Sunday, November 11, 2007

Plan B Up To Pharmacists!


The emergency morning after pill Plan B can withheld from being sold, a judge ruled Thursday. A pharmacist can refuse to sell the emergency contraception pills if they are morally or religiously against it. The pill has been highly controversial because of its nature. Taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex, it can end the beginnings of a pregnancy.

Plan B was rejected by the FDA for over-the-counter use in 2004 and 2005, but August of 2006 saw the beginning of the more available over-the-counter version.

Pharmacists found themselves in a bind-- whether or not to dispense a medicine that some of them morally objected to. This week they are off the hook and no longer in that bind.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton wrote in his ruling, "The regulations appear to target religious practice in a way forbidden by the Constitution" and "appear to intentionally place a significant burden on the free exercise of religion for those who believe life begins at conception.”

There are many dangers associated with Plan B, so many pharmacists prefer that women use standard forms of birth control regularly to prevent pregnancy instead of using post-coital contraception or abortion as a means of birth control. The main ingredient and only active ingredient of the pills, levonorgestrel, was seen to cause side effects such as significant weight gain (on average 15 pounds), depression, ovarian cyst enlargement, gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, respiratory disorders, increased risk of ectopic pregnancy and death. These risks could be avoided by using standard birth control methods or abstaining from risky sex.

Pharmacists can now use their judgment, wisdom, and morals in their job. This is especially relieving because their goal is to dispense medicines that are good for the body and improve vitality and life. Plan B does just the opposite by ending pregnancy and endangering the life of the mother.

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