The following statement regarding decision to lift age limits on purchase of over-the-counter emergency contraceptives comes from Deirdre McQuade, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Pro Life Activities:
A federal district judge in New York has ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to lift all age limits on over-the-counter access to the so-called “emergency contraceptive” drug Plan B and its generic versions.
Plan B is a large dose of a powerful hormonal drug (levonorgestrel) that is available only by prescription when used in smaller doses for contraception. The court has acted irresponsibly by making this powerful drug available without a prescription to minor children.
Plan B does not prevent or treat any disease, but makes young adolescent girls more available to sexual predators. The court’s action undermines parents’ ability to protect their daughters from such exploitation and from the adverse effects of the drug itself.
Many studies have shown that wider access to “emergency contraception” among young people does not reduce pregnancy or abortion rates, but can contribute to higher rates of sexually transmitted disease. No public health consideration justifies the unregulated distribution of such drugs to children. This ruling should be appealed and overturned.