August 17, 2006
Recent news reports indicate that the Food and Drug Administration may be on the verge of approving over-the-counter (OTC) sales of Plan B, the "morning-after pill," to women 18 years and older.
Deirdre McQuade, Director of Planning and Information of the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, is available for interview and comment regarding Plan B and the FDA. Ms. McQuade is the chief spokesperson on abortion and related issues for the Catholic bishops of the United States and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 541-3070.
"The Bishops' Conference opposes making Plan B available without medical supervision, whether to minors or adults," Ms. McQuade said.
Multiple Reasons for Opposition
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposes making Plan B available OTC on several grounds:
– the abortifacient potential of Plan B
– implications for informed consent (without medical supervision, many women will not be aware of its multiple actions)
– public health concerns (potential for "routine" use; higher risk of ectopic pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases);
– heightened potential for coercing pharmacists to provide the drug against their conscientious objection.
Recent Commentary against Over-the-Counter Sale of "Plan B"
National Review Online article by Susan Wills (August 15), highlighting scientific findings that access to Plan B does not reduce abortions but increases risks to women: "'Plan B': Politics vs. Science?" www.nationalreview.com.
The Pro-Life Secretariat's (August 9) press release opposing OTC sales:
"Bishops' Official to FDA: Reject 'Over the Counter' Sale of Morning-After Pill" http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2006/06-158.shtml
For the USCCB's formal comments to the FDA and other information on the morning-after pill, go to: www.usccb.org/prolife/issues/contraception/morningafterpill.htm.