Posted on 20 March 2011.
RU-486, also known as the “morning after pill,” was approved for use in the U.S. by the FDA in 2000. The drug, designed to be used in the days following unprotected sex, has been proven to be an effective form of contraception. Currently in the United States, women the age of 17 or above can obtain access to these drugs at clinics and doctor’s offices. Supporters argue that as girls become more sexually active at a younger age, that these and other forms of birth control should be made available with or without parental consent. In doing so, they argue, women would be given the access they need in order to prevent an unwanted pregnancy, rather than carrying a fetus to term. On the other hand, opponents of lowering the age, and of the pill in general, argue that lowering the age requirement promotes unsafe sexual practices and risky behaviors among very young people. In addition, they argue that the federal government should be deterring people from having abortions and that lowering the age will only increase the overall number of abortions performed. Is lowering the minimum age to fourteen appropriate or are we only opening the door to lower the age for other risky behaviors?
Posted in Domestic Affairs
Posted on 26 November 2010.
In 2006 the FDA ruled that Plan B, a contraceptive drug that requires the user to take two pills within 72 hours of sexual intercourse, should be available to women over 18 without prescription. Yet, recently a district judge in New York ordered the FDA to lower the legal age to obtain Plan B without a prescription to 17. Advocates have lauded the decision as groundbreaking and progressive, while others feel that lowering the legal age to 17 does not go far enough. Citing the high rate of teen pregnancies in the U.S., many argue that pharmacists should be required to provide the Plan B morning-after birth control pill to women as young as 15. The two years in between may not constitute a significant difference in biological condition or maturity. However, conservative groups and critics of contraception have censured plans to increase the availability of Plan B, claiming it will result in increased teenage promiscuity. Many claim that allowing 15 year-olds to procure birth control pills is tantamount to tacitly encouraging children to have sex. Others even postulate that the morning-after pill could be detrimental to the health of a developing teenage body. Should teenagers even be allowed to obtain contraceptive medicines? How should we determine who can access contraceptive measures and who can not?
Posted in Domestic Affairs, Pop Culture