Partly to address this concern, the drug's package insert advises the user that it is not a substitute for regular contraception and that women should use hormonal contraception under a doctor's care. Only in this way would the woman (or teenage girl, if she should happen to know her family's medical history) be thoroughly advised of contraindications arguing against her use of Plan B. The package warning is helpful, but the FDA's own study of patient comprehension of the insert showed an alarmingly high (almost one in every three women, and more than half in the low-literacy group) number who misunderstood the fact that Plan B is not a substitute for medical care from a physician.
In this sense, Plan B helps trivialize what women's (and adolescent girls') reproductive systems and sexual decision-making are all about. It operates in concert with our sexually permissive culture, which has done so much to change a society that once relied on family and morality into one that relies instead on instant gratification and a prescription bottle.
On April 12 a coalition of groups including the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, and Safe Drugs for Women sued the FDA and its commissioner, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach. The suit challenges the FDA's politically driven decision to put on the market a large dose of a drug that is available by prescription-only when it is administered in small doses. This is the pretzel logic that convinced the coalition of the need for Congress, not the FDA, to debate and resolve the vast social experiment that is Plan B. For the sake of the health of women and girls, this lawsuit should succeed, and the Congress should step up to its role in addressing major social questions.
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