The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to make a decision tomorrow on whether or not to make the morning after pill available over the counter to girls under the age of 17. Since first sparking controversy five years ago upon its release into the market, Plan B has only been available behind-the-counter to adult women --- after they presented identification.
In an interview with the Washington Post, former FDA employee, Susan Wood, of George Washington University, expresses her relief that the FDA may finally make a move on Plan B.
"If you got into a Wal-Mart and the pharmacy is closed, you're out of luck ... By having it on the shelf, more women will become aware of the availability of emergency contraception and won't have to ask someone in an emergency situation about a very private and personal situation. Hopefully, that will help women when time is of the essence," says Wood.
Though the safety issues have been addressed, and Teva has conducted studies proving that girls ages 11-17 can easily read the usage instructions, conservatives have still found a way to find fault with the distribution of Plan B to girls under 17 years of age.
"When anybody can buy an emergency contraceptive like this over the counter, you open the door for all sorts of abuse, and especially so when it comes to child abuse and child exploitation," said Janice Crouse of Concerned Women of America, another advocacy group.
Stay tuned to see how this controversial issue plays out.