'Plan B' order creates controversy in Treasure Valley

'Plan B' order creates controversy in Treasure Valley

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on May 1, 2013 at 9:20 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 12 at 12:41 AM

Poll:
Do you agree with the FDA's decision regarding the morning-after pill?

BOISE -- The Justice Department is appealing a judge's decision lifting all age limits on the Plan B contraception drug.

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration said 15-year-olds and up could begin buying the pill without a prescription. This is creating controversy nationally and here in the Gem State.

Brandi Swindell is the founder and president of Stanton Health Care, a woman's health clinic that does not perform abortions. She says her organization does not support the recent action.

"Stanton Health Care, along with President Obama, along with Secretary Sebelius with Health and Human Services, believes that 15-year-old's should not have over-the-counter access to Plan B," said Swindell.

Swindell is concerned about the potency of the drug, along with the age of teens who would have access to it.

"Oftentimes, most 15-year-olds have to get permission from their parents for the school nurse to give them an Aspirin or some other type of minor pill or medication," Swindell said. "Teenagers can't even get their ears pierced at the mall without parental consent when they're 15-years-old."

SUPPORTERS: PLAN B SHOULD BE ACCESSIBLE 

However, the folks at Planned Parenthood disagree.

"It's a safe and effective form of birth control, so we don't have any concerns about that," said Hannah Brass Greer. "If you aren't pregnant and it's taken within five days it prevents pregnancy from happening. And if you are already pregnant it does nothing to the pregnancy."

Brass Greer said Plan B is just another contraception option.

"Going down a little bit on the age restriction is just a step in the right direction. We actually don't think there should be age restrictions because it's a safe and effective form of birth control, just like there are no age restrictions for condoms," Brass Greer said.

She also said it would eliminate confusion at the pharmacy counter. Planned Parenthood said access is important on Plan B because it is a time-sensitive drug.

In addition to appealing the federal order requiring the FDA to make Plan B available without a prescription to those ages 15 and up, the US Justice Department also has asked the federal district court to stay that order, which was set to take effect on May 5.

Here in the Treasure Valley, Plan B is available at both Planned Parenthood locations. Some pharmacies carry it, but others choose not to make Plan B available.

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