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Speaking of the Morning After

  /   Thursday June 01, 2006  

Speaking of the morning-after pill, take a look at this article by the president of the Memphis Regional Planned Parenthood that says that there is no reason not to make the morning-after pill available without a prescription. It seems that this article relies almost entirely on emotion, and it was quite irresponsible of them to publish it. I wrote this letter to the Commercial Appeal in response. You can see what they printed here.

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to the May 16th guest column of Barry Chase, president of Memphis Regional Planned Parenthood. In it, he claims that there is not a good reason that the “emergency contraceptive” named Plan B is not available without a prescription in every pharmacy in the nation. As a pro-life pharmacist, I can think of a number of good reasons why it should not be made available.

Mr. Chase states that Plan B will reduce the number of abortions. However, Plan B can work by making it difficult for the newly conceived embryo to implant. Therefore, by destroying an already-conceived and developing life, the drug is causing an early abortion. A 2002 article published in Annals of Pharmacotherapy suggested that this can happen when Plan B is used any time during a woman’s menstrual cycle. By the way, the package insert of many, if not all, oral contraceptives list this as a possible way in which they work.

Plan B provides absolutely no protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Allowing women to receive this without seeing a physician may increase the risk of complications from undiagnosed STDs that could have been treated if the woman had sought medical care. Also, having Plan B easily available as a kind of safety net will at least provide an easier opportunity to engage in more high-risk behavior. While Mr. Chase asserts that Plan B is safe, the long-term effects of repeated use of it are not known.

As Mr. Chase said, we need to recognize the reality of sexuality and reproductive health. However, the solution is not more birth control. Recognition of the reality of sexuality requires that one recognize that sex brings with it the possibility of new life that must be respected.

David Ancell, Pharm.D.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized



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