Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - May 18, 2018 


Giuliani says Trump will likely start preparing for a sit-down with Robert Mueller. Also on the rundown: A new report says SNAP changes would require a massive expansion of bureaucracy; and in the West, there's a win for sage grouse.

Daily Newscasts

FDA's New 'Plan' for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

PHOTO: "Plan B One-Step" is the only emergency contraceptive included in the FDA's decision to make it available over-the-counter and to women 15 and older. Photo courtesy Teva Women's Health.
PHOTO: "Plan B One-Step" is the only emergency contraceptive included in the FDA's decision to make it available over-the-counter and to women 15 and older. Photo courtesy Teva Women's Health.
May 8, 2013

May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, and the Food and Drug Administration has started it off with a major announcement. The agency will allow a form of women's emergency contraception known as "Plan B One-Step" to be sold over the counter, and to women as young as 15.

The FDA says Plan B is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy, and that there should be no need for a doctor's prescription.

The advantage of the new policy is speed, said Jill June, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. The sooner the medication is taken, she said, the more effective it is.

"We do know that when it is needed, it is needed right away," she said, "and so, this move by the FDA assures that more women will have ready access to it."

A federal judge had ordered the FDA to make emergency contraception available without an age limit, and the Justice Department is challenging that ruling. However, the FDA says this decision is independent of that court case.

Plan B works by preventing pregnancy, not terminating it, so the National Right to Life Committee considers Plan B a contraceptive and says it doesn't take a position on birth control.

Some concerns have been raised about reducing the age limit for over-the-counter purchase of an emergency contraceptive. June, who has three daughters, said she would hope all young people would seek the advice of a parent or a trusted adult - but she knows it isn't always possible.

"If they can't come talk to us, whatever the situation might be, we want to be sure that they can get the medication that they need that will keep them safe," she said. "This is a safe and effective medication."

It's important to note that emergency contraception has been available to women younger than 15, but only with a doctor's prescription, and that will still be the case. Kentucky's teen pregnancy rate ranks 19th in the nation. Seventy-one out of 1,000 young women, ages 15 to 19, become pregnant.

The FDA's release about its decision is online at fda.gov.

Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA