White House Keeps Morning-After Pill Behind Counter


Today is the morning after the morning-after debate. The Food and Drug Administration's recommendation to make the morning-after birth-control pill more readily available was shot down by the White House Wednesday, keeping Plan B behind pharmacy counters, available without a prescription only to those 17 and older.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius took the action after "careful review," a White House spokesman said, adding that President Obama supports the secretary's decision.

But a spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics wasn't happy.

"This is medically inexplicable," said Dr. Robert Block of the AAP, who said putting the morning-after pill next to condoms and spermicides would increase appropriate access.

Dr. Cora Breuner, a professor of pediatric and adolescent medicine at the University of Washington, said Plan B should be readily available to those "who have made a serious error in having unprotected sex and should be able to respond to that kind of lack of judgment in a way that is timely, as opposed to having to suffer permanent consequences."