Reaction to federal morning-after pill judgement - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Reaction to federal morning-after pill judgement

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-  A federal judge in New York ruled Friday to make the morning-after pill available to girls of all ages without a prescription.

U.S. District Judge Edward Korman of Brooklyn said his order must be carried out within 30 days. Korman said the case is not about potential misuse of the pill by younger girls.

The pill also known as "Plan B" works up to 72 hours after intercourse.

"I think it's a travesty. I think it's very sad," said Jonesboro resident, Jenny Sullivan.

"I have a 16-year-old daughter and the idea that someone other than a parent could provide or could take her to a location that could provide such a thing sickens me and breaks my heart," she said. 

But not everyone shared Jenny's reaction.

"It should be available," said Freda Ishmael. "We have too many illegitimate babies now, too many girls on benefits that will probably never advance, most of them so I'm all for it."

The order came in response to a lawsuit by the Center for Reproductive Rights that was looking to expand access to all brands of the morning after pill.  Matthew Rollins is a father and said he is on the fence about providing the pill.

"On one hand I say yes because they're so many young ladies who are getting pregnant and for some that messes up their whole life," he said.

But Rollins said some of the responsibility should fall on the parents.

"At the same time, I think the parents should teach their daughters so that even if they do make the mistake, they will at least have some idea of what's going to be involved if they do get pregnant," Rollins said. 

We also posted the question on our Facebook page and got a lot of different responses.  Some comments support the order saying teaching abstinence is not effective and gives teens the chance to stop a pregnancy before it happens.

Others felt the pill would be used as a form of birth control and parents should be involved. Arkansas State University student Latroya Landon said she sees both sides of the argument.

"I feel both sides," she said. "I say yes because 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds, that would keep them from getting pregnant and having it at a young age and I say no because I feel like they would feel as if they could have sex whenever they want to."

ASU student Micah Odom said she thinks this order will cause a lot of young girls to have unprotected sex.

"I think it's a really bad idea, it increases the risks of STDs because people feel as though they can just take the pill after having unprotected sex so they don't have to use a condom anymore," Odom said. 

If the ruling is unchallenged, the order will go into effect in 30 days. A recent bill filed in Missouri  would give pharmacies the right to refuse to stock certain drugs, including emergency contraception.

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