If you haven’t heard already, dear readers, take heed: We’ve got a reason to celebrate a little bit o’progress, because Plan B One-Step is now availablewithout a prescription and over the counter to minors aged 15 and up on American soil. The F.D.A. announced earlier this week that theemergency contraceptive pill, which can reduce the risk of pregnancy by up to 95%, will be shelved alongside condoms, spermicides and other sexual health products at drugstores. Purchasers of the pill must prove their age using a driver’s license, passport or birth certificate, and cashiers will be prompted to ask for a valid I.D. when they scan the barcode.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of what this decision really means, let’s get a few tiny misconceptions about Plan B out of the way. The emergency contraceptive pill has been shamed and shunned by conservative and pro-life groups as an “abortion pill” that murders fetuses, encourages teens to have lots of naughty promiscuous sex and poses more dangerous health risks than say, aspirin. But do not cower in the face of ignorance, my comrades! Because we’ve got some real-McCoy scientific factual facts on our side with this one. Hip hip, hoo ha!
Studies have shown that levonorgestrel-alone emergency contraceptive pills (a.k.a. Plan B) pose no health risks to women or adolescents and don’t increase risky sexual behavior. They’re not addictive, toxic or allergenic, and they don’t increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. You can’t overdose on them, as opposed to most other over-the-counter drugs, which can cause death. And taking the pill cannot, does not, andwon’t ever abortan existing pregnancy. It ain’t RU486, people! It simply stops one’s lady organs from ovulating. And no ovulation means no unwanted pregnancies. Presto, no prego! And that, my friends, isgood for society – we’d save over $12 billion a year in taxpayer money if all unwanted pregnancies were avoided by pragmatic preventative measures.
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IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME.