Plan B

Facts

Plan B - aka emergency contraception - is just one of the many debates about sexual health. Advocates of emergency contraception think that it lowers the rate of unwanted pregnancies and the rate of abortions. Those who oppose the availability of emergency contraception believe that it creates a false sense of security and will lead to high rates of promiscuity and STD infection and less personal, sexual responsibility - especially among young women. To give our readers a chance to figure out which side of the debate they fall on, below is some background information about Plan B and STD rates.

Plan B - not RU486

Plan B is often confused with RU486, another hotly debated sexual health issue (at least, a lot of us thought they were the same thing). (PlannedParenthood) Here's the diff:

  • Plan B, aka Morning After Pill, is emergency contraception. Known medically as Levonorgestral, the pill can be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex in order to prevent a pregnancy; it doesn't work if a pregnancy has already been established.

  • RU486 - aka Abortion Pill or Mifeprex - is a non-surgical way to end an unwanted pregnancy. It can be taken up to 7 weeks from the first day of the last menstrual cycle.

Where is Plan B available over the counter?

Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico, New Hampshire, or Washington.

Is there a relation between the availability of Plan B and today's STD rates?

Again, keep in mind that Plan B was approved in 1999

  • Chlamydia - most commonly reported disease in US; most prevalent of all STDs

    • 2000 (as of 2000 all 50 states has regulations requiring the reporting of Chlamydia cases): 709,452 cases

    • 2004: 929, 462 case

  • Gonorrhea - second most common disease reported in the US

    • 1984: 878,556 cases

    • 1994: 419,602 cases

    • 2004: 330,132 cases

  • Syphilis - facilitates the transmission of HIV and if acquired 4 years preceding pregnancy may lead to infection of the fetus in over 70% of cases

    • 1984: 69,872 cases

    • 1994: 82,713 cases

    • 2004: 33,401 cases

Did we miss something, let some slant slip in, lose a link - or do you just have something to say? Drop a line below! In the spirit of open dialogue, cJ asks you keep it civil, keep it real and keep it focused on the message, not the messenger. See our policy page for more on what that all means.

Plan B has helped many young

Plan B has helped many young girls. there is no reason to dissapprove it. You are not killing anything only the sperm that goes into the girls. The baby is not yet forming and if there is a baby then the pill will NOT kill the baby. This is just an emergency pill not used for and unwanted or unborn baby.

a random Joe (not verified) | November 19, 2007 - 12:45pm
talker's picture

true - but not what folks object to

I think everyone pretty much agrees Plan B doesn't kill fetuses - but that's not what its opponents object to. They claim that if young women think they have a "back up" way to stop a pregnancy after sex, they'll be less responsible about using condoms (and so preventing the spread of sexually transmitted disease) and will be more promiscuous.

Unfortunately, we haven't come across any studies that definitively show that to be true or not true - so it all seems like conjecture. (If any readers know of a good study, please send us a line where we can find it. Thanks!)

talker | November 20, 2007 - 9:03am