Sex in the News: Wrapping up the Reproductive Year
When I started writing this column back in February the across the United States, many states were reevaluating their legislation around reproductive health. We’re nearing the end of the year and yet issues surrounding reproductive health are continuing to pop up. Access to abortion, distribution of Plan B, and issues around birth control are still coming up across they country.
In New Jersey, students at Ramapo College are petitioning around the access to Plan B on their campus. They believe there should be less restrictions on how it is accessed to ensure students are able to gain access to the pill within the recommended 72 hours. Our friends at Jezebel then took a look at how easy it is to access Plan B on different college campuses.
Access to Plan B is not limited to these New Jersey students. The Centre for Reproductive Rights is challenging a decision made by Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius that forces people under 17 to gain a prescription to get Plan B over the counter. The Food and Drug Administration had recommended the drug be made available over the counter to those even under 17. The FDA has provided evidence that girls as young as 12 could properly use Plan B.
While you might argue against the use of Plan B, for many women it is a way to prevent a pregnancy when they were being careful. It is an emergency contraceptive, not an abortion pill, meaning it doesn’t terminate a preexisting pregnancy, but prevents either fertilization; a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus; or stops the egg from releasing.
Yes there are concerns that Plan B would encourage people to have unprotected sex. But a Journal of the American Medical Association study showed that women who had access to Plan B over-the-counter were no more likely to have unprotected sex.
Having an outsider perspective on the issue has me wondering one thing. If so many Americans are against government intervention in so many ways, why are they so keen to have someone else make a decision about women’s bodies?
Leah is in the last semester of her Bachelor of Journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. She spent her summer interning at a radio station in Ghana and researching the state of maternal health on her days off. You can follow her on Twitter @ElleandBee.