For the time being, females 16 and under concerned about pregnancy can kiss unrestrained access to the morning-after pill goodbye. On Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius overruled the FDA’s decision that emergency contraceptives be made freely available to youths over the counter.

Her justification? Eleven-year-old girls were not included in the trials that determined the drug was safe for everyone. A New York Times report did not say whether there is any reason to suspect the drug known as Plan B posed harm to adolescent females of any age. –ARK

The New York Times:

After reviewing the scientists’ determination, Dr. Hamburg [commissioner of the drug administration] wrote that she agreed “that 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.” But on Wednesday morning, Ms. Sebelius sent Dr. Hamburg a note saying that she did not agree, so the agency was rejecting the application for the change.

In a statement, Ms. Sebelius said that the drug’s manufacturer had failed to study whether girls as young as 11 years old could use Plan B safely. And since about 10 percent of girls are capable of bearing children as early as 11, those girls need to be studied as well, she wrote.

Read more

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig