Soon, it will be legal for young girls of any age to pick up over the counter Plan B One-Step morning after pills that would protect them from pregnancy resulting from the previous night’s mistake or passion. There will be no age restriction, no prescription needed, no point of sale interviews, no parental permission. Just like Trojan condoms are available near the impulse section of grocery check-out counters, these morning after pills will be easily available to one and all.
Why wait for weeks? What is barring this from happening?
Mainly because the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius blocked the unrestricted sale of these pills at a time when a US District judge, Edward Korman of Brooklyn, wanted it to move forward. HHS previously limited the sale
to those who are at least 17 years old. But the Food and Drug Administration announced early last month that it should be made available to girls as old as 15.
There were talks that it should even be made available to girls as young as 12.
These intramurals on an important health and ethical issue surrounding a pill was
described by the government as creating “substantial market confusion”. Judge Korman said he ruled against the government by declaring that Secretary Sebelius’ action was “politically motivated, scientifically unjustified and contrary to agency
precedent”. Korman just wanted to move forward. This issue has been debated for
over ten years, though the Food and Drug Administration was ready to release
the pills only two years ago.
The confusion is happening at the same time that the country is racked by the
Gosnell Trial, a court drama convicting abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell for seven counts of infanticide committed before 2010 at his clinic, the Women’s Medical Society.
What would have happened if the morning after Plan B One-Step Pill was available to the women who committed abortion? Would they have gone to the Gosnell abbatoir (see my blog, THE GOSNELL ABBATOIR: AN AMERICAN DACHAU, at http://virginiasaunders.authorsxpress.com/2013/04/23/the-gosnell-abbatoir-an-american-dachau/ ) or any available abortion clinic?
Necessity is the mother of invention, and that is what the morning after pill is for. It is a necessary evil that should be equal opportunity for all. Mainly because we are human, we make mistakes, and we don’t want to add more evil to injury.
As a contraceptive, Plan B One-Step prevents or delays the ovulation in a girl’s body, as well as interfere with the fertilization of the egg. It may also prevent the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus by altering the linings of the uterus. At the moment, the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies are not united in the “prevent implantation” labeling.
Plan B One-Step is not an abortion pill. It will not kill or destroy the baby once a woman is pregnant. It’s purpose is to prevent the sperm and eggs from meeting and fertilizing in the uterus. It is more effective than contraceptive pills that contain estrogen and progestin which women take for their 28 day period.
One factor that would help Christians in accepting Plan B One-Step is the knowledge that by using it at the right time, they are not killing a baby. The pill merely prevents sperm and ovum from meeting during the ovulation period when a woman is most likely to be fertile. It also bypasses the dangers and side effects of taking the 28 day contraceptive pills to control ovulation.
As a birth control pill to prevent unwanted pregnancy from unprotected sex, the levels of progestin in Plan B One-Step is higher than birth control pills. It is a one dose regimen that should be taken immediately after sex or within 72 hours after unprotected sex. This is a step more effective than the Plan B available in 1999 when it was a two-dose regimen taken 12 hours apart. The new FDA approved Plan B One-Step contains 1.5 milligrams of synthetic levonorgestrel. If taken within 24 hours after sex, it is
Why just 95%? First, you cannot take Plan Be One-Step before sex. You cannot use it if you already know or suspect that you are pregnant, for that could cause defect in
your baby. You cannot take it if you have abnormal vaginal bleeding, or a history of allergy and hypersensitivity. Some side effects include nausea, abdominal pain, headache, menstrual changes, dizziness, breast tenderness, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Plan B One-Step can disable the ejaculated sperm by thickening the cervical mucus so sperms have difficulty swimming through it; or it could prevent or delay the release of the egg in the ovary or by preventing ovulation, or by making the lining of the uterus less receptive to the egg.
There has been controversy on how effective it is in preventing fertilized eggs from implanting in the lining of the uterus. The pharmaceutical industry is contesting the Food and Drug Administration for declaring on the label that Plan B One-Step can not prevent implantation in the womb. Once a fertilized egg has been implanted, Plan B One-Step will not work and pregnancy occurs. That is why it should be taken right after sex or within 72 hours after sex. However, RU-486, an abortificent, destroys implanted embryos.
Plan B One-Step, and Plan B, are often given by hospitals to women who have been sexually assaulted. The position of the Catholic Church on this is that “rape is not a
unitive act that requires openness to procreation. It is an act of violence to another person, and the woman is allowed to take steps to prevent the possible fertilization of
her own egg.” The following conditions must be met for a Catholic run hospital to provide Plan B One-Step.
1) That the woman is not already pregnant from prior, freely-chosen sexual activity
2) The woman has been sexually assaulted
3) The woman has not yet ovulated
4) The morning after pill can reasonably be expected to prevent her from ovulating.
The Catholic Church views are echoed by Orthodox Jews who believe that Plan B One-Step provides few “halakhic” problems. “All who share our goal of preventing unwanted pregnancies should join us in welcoming the long overdue decision to make this safe and easy way to prevent pregnancy more easily available to women across the country,” according to the Religious Action Center’s Mark J. Pelavin. The
conservative group RAC joined the Presbyterian Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church in urging the FDA to approve the over the counter pill.
Jews believe that according to the Talmud, during the first 40 days of pregnancy, the
embroyo is only “mayim be’elma, or simply water”, which is different from the
Catholic view that life begins at conception. Both Catholics and Jewish faiths believe that condoms, which block sperm from entering a woman’s body during sex, changes the act of transmission of life and are not permissible.
However,both faiths believe that with Plan B One-Step, the sperm is waylaid or blocked
only from meeting and fertilizing the ovum, conception has not occurred, and is
Maybe the Gosnell trial will, after all, bring attention to the merits of Plan B
One-Step. It will make it easier for women to naturally control their bodies, and help rape victims to not bear the consequences of their oppression. Maybe we can start tallying the number of abortions from the time Plan B One-Step became truly available over the counter to any woman regardless of age, and stop thinking about Roe versus Wade.
Maybe the Morning After Pill could really be a woman’s best friend.
By Virginia S Saunders ®
Posted May 14, 2013 at