The FDA received a black eye Wednesday when its plan to widen the distribution of the morning after pill to include 16-year-olds was overruled by the US Health and Human Services secretary.
The ruling forces adolescents, under the age of 16, to continue to have to get a prescription (and therefore parental consent) in order to take the morning after pill. The problem is that the pill must be taken as quickly after sex as possible, or its effectiveness drops off substantially. That’s exactly why Teva Pharmaceuticals applied to the FDA to make the drug easily accessible to women of all ages – over the counter. The FDA agreed.
Because we as a nation won’t deal with reality that our kids are having sex, they continue having uneducated, unprotected sex. But if denial of research and reality is how politicians and religious leaders want to play it when it comes to teen sex, then they should at least give klds a safe, discreet option to disrupt their chances of pregnancy after the fact. One that can be dispensed without a prescription.
However, even though FDA scientists agree that the morning after pill is safe and effective in adolescent females in potentially preventing ovulation, political pressure has, once again, drowned out the science in a turbulent sea of morality.
Sorry 16-year-olds. Even though we don’t want you having sex, we apparently we do want you having children.