A recent article published in the journal Contraception,
discusses the failed “effectiveness” of the drug Plan B (a form of
emergency contraception or “EC”) on a population level. The author of
the articles concedes:
Our expectations for EC’s effectiveness were biased
upwards by an early estimate that expanding access to emergency
contraception could dramatically reduce the incidence of unintended
pregnancy and subsequent abortion. This estimate made a compelling
story and is likely a key reason why donors and other were willing to
support efforts to expand access to EC.
The falsely inflated predictions noted above were — in order to
dramatically decrease the incidence of unintended pregnancy and
subsequent abortion — touted as valid estimates during the lead up to
and the drug’s change to over the counter status to women 18 years and
older in 2006. The admission of failures at a population level
following expanded access is poignant. Additionally, it is clear that
Planned Parenthood has been a primary profiteer through the increased marketing and sales process.
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The article goes on to deflect from valid flags raised by the continued self-administration of Plan B and ignores salient women’s health issues surrounding drug usage
including: the lack of medical oversight by a licensed clinician during
usage to screen for contraindications; the lack of medical studies to
determine safety for repeated and long-term usage; and, the failure to
inform women of the potential abortifacient action of the drug — a
violation of informed consent.
Additionally, the non-medical provider oversight during drug usage
ignores a 2008 study release by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention stating that young women most at-risk for contracting
sexually transmitted infections and disease are not being referred for
testing and treatment. The self-administration of Plan B knocks out a
critical link in the care and referral chain for many women at-risk for
disease. Such a link is vital for both secondary prevention or
screening efforts and thus, the protection of women’s reproductive
Expanded access of Plan B to both women and adolescent girls are not
in the best interest of either adolescent or women’s health promotion
and disease prevention.