PlanB goes OTC

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by Alpha, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Great day in FDA history...morning after pills goes over the counter for people older than 16. I thought we might have a (hopefully non-heated) discussion about it! I know a helluva lot about the topic. I worked for some time as a translator in a county health clinic in Richond, VA doing family planning and prenatal care, then moved back down to Raleigh and began working at Planned Parenthood.

    The benefits of morning after pills going OTC are overwhelming. Cost has always been a big issue. We used to joke at Planned Parenthood that people don't stop having sex on saturdays. i.e. when the morning after is a sunday, you can find yourself at a hospital or urgent care center, with a very big bill if you don't have insurance, or if you can't use insurance because you don't want your parents to know. Widespread availablity of emergency contraceptives will no doubt lead to a decrease in the number of unwanted pregnancies, and hopefully, a drop in the number of abortions. That particular issue has become entirely bastardized by politics over the last few years. Liberals and conservatives alike should be on the same side when it comes to OTC birth control. Liberals like it on principle, and conservatives like it because it should mean fewer abortions. But for some reason, the political right has decided to tie contraception and abortion together, greatly complicating the issue. That debate is really a wash, but I thought I might bring it up anyway.

    There are some cons to OTC EC, however. I've known a lot of people who have used EC several times, and there have been no studies demonstrating any physiological problems associatied with near routine use of EC (after all, it's just a very high dose of monophasic birth control). The problem here, then, isn't physical, it becomes a question of education and options, really. We all know that there are "better" ways to control unwanted pregnancies than taking EC every time that you have sex. Having EC over the counter means that people who take it aren't presented with information about the alternatives. For example, at PP (planned parenthood), when someone would come in for EC, we'd give them a prescription, with a couple refills. If, after that, they came back for more EC, we'd counsel them; talk to them about the pill, encourage them to get a pap-smear, etc. People coming into the clinic in order to get EC really was a fantastic opportunity for us to counsel them on women's health and other means of contraception. It does bother me to some extent that we really won't have that opportunity anymore.

    Anyway, feel free to add to this conversation. Just thought I'd share my thoughts on the topic.
     
  2. magicmonkey

    magicmonkey TPF Noob!

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    I thought it was 18? In the uk the morning after pill is provided free from family planning clinics and doctors etc. so going over the counter here would be a bit of a waste of time (why pay when you can get it for free). Personally I'm all for it but I'm surprised that you have to pay, there are always going to be problems and statisticaly it's predimnantly poorer people who need this sort of contraception more often.

    The other thing I worry about is the age limit, there are no medical reasons (other than the standard side effects present for all age groups) that they should not be sold to teenagers and as we all know, teenagers aren't exactly angels!

    as for the 'morning after' being a Sunday, it works up to 72 hours after so it's not really a problem, the name is a bit misleading...

    Strictly speaking, the morning after pill isn't contraception, a contraceptive prevents a live sperm reaching an egg, once this is done it's technically over the other side and into abortion as the sperm has reached the egg and started throwing its protiens around the place, I think that to actually call it abortion os going a bit far but there is a strong argument that the fetus has begun developing...

    Hope this doesn't break theforum rules, let me know if it does and I'll delete it :)
     
  3. PlasticSpanner

    PlasticSpanner TPF Noob!

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    I can't see this thread lasting long since the topic is such a strong issue morally & religiously. Maybe should have given more thought about the reactions of some devout Catholic members before posting?

    I like a true, civilised debate but definately not when religion gets involved.
     
  4. JDS

    JDS TPF Noob!

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    I agree.. Morals, religion and politics are going to come into play here, all of which are going to cause problems in a global, multinational, multicultural audience... I personally can't find a way to say much about the issue without getting a little wound up myself, so I won't. ;) I like being able to be involved in this community... :)
     
  5. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    True, civilized debate is always allowed here, and helps keep the forum vibrant and interesting to us all. It's the potential hot topics that cause the flame wars that are discouraged.

    But you guys already know this. ;) Discussion - any discussion - needs to be kept objective, and no one should let themselves get upset. Note that no moderators have pounced here. As long as everyone is respectful and tolerant, there's no need. :D
     

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