By Dena Battle |
The Food and Drug Administration's decision to permit over the counter sales of Plan B to girls starting at age 15 begs immediate attention due to three disturbing realities: (1) the drug's abortifacient risks; (2) the contradictory nature of Plan B's own marketing and medical information; and (3) the prevalence of statutory rape and human trafficking in America today.
Prescribing information for Plan B points out that the drug may work by "preventing ovulation" or "possibly preventing fertilization." Or it may alter the endometrium and thereby "inhibit implantation." This refers to implantation of any newly conceived human individual/zygote in the mother's womb. Hence, the complete clinical pharmacology of Plan B demands that the drug be duly recognized as a potential abortifacient – not mere "contraception."
Those who ingest Plan B will be exposed to 1.50 mg levonorgestrel per dose, with the potential for multiple exposures over a lifetime. Levonorgestrel is a synthetic progestogen that, like other steroid hormones, induces endocrine-disrupting effects. Plan B and other forms of "emergency contraception" are designed to thwart the normal functioning of the female endocrine and reproductive systems, beginning with the brain.
Manufacturer-provided information concedes there may be many unknown effects of this on a woman's body – let alone pediatric populations. A chemical regimen that claims to pose no harm to adolescent consumers continues to be shadowed by numerous unanswered questions.
One thing we do know: Progesterone typically down-regulates uterine immune functions and prevents the uterus from resisting infections. The deaths of women who took RU-486 and developed septic shock underscore the grave risks associated with ingesting artificial hormones that alter the ability of a woman's womb to resist infection.
Now that Plan B will be available in the pharmacy aisle, who will protect girls who are victims of rape or human trafficking? FDA medical reviewers recommended that Plan B purchasers call a healthcare professional if they experience vomiting. This is because the incidence of nausea, among other adverse effects, was experienced by as many as one in five users. What about girls buying Plan B who are expected to cope entirely on their own with the physical and psychological sequelae of non-marital and perhaps even coercive sexual activity? The ready availability of Plan B further severs a young girl's connectivity to her parents, doctor or any other caring adult who might recognize and report an instance of human trafficking, statutory rape or other sexual exploitation.
About Teresa Donovan Associate Scholar of the Charlotte Lozier Institute
Terry O'Neill President of the National Organization for Women
Deborah Nucatola Senior Director of Medical Services for Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Jessica Arons Director of the Women's Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress
Anna Higgins Director of Family Research Council's Center for Human Dignity