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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Obama right in limiting Plan B availability to younger people

    Plan B One-Step, more commonly known as the morning-after pill, unlike most medications covered by insurance and health care, is not necessary to live. Men and women choose to have sex, and Plan B is like insurance plan in case they fail to use a condom. There is no medical need to take it, and they won’t get sick and die from not using it. But sex and its consequences are too mature for children. So while there should be access to the, buyers should be of an appropriate age.

    In December, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to allow the Plan B morning-after pill to be sold over the counter to girls younger than 17 without a prescription, causing uproar among several groups. Surprisingly, President Barack Obama supported Sebelius in her decision, sharing her concern about teens misusing the pill.

    “When it comes to 12-year-olds or 13-year-olds, the question is, ‘Can we have confidence that they would potentially use Plan B properly?’” he said of the decision. “Most parents would probably feel the same way.” He later said that the pill will stay available without a prescription for women 17 and older.

    Those who support easy access to Plan B and other forms of birth control argue that opposition is primarily due to moral convictions and claim that it is discriminatory to people of other faiths and the view of mainstream Americans.

    Expected opposition against Sebelius’ decision came from abortion rights advocates, who are chiefly motivated by freedom of choice, but the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health opposes the decision for another reason — unfair pharmaceutical treatment in low-income neighborhoods.

    A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that nearly 1 in 5 pharmacists in these neighborhoods refuse to sell Plan B even to women older than 17, who can legally obtain it without a prescription. The group is urging Sebelius to reconsider her decision in order to prevent teen pregnancy, which is disproportionately high in low-income neighborhoods. These pharmacists shouldn’t refuse a legal service, but a lack of Plan B is not what’s causing rampant teen pregnancy — individuals of any economic background have the ability to prevent pregnancy without the pill. If people were properly educated about their bodies, artificial birth control could be unnecessary.

    The UA represents the right age group to be using this medication. Campus Health offers both educational outreach and students can pay for the morning after pill on their Bursars. And they do. A Daily Wildcat article said Campus Health data shows Plan B sales on campus skyrocket the day after home football games. But that’s different than a 12-year-old trying to buy it after a school dance.

    When it comes down to it, the argument isn’t about morality or economic inequality, but about maturity.

    If adults choose to live a lifestyle of casual sex, an entirely controllable action, then that is their choice. But Plan B represents a choice far too complex for a young teen or child.

    — Lauren Shores is a journalism sophomore. She can reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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