Plan B has been in the news recently in regards to age restrictions. It is in the process of becoming available to teens without a prescription or parental knowledge. Many see this as progress and a willingness to distribute resources, but I would argue most do not know what it really does or how it works.
Plan B is an accurate name since it is taken after the fact, within 72 hours, of intercourse. It contains a high dose of "birth control drugs" - hormones- that can either prevent ovulation or prevent a fertilized egg from implanting. The second option would be defined as an abortifacient. To get around this tricky word, proponents of the drug define pregnancy as the time when the fertilized egg implants to the uterine lining. However, science agrees that the genetic makeup of the new child is complete once the egg is fertilized and before it implants to the mother's uterus. I just want to give those children the respect they deserve and speak out in their behalf. I'm sure, if they could answer, they would want to live. To be fair, the abortive action does not happen the majority of the time it is taken, but that is not the only reason that this news is upsetting to me.
The birth control pill is full of hormones that can negatively affect the health of the women. The possible side effects are numerous and sometimes frightening. My original rejection of the pill had more to do with health than religious reasons. I had health issues in middle school and high school that required me to take medication daily. The pills I took affected my appetite, weight, ability to concentrate and, at times, indirectly affected my self-esteem. My body was not made to take in all those chemicals, but the alternative was to be sick so I did what the doctors prescribed. I told myself I would not subject my body to that type of treatment out of convenience or selfish wants. It helped me stay clear of drugs and drinking while in high school and helped me keep an open mind about NFP.
Do women realize the stress they are putting on their bodies? Do they realize that Plan B is not a lot different than the pill because they both prevent implantation as a last resort (if somehow fertilization had already occurred)? Last question - if the pill needs to be prescribed by a doctor because all of the side effects and the morning after pill or Plan B is 50x that dose, why do we think it is a good thing to give 17 year-olds access to it without a prescription? If someone has an answer to that please let me know.
If you want to know more of the theology behind my stance on contraceptives, look at the previous post.