Thursday, August 24, 2006

Good news for anti-choice pharmacists!

Pharmacists who refuse to do their job and fill prescriptions of the contraceptive "PlanB" (a/k/a "the morning after pill") can breathe a sigh of relief today -- their moral superiority won't be tested anymore, at least not by women over 18. Today the USFDA approved an application to make PlanB available over the counter (without prescription) to women over age 18. Women will be required to show proof of age before buying PlanB, the same way young people are "carded" when buying cigarettes.

It's a step in the right direction. However, it's a bit disappointing that those under 18 will still need a prescription, even though there's no scientific or medical evidence that PlanB is harmful to younger women. Teenage pregnancies are the ones most likely to be accidental, unwanted and unaffordable, so girls under 18 would probably benefit most by having PlanB readily available to them. That part of the decision is no doubt an arbitrary nod to anti-choicers, and the fact is, women under 18 don't vote, which is really what this is all about. In the days when Bush thought he had "political capital", this decision would never have happened. Let's hope it opens the door for universial availability so that women of all ages will no longer be subject to the whims of activist pharmacists who disapprove of their lifestyle choices.