Morning-after pill shows no benefit from over-the-counter access

A new study debunks the claim that making the morning-after pill available without a prescription would cut the number of abortions by half, says Cathy Cleaver Ruse, Esq., of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

The study, co-authored by a Planned Parenthood doctor and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed a sample of more than 2,000 girls and young women, ages 15 to 24 years.

One group was given packs of morning-after pills and the other obtained them from a pharmacy, but the results were the same: eight percent of participants became pregnant and 12 percent acquired sexually transmitted diseases.

The study demonstrates that making the drug available over-the-counter would have no effect on pregnancy rates, says Ruse. “This study blows the lid off the main argument for putting morning-after pills on the drugstore shelf,” adds the secretariat’s director of Planning and Information.

The Food and Drug Administration is currently weighing a second request by Barr Laboratories to sell its morning-after pill “Plan B” over-the-counter without a prescription.

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