Obama administration rejects Plan B pill

FRESNO, Calif.

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Currently, Plan B is available to teenagers under 17 by prescription only, while those older than 17 can get it from a pharmacist.

Some say - the decision to leave those regulations in place is a stunning blow to doctors and other health advocates who help women prevent unwanted pregnancies. Others say it was the right choice.

"It only makes good common sense to curtail this drug in every way," said Pastor Jim Franklin with Cornerstone Church in Downtown Fresno.

Franklin serves as Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church in Fresno. As an opponent of abortion rights, he says he's surprised by the decision of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to stop the Plan B Morning After pill from moving onto drugstore shelves -- but says ultimately it was the right move. "A doctor needs to be involved in this, minors can't just pick it up off the counter." 13:06

He says he's primarily concerned with the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. "Half the STD's in this country are acquired by minors, under the age of 25 to be specific. So by having this over the counter, we would open the door for more of that to take place."

Plan B is a single dose pill which decreases the chance of pregnancy when taken within 3 days after unprotected sex. The product contains higher levels of a hormone found in some birth control pills, and works in similar ways. The F.D.A. says the drug is safe for teens.

Pharmacist Pang Yang is concerned with those high hormone levels on a young developing body, and whether a teenager can take it properly. "I don't believe they are mature enough at that age."

Wednesday's ruling means the Morning After pill will remain behind pharmacy counters, available without a prescription only to those 17 and older who can prove their age.

On it's website, the National Women's Health Network argued against today's decision, writing, "We're outraged by this interference with the judgement of scientists at the F.D.A. and dismayed that women will continue to face the barriers created by this medically unjustified age restriction."

While Sebelius said she does not believe there was enough data to support a change in policy, others argue politics may have contributed to the decision. Some political analysts point to the fact that it's an election year and that the Obama administration maybe trying to appeal to conservative voters.

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