The FDA has declared the morning-after pill safe for over-the-counter use by any girl of any age capable of having children on Wednesday. That means the current restriction requiring women to be at least 17-years-old to purchase the druge would be removed.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius responded: Not so fast.
Margaret A. Hamburg, administrator of the FDA, released a statement on the matter, according to the Washington Post:
“I agree ... there is adequate and reasonable, well-supported, and science-based evidence that Plan B One-Step is safe and effective and should be approved for nonprescription use for all females of child-bearing potential,” Hamburg said.
“However, this morning I received a memorandum from the Secretary of Health and Human Services invoking her authority under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to execute its provisions and stating that she does not agree with the Agency’s decision to allow the marketing of Plan B One-Step nonprescription for all females of child-bearing potential,” she said.
Sebelius responded with her own statement:
“About 10 percent of girls are physically capable of bearing children by 11.1 years of age. It is common knowledge that there are significant cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls and the youngest girls of reproductive age,” Sebelius said. “If the application were approved, the product would be available, without prescription, for all girls of reproductive age.”