Another Plan B Debate

Posted: April 26, 2009 by jlmarti in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Until a certain age, life is about limitations. There comes a time when we’re able to watch a rated-R movie, purchase lottery tickets, and legally drink alcohol. Most of the time, the government has good reasons for the age restrictions. Now with the lowering of the age limit for the Plan B drug, the government does not make much sense at all.

The Plan B drug is an emergency contraceptive, which is a backup method to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex. Under the previous law, females over the age of 18 could obtain the pill from their nearby pharmacy without the need of a prescription. The only need for a prescription is for those 17 years and younger. However, under the new law, now females 17 years and older can purchase the pill without a doctor’s prescription. To my knowledge, this means that females in junior year of high school are in the clear. And for that reason, this does not tie in with all the other age limitations put on by the government.

The rationale used by the government when they bumped the legal age of buying cigarettes up to 19 was in an effort to prevent high school seniors from having an influence on their fellow, younger students. A valid reason for the change, but why doesn’t the same argument follow suit with the Plan B pill? While I do understand that pregnancy and cigarettes are two different issues, what does not change is the acceptability factor being displayed by our government. By making 17 year-olds have to get a prescription from their doctor, the person takes a certain amount of credibility with their sexual decisions. However, with this new action, women at a younger age can now engage in unsafe sexual activity without concerning themselves with getting pregnant because they have a very easily-accessible birth control alternative to that of the Pill or condoms.

The primary argument is that assigning the Plan B pill for females 17 years and older is the result of science over politics. But what I fear is that there will come a moment where a young female will exhibit their age in their lack of judgment, and in turn, commit harm to their body. Then what seemed like such a good idea at the time will become a thing of the past. For the time being, let the debate begin!

~ Jose Martinez

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Comments
  1. Andrew says:

    First Plan B is much more expensive than taking the pill. Women that use Plan B often took precautions while having sex, and a condom broke or they feared for some reason that one of their eggs had just been fertilized. Not pregnant yet, because pregnancy starts when there is implantation so Plan B must be taken very soon within 48 hours to work effectively. Often women and girls that use Plan B have been raped as well.

    So requiring teenagers to get a prescription from a doctor means that it could already be too late for Plan B to work.

    Plan B should be more readily available than it already is, pharmacists should not be allowed to refuse to give it if that pharmacy has it, and all teenagers should have access to it without a prescription.

    This is less about punishing a one time mistake than about lowering the rate of unintended pregnancies and thus lowering the rate of abortions or children that will most likely be taken care of poorly by their teen aged mother.

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