In our revived Men and Abortion discussion yesterday I brought up the notion that abortion is really a woman’s issue because no matter what happens to the pregnancy it is the woman and not the man who must persevere and live with the decision for the rest of her life.
of the “morning-after” pill for over-the-counter sales should make
emergency contraception widely available for the first time by the end
of the year, but the new policy excludes the group of women some
doctors say might need it the most — teenagers who aren’t practicing
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved Plan B,
casually called the morning-after pill, for sale without a prescription
to women age 18 and older. If taken within 72 hours of having
unprotected sex, Plan B is up to 89 percent effective at preventing
The decision, which ended a three-year battle within the FDA, was
considered a compromise by pro-choice and women’s health advocates who
had hoped to win over-the-counter approval for all women, regardless of
Supporters of Plan B have said making the drug more easily accessible
to all women could cut in half the number of unplanned pregnancies in
the United States every year — a statement that some conservative
groups don’t buy, saying that over-the-counter sales could lead to
sexual promiscuity and, in turn, more unintended pregnancies.
Roughly half of all pregnancies in the United States, or about 3
million, are unplanned. About 820,000 teenagers get pregnant every
year. The pregnancy rate is much lower among teenagers than among adult
women, but supporters of Plan B point out that teenagers are much less
likely than adults to have access to birth control.
I am especially pleased with the FDA approving the Morning-After pill
but I am concerned that the women who need access to this pill the most
— women under the age of 18 — are unable to purchase the pill.
Does a woman under 18 own her own decisions or not?
Should she be able to save herself from an unintended pregnancy?
Does a woman under 18 own her body or not? If not, why not?
How are unintended pregnancies with women under 18 handled in countries
beyond the United States?