Feds: No Morning-After Pill for Young Teens Without Rx

Health chief overrules FDA, forbids over-the-counter sales to girls
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2011 1:17 PM CST
Young Teens Blocked From OTC 'Morning After Pill'
The Plan B pill, also known as the 'morning after' pill, is displayed on a pharmacy shelf February 27, 2006 in Boston, Massachusetts.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The federal government is split on the "morning after pill," with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today overruling the FDA's decision to make Plan B available to even young teenagers without a prescription. The drug's maker requested the change in February, and though FDA Administrator Margaret Hamburg said she found it safe enough to be used by all ages without a prescription, Sebelius disagreed.

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The Washington Post calls the move "surprising," and notes that it's quite a blow to the doctors and activists who staunchly supported making the controversial drug available over the counter. Opponents, however, had argued that such a move would make it more difficult for parents to monitor their children and could even allow men to prey on teenage girls by forcing them to take the pill after being assaulted. (Read more Plan B stories.)

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