Published December 11, 2011
Did Christmas come early this year? Kathleen Sebelius, Obama’s strongly pro-abortion Secretary of Health and Human Services, miraculously rejected the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) request to make the emergency contraceptive, Plan B, easily accessible to young girls.
Now parents don’t have to worry about their thirteen-year-old daughters picking up death-causing drugs while buying bubble gum and the latest Teen Beat at local drug stores.
It’s shocking that Sebelius decided to leave in place the requirement that teenagers must receive a doctor’s prescription before buying such a potent drug, but whatever the reason, thank God for her life-saving decision.
Sebelius rightly stated, “It is common knowledge that there are significant cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls and the youngest girls of reproductive age. … I don’t believe enough data were presented to support the application to make Plan B One-Step available over the counter for all girls of reproductive age.”
Not only does this drug potentially destroy the development of a pre-born life, it places innocent girls at risk of lifelong dangers. It’s unacceptable that the FDA, which Americans have come to trust wholeheartedly with health issues, actually tried to market Plan B, or "the morning-after pill," as a consequence-free emergency contraceptive for teenage girls without disclosing the totality of risks involved.
In a recent press release on Plan B, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg stated, “It is our responsibility at FDA to approve drugs that are safe and effective for their intended use based on the scientific evidence.” So does this mean the FDA didn’t study the scientific evidence of Plan B’s health effects? Because the phrases “Plan B” and “safe and effective” exist in different universes.
Plan B is two times as potent as the birth control pill, for which the FDA requires a doctor’s prescription. And the morning-after pill is known to cause blood clots, hemorrhaging, cervical cancer, and increase a woman’s chance of incurring future ectopic pregnancies, which causes an unborn baby to grow outside of the womb and can be fatal for the mother and her baby.
Additionally, advocates of Plan B have long pushed the drug, claiming it would dramatically reduce the total number of unwanted pregnancies or abortions. Yet, a study by Princeton University professor and pro-choice advocate Dr. James Trussell revealed there is no such effect. Dr. Trussell admitted, “No published study has yet demonstrated that increasing access to ECPs [emergency contraceptive pills] can reduce pregnancy or abortion rates in a population although one demonstration project and three clinical trials were specially designed to address this issue.”
Instead of a decrease in abortions and unwanted pregnancies, access to Plan B merely encourages harmful continued use. The powerfully high levels of Levonorgestrel in Plan B and its potentially dangerous effects after long-term use include infections, blood clotting, and liver damage.
And if the FDA places Plan B on the shelf next to condoms, you know as well as I do which will be used more often.
Not to mention that, under the FDA’s plan, men and boys would be able to buy Plan B for their underage girlfriends. Or worse, if Plan B was available on the shelf for minors, can you imagine the horror for girls imprisoned in sex trafficking, prostitution, or abusive relationships?
It’s terrifying. Besides the potential health risks, the “adults” at the FDA should have also understood the need for someone — a doctor or a parent — to be given the opportunity to ask why a minor girl is asking for the drug.
Sebelius might not have made her decision for the same fundamental reasons I reject Plan B, but nevertheless, she stood with parents and gave innocent girls and perhaps their unborn babies the gift of a healthy life this Christmas season.
In a time when the whole world is in chaos, and during this season when we celebrate the birth of a special Child, one of those kids— either mother or child — could grow up to be a future leader and a great blessing to our nation.
Kathleen Sebelius’ decision was a gift. And whatever her motives, I suspect that she’ll be getting a little less coal in her stocking this year.
Penny Young Nance is CEO of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.