Plan B

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Makers of the morning-after pill?basically a high-dose birth control pill that's only effective within 72 hours of unprotected sex, not to be confused with medical abortion drug Mifeprix?are planning to petition the FDA for over-the-counter status. This would finally make the drug useful to women: It's most effective within 12 hours of a slip-up, so that having to get it directly from a doctor is practically prohibitive.

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  1. hi all!

    we can only hope this will happen. access to appropriate health care is one good way of keeping costs down. usually the woman has to go to the emergency room. that means paperwork, strain on hospital resources, etc.

    but the FDA will probably knuckle down to the neo-victorians and prevent it. ahh, yes, another (proxy) battle over reproductive control…

    of course, “moral pharmacies” that only have certain, politically correct (for the particular movement) will spring up soon. sort of a branson-style whole foods…. (if that’s a scary thought).

    pro-choice-ly,
    drf

  2. The fetus fetishists aren’t going to like this one Yogi. And since we live in a nation that’s currently run by JEEZ-us freaks, don’t count on this one getting through the FDA.

  3. Good luck getting that one by the Bush/Ashcroft theodicy. They’re already trying to charge Scott Peterson for “fetal homicide.” I’d argue all the insanity began with redistricting, but if it starts at the local level, maybe it can end there as well.

  4. >Good luck getting that one by the Bush/Ashcroft >theodicy. They’re already trying to charge Scott >Peterson for “fetal homicide.”

    Is it Bush or Ashcroft who is the DA in Modesto, California?

  5. No. By “they” I mean the puritan dumbasses who are stroking it a little less guiltily since “they” got their man in office. It’s the DA in Modesto who’s going to get his ass kicked up to the Ninth Circuit if “they” get their way.

  6. Plan B interferes with fertilization.

    Even if you believe that life begins at conception, this does not constitute an abortion, because it does what it does before conception occurs.

    Unless, of course, you’d like to revise your beliefs to “life begins at ejaculation”…

    It’s pretty clear that any anti-abortionist who would oppose this drug is not nearly as interested in preventing abortions as they are forcing women to breed. I love it when circumstances cause them to show their asses like that…

  7. hey Brian,

    i suggest you read the onion’s point/counterpoint about “life begins at conception” vs. “life begins at 40″… kinda fun.

    and that’s an excellent point you make. here’s one, why is it that many catholic hospitals don’t give out the morning after pills. (and don’t say “young chiorboys can’t get pregnant”, that would be gross)…

    and you’re right about the showing of the asses on issues like this. heh heh heh.

    evil-ly,
    drf

  8. Since Roe v Wade guarantees abortion on demand during the first three months of pregnancy tyhe only issue for the FDA is the safety of the drug for general non-prescription availability, no matter what Jerry Fallwell says.

    I’m a pro-choicer myself, but I know plenty of pro-lifers, and claiming that pro-lifers aren’t really interested in stopping abortions but, rather, “forcing women to breed” has got to be the dumbest accusation I’ve ever heard about them. Yeeesh.

  9. If high dose birth control pills are available over the counter, what is the argument for regular dose prescriptions not being available over the counter?

    If you plan to have sex, you are not competent to make your own medical decisions and need to see a doctor first. If you have unplanned sex, you are competent to take the same pills without seeing a doctor.

    If I buy the morning after pills and a pill splitter, is that a felony?

  10. Here again enlies the whole argurment: Personal Responsibility. I believe its BOTH parties duty to use protection. If your a woman,having sex and not on the pill,patch or depo, my advice is get on it. If your a guy and having sex,use a rubber. While it may not be the 100% full proof way to keep from getting preggo and whatnot,its better than nothing.

    Personally, I think the whole morning after/abort pill is a good idea, esp for women who’ve been raped or assulted. But, Dr. G Dub Frakenbush and his monsterous creation, Ashcroftstein, will find some “morally obligated” reason for women who get raped to carry to term.

  11. Holy S***. You freakin’ Bush-Ashcroft conspiracy-types get a freakin’ grip!

    It might be that some people have different beliefs about WHEN life begins. I believe that might be their right? The courts have already decided that taking the life of a fetus is OK right up to the moment of birth (not “the first three months” as previously posted). You guys are making an issue where there isn’t one.

  12. Spork–

    Read what I wrote…I didn’t say that about ALL pro-lifers…I specifically said “any anti-abortionist who would oppose _this_ drug…” (emphasis added).

    A blanket statement about all pro-lifers of that sort would be dumb, you are correct…

    Hell…I really don’t like the idea of abortion myself…I just don’t feel that my vague convictions should carry the force of law. Therefore, when something comes along that could reduce the numbers of abortions without criminalizing them (as this pill OTC undoubtedly would) I’m all in favor…as should anyone who claims to be “pro-life”.

    However, there are pro-lifers who oppose this pill: “…this is still abortion, and these pills should not be available for any reason…” (see the article Sara posted).

    …and I seriously question _their_ motivations.

  13. Tuning Spork,

    Some pro-lifers do basically view women as breeding machines, and men as part of that apparatus. Look at the RCC’s position on contraceptives for example, or John Ashcroft’s for that matter (remember Ashcroft sponsored amendments to the Constitution while was a Senator whose language would have banned all or most forms of contraceptives). I am not saying that all pro-lifers think this way, but there is a sizable minority who do.

  14. I’m not sure it will. Use of the morning after pill screws up a woman’s cycle, and sometimes causes severe nausea. I don’t think many women would trade in 99% reliability with few side effects for a much more risky alternative with bleeding and vomiting. That, of course, is in my humble opinion.

  15. md et al,

    I’m not an MD, but here’s my opinion on that one… I think it’s a timing issue. One can occur before the other or vice versa. In any case IUDs prevent the egg from attaching, fertilized or not. I don’t really see a big upcry from antiabortionists on that one (except for the aforementioned contingent that doesn’t like any form of birth control).

    I’ve also heard that taking several BCP’s at once can have the same effect. Sort of OD’ing on them can prevent pregnancy after some unplanned sex. I’ve read somewhere that 80% of all fertilized eggs pass out of the uterus without attaching. This to me highlights the sillyness of considering a fertilized egg a ‘human being’ with rights and all. My wife and I tried for three years to get pregnant before it finally worked; should we have had a dozen little funerals along the way for the ones that missed?

  16. “…irrelevent as Tim Robbins.”

    Hee hee…good one, TS.

    I grew up in the land of wacko Bible-beaters (thank God my parents weren’t among them)…you might be amazed what some of them think.

    The thing about fundamentalism is that a few very vocal and charismatic nutjobs can sway a lot of otherwise reasonable (but weak-minded) people. A well-meaning “mainstream” congregation can be transformed in a matter of months under the wrong leadership…this process tends to accelerate when the smart folks realize what’s going on and get the hell out of there. No reason to stay and fight when you can just go a couple of miles down the road.

    Thus, you have places like Cobb County, GA (not exactly the backwoods) where it is mandated that evolution and creationism be taught as equally valid scientific theories in public school biology classes. This is primarily the result of a handful of mega-churches led by rabidly fundamentalist pastors.

    I realize I’m now way off topic, but the point is this: even if the vast majority of pro-lifers are well-meaning and don’t have any problem with contraception, the ones on the fringe are frequently the ones making the most noise, and thus setting the agenda. Most people aren’t willing to split hairs with their “leaders” over what may or may not constitute abortion, if doing so would be percieved as undermining “the cause”.

  17. Wow…I just realized how much I abuse “quotes”.

    I’ll have to work on that.

  18. the drug isn’t useful because you need a script to get it?

    but you can get a script from a doctor for it BEFORE YOU NEED IT.

    as in, you can ask your doc to Write You A Script for it, to use, any time in that year. the same way you can get a doctor to prescribe you birth control pills in the first place.

    are you now claiming that BCPs are not effective, since you need a doctor’s script BEFORE having sex in order to make THEM worthwhile?

    if you wish to argue access to a doctor issues, fine. but then argue that women should be given BCPs in some over the counter way –not only given access emergency contraception–good only after the fact, and not preventively.

  19. has anyone else noticed that Jesus and fetus rhyme?

  20. “I’ve read somewhere that 80% of all fertilized eggs pass out of the uterus without attaching. This to me highlights the sillyness of considering a fertilized egg a ‘human being’ with rights and all.”

    Jim, 100 percent of people die, but we still consider them human.

  21. Tuning Spork,

    Actually Ashcroft does make law – administrative law that is. In other words, the Department that he runs creates law via their quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial activities (like all the agencies, regulatory bodies, etc. of the federal government). Which is of course why the DEA (I believe that agency is under the DOJ) could change its interpretation of what the law says about the consumption of THC-laden food products, and such is enforced.

    I think you are living in fantasy land if you think that Christian fundamentalists who hold such views don’t have a very clear voice in the government.

  22. Anon 2:03,

    Your thoughts revolved around planning for sex. It seems to me that this pill is most useful for women who find themselves in a situation they haven’t planned for.

  23. Croesus, executive branch departments can’t create law, they can only design procedures for enforcing the law. F’rinstance, if the law says that undocumented aliens shall be deported to their native country, the INS can either set up a bureaucracy of hearings and never-ending appeals, or they can set up a procedure of getting a warrant and kicking down doors at gun-point on day 1.

    And, not to seem uppity, but I think you’re living in a fantasy land if you actually think that the DOJ can successfully outlaw contraceptives. Clear voices or not, that ain’t gonna fly.

  24. I’m not sure the morning after pill prevents fertilization. I believe it prevents implantation in the uterine wall. Someone with a MD or time to look this stuff up should check. If life begins at conception, does conception occur when an egg is fertilized, or when it ends up in a place where it can grow?

  25. Croesus,
    Oh, wait. I see what you mean. The DOJ can add various drugs to the various tables of controlled substances. Marijuana was added by a past Atty. Gen. (I forget which), and not by the Congress, yet it’s just as legitimately outlawed. So yer reference to THC-laced F&D’s is spot-on. Yet, I still say any federal ban on contraceptives ain’t gonna happen.

  26. Brian, I know…. it’s just that I was in a foul mood when I posted. ;P But I still find it a silly idea that even the most whacky bible whacko would claim that a woman should be forced to bear children.

    “Hey, woman! Seems by my eyes ye ain’t been properly procreatin’! Bes’ get yer ass in the sack ‘for ye find yerself shovellin’ brimstone into the hellfire…” I mean, really now.

  27. Croesus, I find that claim hard to believe; but then I find a lot of reality hard to believe.

    F’rinstance; in Connecticut of the ’60’s contraceptives were illegal…and yet I suspect that I owe my very existence to that seemingly silly law.

    Attorney General ex-Senator Asscrack doesn’t make law anymore, so I’m not toooo worried about the availability of contraceptives in the foreseeable future. I don’t know what you mean by “sizable”, but I’m guessing they’re so far fringed that they are as irrelevent as Tim Robbins.

  28. The fundamentalists may be the most vocal oppostion, but I think Tom Hynes alluded to the most effective lobby against it. For the anonymous person who didn’t get it, an OTC morning-after pill has a good chance of severely reducing the prescription BC market; some people may be interested in protecting that market.

  29. Okay, can i just say that anybody who is opposing this drug becoming otc needs to take a long hard look at how much they actually value their freedoms and rights? Its a matter of a womans personal feelings and desires for her body. By not letting us decide whether or not to have this drug when and where we need it, it is basically stripping us of our natural born rights. If you don’t like the freedoms of this country then get the hell out before the entire foundation on which it was built crumbles underneath us due to over sensitive people who need to mind their own business.

  30. Okay, can i just say that anybody who is opposing this drug becoming otc needs to take a long hard look at how much they actually value their freedoms and rights? Its a matter of a womans personal feelings and desires for her body. By not letting us decide whether or not to have this drug when and where we need it, it is basically stripping us of our natural born rights. If you don’t like the freedoms of this country then get the hell out before the entire foundation on which it was built crumbles underneath us due to over sensitive people who need to mind their own business.

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