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Patch Poll: Should the Selling of the Morning-after Pill be Limited?

President Obama favors restricting the availability of Plan B and calls for “common sense.”

President Obama is a father, and perhaps in that role more so than as president, he has sided with the secretary of health and human services in blocking over-the-counter sales of an after-sex contraceptive pill to those 16 and younger.

The medication, marketed under the name Plan B One-Step, is available without a prescription to persons 17 and older who can prove their age­­—and that will remain the case. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week issued a statement, which overruled scientists at the Food and Drug Administration who were preparing to allow the sale of the product, commonly known as a morning-after pill, without a prescription or age limit. Obama said he fully backs Sebelius’ decision.

Critics of his stance, as reported by The Associated Press, say that politics has trumped science—something Obama pledged not to do—and that Obama does not want another battle with conservatives before the upcoming presidential election.

Obama says limiting the availability of Plan B is “common sense.”

What do you think? Should teenagers under the age of 17 be permitted to buy the Plan B morning-after pill without a prescription? Yes or no. Tell us why.

Patch Poll: Should possession of small amounts of marijuana be legal?

The results of last week’s poll—albeit not scientific—bested the results of an October Gallup poll in which 50 percent of Americans—the largest portion ever recorded—say they now favor legalizing marijuana.

Patch readers responded: Yes, legal, 83 percent; No, not legal, 16 percent.

Mike Parent said: “Marijuana should be legalized and regulated just as we do alcohol. FACT, The current laws were conceived, born and nurtured from lies, greed and racism. Enforcing them is a continuation of those flawed policies. Marijuana isn't dangerous, marijuana laws are. They give total de facto distribution rights to criminal enterprises and funnel tens of billions of dollars to those same criminals.”

NancyC disagreed: “I really don't want to think about our school-age children, heading off to school with teachers legally high on marijuana. I also don't want to consider life with legalized marijuana in the health care industry, or manufacturing or you name it. How about riding on public transit systems with employees ‘stoned’ legally. I suppose there is a better way to prosecute for small amounts but I haven't figured out the details.”

Read more .

Rob Brundige December 12, 2011 at 06:26 PM
I just think a 16 year old could abuse this product and use it as a birth control device. Having to see a doctor to confirm a possible pregnancy, and getting a prescription would deter abuse and hopefully encourage more responsible safe sex habits.
Jim McMahon December 13, 2011 at 12:55 AM
16 year old kids are not very bright (I'm not talking GPA). I would not trust them with my car never mind taking this pill.
Robert Bykowski December 13, 2011 at 04:09 AM
It would probably be cheaper to go with actual birth control than to use Plan B as a form of birth control. I've never really understood the logic behind the argument that infers users of Plan B would just use it as their standard birth control. Also, in the 72 hour window in which Plan B is effective, you can't really go to the doctor to confirm a possible pregnancy because it's too soon to tell. As far as requiring 16 and unders to require a prescription, I think that's a good idea more in theory than in practice. On one hand, we're saying 16 year olds can't be trusted with understanding and taking Plan B responsibly because they're not old enough. Yet, on the other hand, we're saying they're smart enough at 16 to have the appropriate conversations and seek out a prescription in the 72 hours after sex. It doesn't add up to me.
Russ Foster December 13, 2011 at 10:40 PM
Is a prescription required for birth control pills? (One of) My concern(s) with making this more generally available is that it does nothing to encourage responsible sex--it does nothing to prevent any of the numerous STDs a girl could contract (and spread). An honest discussion with a doctor should be a minimum requirement.
R Nelson December 16, 2011 at 02:04 PM
To me the money angle doesn't matter, what matter's is if the young lady can afford it, let her get with it. We don't need anymore unwanted babies running the streets filling our institutions, penal or otherwise. The only thing I hope is that the FDA hasn't released this prescription drug too soon and are unaware of all the problems it may cause in the future for these users. Money can top common sense they say, I wouldn't know, common sense never stop at my door. Have a good one everybody.

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