Indiana in the 1920s, was a notorious tool of the KKK until he was driven from office in disgrace.

    And with regard to abortion, in the 1960s the Republican party was more sympathetic to abortion legalization than the Democratic party — Betty Ford and Barbara Bush didn’t come out of nowhere.

  26. sjay, are you actually trying to say that the slave holders and the kkk and governments of the south who protected this terrorist group were not 99% Democrats? Also, the klan in Indiana was a lot different in many ways from the south because its prime focus was against Catholics and especially foreigners from Catholic countries at least if not more than it was against blacks which made up a very small portion of the population. Catholics were huge in Indiana with almost half the public schools actually parochial schools taught by nuns. That is why you see so many nuns in retirement now who get pensions from the state of Indiana.

    As to abortion, Is there any doubt that the Democratic Party is the party of abortion today and has been since 1970? Remember, that the 1960’s was prior to Roe and before the holocaust of 54 million dead babies. I have no doubt there are republican who still mistakenly support the abortion holocaust. However, I could care less what first ladies politics are as neither Barbara or Betty Ford held elected office. We have a couple of pro abortion RINO’s now in the Senate so by no means is the party pure on the issue. However, you can’t be making the point that the Republicans even come close in supporting abortion to the Democrats today. Please don’t tell me you are trying to make that point.

  27. Wrong. HHS pro abortion queen says she wants more data. This is only politics at work. If we elect this team, this and far worse will happen to innocent children.

  28. No, Mark, merely trying to correct your initial, wildly hyperbolic attempt to identify the KKK as “all Democrats.” The GOP has contributed significantly to the support of anti-black racism in the past few decades, much as the Democrats have contributed to abortion.

  29. Plan B is an abortifacient. All hormonal contraceptives are designed to “work” in a variety of ways. These include preventing ovulation, slowing transport of the embryo through the fallopian tube (which has the potential to cause ectopic pregnancy), and altering the chemical make-up of the endometrium so that the baby cannot implant and an abortion occurs before the woman even knows she is pregnant. Even the drug manufacturers admit this in the package insert. Remember, it takes about a week from the time of conception for the embryo(baby) to travel through the fallopian tube to implant in the womb. Pregnancy can not be clinically detected until implantation. If the common hormonal contraceptives have abortifacient effects, how much more so do higher doses, like Plan B. The deception going on in the promotion of these drugs is horrific. And fatal.

  30. sj says “No, Mark, merely trying to correct your initial, wildly hyperbolic attempt to identify the KKK as “all Democrats.” The GOP has contributed significantly to the support of anti-black racism in the past few decades, much as the Democrats have contributed to abortion.”

    So you listed one person who was a republican and KKK and that was your proof it was a wildly hyperbolic statement that the KKK was a Democratic organziation? And the one person you mentioned had a crazy relationship with both the party and with the KKK itself making it very apparent that he was using the KKK and the party for his own purposes. In fact, he made a statement claiming that he did not support the KKK beliefs in any way.

    Then you say that the “GOP has contributed significantly to the support of anti-black racism in the past few decades” which is both wrong and also wildly hyperbolic at the same time. Please show how in any way that the GOP has fostered racism.

    Then you say that the Democrats have contributed to abortion when in fact they have sold their souls to abortion supporting it in their platform, their candidates, their voting record, and anything else the abortion mills desired of them. This is evidenced by the abortion mills planned parenthood website listing Obama as their PARTNER AND THE PARTY IN CONGRESS AS WELL.

  31. Seems to me that we have heard this presentation about the racist, KKK history of the Democrats and its relationship with the policies of the present-day party a while ago by another commenter.

    Have you, Mark, inherited that person’s mantle?

  32. What do you think it meant when the Dixiecrats all turned Republican, starting with Strom Thurmond in 1956, or when the Deep South states started going Republican right after Democratic president LBJ pushed the Civil Rights Act through? What did it mean when Reagan chose to start his general election campaign in Philadelphia, Miss., just fifteen years after the three civil rights workers were murdered there and chose to talk about “states’ rights”?

  33. sjay, you have not answered a few questions.

    was the democratic party indeed the party of slavery and the party that was in total control of the racist south up through 1960? during that time, after the civil war, was the racist in the democratic party and did they not use every means possible to keep the freed slaves from voting for Republicans? Did this not include lynching, beating, and burning churches? Did this not include stoping any attempt by the Republican Party and some Democrats in the north to pass strong civil rights legislation? Did FDR not support legislation he promised to support if elected to make lynching blacks a federal crime and then when elected not give it his support for fear of upseting the racist democrats in his own party?

    So since the answer to all these questions clearly shows that the Democrats from founding were one of the most brutal racist parties one could imagine.

    Now you bring up Strom Thurmond. He was indeed one of the Southern Democrats who changed parties and he was a racist while a Democrat. However, is there any proof showing that as a Republican he was a racist? Did he filibuster civil rights legislation to stop it as a Republican? When David Duke tried to run as a republican, he was roundly dismissed and kicked out.

    You attack Reagan because he campaigned in the same place as every other presidential candidate of both parties had for a number of years. You seem to buy into the fact that if you mention ‘states rights” that you are a racist. There are two schools of thought and one is big federal central government is the answer to everything. The other is that good effective government is most often done at the local level allowing flexibility by the states to run programs that match their situation and need. Here is what Reagan said in that speech where states rights were discussed.

    “I don’t believe stereotype after what we did, of people in need who are there simply because they prefer to be there. We found the overwhelming majority would like nothing better than to be out, with jobs for the future, and out here in the society with the rest of us. The trouble is, again, that bureaucracy has them so economically trapped that there is no way they can get away. And they’re trapped because that bureaucracy needs them as a clientele to preserve the jobs of the bureaucrats themselves.

    “I believe that there are programs like that, programs like education and others, that should be turned back to the states and the local communities with the tax sources to fund them, and let the people [applause drowns out end of statement].

    “I believe in state’s rights; I believe in people doing as much as they can for themselves at the community level and at the private level. And I believe that we’ve distorted the balance of our government today by giving powers that were never intended in the constitution to that federal establishment. And if I do get the job I’m looking for, I’m going to devote myself to trying to reorder those priorities and to restore to the states and local communities those functions which properly belong there.”

    There is nothing racist in that speech and your using this as if it shows he was a racist is not worthy of anyone who cares about truth.

    Try to take on the issue raised and the history. Many want to brush aside 150 years or more of massive brutal racist history about the Democratic Party while they condemn Newt for having married and divorced a couple times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.