NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The long battle over the controversial morning-after pill called Plan B is now the subject of even more controversy. The makers of the pill are asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for permission to sell the drug without any age limits.
The National Institute for Reproductive Health said it is thrilled by the move.
“Removing the age restriction on the morning-after pill is going to be a great advancement for reducing unintended pregnancies,” Mary Alice Carr, a spokeswoman for the institute, told CBS 2’s Magee Hickey.
The pill’s maker said taking away the age restriction would be a “milestone” and has even submitted data from a study saying the drug was effective for girls ages 11 to 16.
However, many opposing groups, including Life Always, expressed concern that the makers of the emergency contraceptive wanted to sell it to minors without parental knowledge or consent.
“It’s a crime for this industry to say ‘there’s nothing wrong with it’ — for 11 to 17 to get it,” spokeswoman Chaplin Viviana Vasquez Hernandez said.
Even pharmacists expressed reservations about the selling of Plan B to pre-teens and young teenagers.
“It’s a very complicated answer. Being a father and a health professional, that’s a tough decision to make,” pharmacist Leon Tarasenki said.
“Kids are having sex out there at an early age and it’s tough being a single parent,” pharmacist Roselyn Ruiz said. “I wouldn’t feel comfortable [selling it to children] between the ages of 11 and 13.”
Others who spoke with CBS 2 on Wednesday were just as conflicted in their thoughts on the issue.
“This is a very serious thing and I think you should need your parents’ permission,” Manhattan resident Michaelle Clark said.
“Over 50 percent are fatherless home. Any plan — plan A or plan b — to reduce those numbers or control those numbers would be good,” another man said.
“Under 17 may be a bit too young. Maybe some sort of guardian that’s a little bit older…can go with them,” parent Melissa Foote said.
SOUND-OFF: Do you support the sale of the morning-after pill without an age restriction? Do you think it would help prevent unwanted pregnancies? Do you support the sale of the morning-after pill at all? Tell us in our comments section.