Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Contraceptive controversy. A surprise ruling by a federal judge allows young girls to get the morning-after pill without a doctor’s or parent’s permission.
Rochelle Ritchie has more on the ruling and the backlash it’s causing.
With this ruling, girls of any age will be able to get the morning-after pill without their parents even knowing about it.
Arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable are just some of the words used by Federal District Court Judge Edward Korman when describing the government’s refusal to lift the need for a prescription to get the morning-after pill.
The “Plan B” pill as it is often called has been a hot debate amongst politicians for the last 14 years, starting after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebalius cut the over-the-counter access age to 17–a decision not supported by the Federal Drug Administration.
President Obama, however, backed her decision.
“She could not be confident that a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old go into a drug store be able to buy a medication that potentially if not used properly could end up having an adverse effect,” the president said.
To date, no evidence has been found showing the drug has dangerous side effects.
“You can’t have politics mixed in this decision, you have to make it based on science,” said Nancy Northup, Center for Reproductive Rights.
The pill can prevent pregnancy if taken within three days after sex. Some are concerned the judge’s ruling puts young girls at risk.
“We have concerns about parental involvement and parental consent in addressing these kinds of medications,” said Anne Higgins, Family Research Council.
Planned Parenthood says the ruling is a stepping stone in the right direction.
“This is an alignment of good policy, good science and just good sense,” said Laura Meyers.
The judge is giving the FDA 30 days to comply with his ruling.
The judge says the young girls using the pill will be minimal, partly due to high costs.