Lowering Age Limit For Single-Dose Emergency Contraception Irresponsible, A Disappointment, Says Bishops' Pro-Life Spokesperson

May 1, 2013 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—TheApril 30 move by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approveover-the-counter sale of "Plan B One-Step" to minors 15 years and older is a "disappointment,"said a spokesperson for the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

"TheFDA has acted irresponsibly by approving sales of the powerful drug,single-dose Plan B, for those 15 and older," said Deirdre McQuade, assistantdirector of policy and communications in the Pro-Life Secretariat. "The rulechange subjects girls to risks of STDs and manipulation by others, a risk thatis compounded by allowing males to purchase the drug even for girls under theage of 15."

"Manystudies have shown that wider access to so-called 'emergency contraception'reduces neither pregnancy nor abortion rates, but can contribute to higherrates of sexually transmitted disease, especially among young people," McQuadesaid, "No public health consideration justifies the unsupervised sale of suchdrugs to young teens."

McQuadeadded, "While the FDA is failing here in its responsibility to protectchildren, we continue to hope it will appeal the April 5 decision by onefederal judge insisting that this drug be made readily available without anyage limit at all."

"PlanB One-Step" is a large dose of the hormonal drug levonorgestrel. It isavailable only by prescription when used either in two doses (in Plan B and itsgeneric versions), or in smaller doses for ongoing contraception.

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Keywords: Plan B, contraception,emergency contraception, sexually transmitted disease, abortion, U.S. bishops,USCCB, Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities

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