I have struggled with the appropriate reading of the issues swirling around the implementation of Plan B as an approved and freely available emergency contraceptive. On the one hand, there is the clear scientific evidence that Plan B is a contraceptive, preventing ovulation, not an abortifacient drug like RU486. However, assuming that there is little basis for concern about any possible negative health effects of Plan B on young girls, and that is not entirely clear, was it inappropriate for our executive branch of government to modify the recommendation from solid physiological and medical science to make a policy conform to a different social norm (i.e., concerning parental responsibility for minors)? A recent piece by Joanna Weiss at the Boston Globe provides a compelling perspective on the debate that I hadn’t seen before. She offers the view that making Plan B freely available to all ensures that those, generally poorer girls who lack significant parental guidance will still be able to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Since half of all pregnancies are unplanned, and pregnancy is a significant challenge to a women’s health, there is a significant medical and scientific basis for seeking to reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancy. If making Plan B freely available can help, even if it sidesteps a parent’s responsibility for a minor, but sexually active daughter, then that’s what we should do. So, I’m rooting for Judge Korman on this one.
Follow us via:
- animals big science biology blog book climate science controls doubt evolution first principles fraud GMO hypothesis mathematics medicine nature vs. nurture news media peer review physics psychology replication reporting scholarship science denial science vs. religion science writer scientific method scientist theory women in science
- Adam Cole Andrew Sullivan Andrew Wakefield Angelina Jolie Anne-Marie Slaughter AP autism Bell Curve Birth control Boston Globe CERN columbia journalism review Curtis Brainard David Rothenberg David Schultz Dennis Overbye Dish Emergency contraception Erik Conway face validity Finding Darwin's God Gliese 581g God particle Habitable zone Higgs Boson High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher Human breast milk Inside Out Intelligence quotient Jerry Coyne Joanna Weiss John Noble Wilford Julie Metz Kara Miller Ken Miller KSJ Tracker Large Hadron Collider Maurice Hilleman Menagerie Merchants of Doubt Mismeasure of Man MMR MMR vaccine controversy Myriad Genetics Naomi Oreskes Nature versus nurture Neanderthal New York Times NPR Only a Theory Paul Raeburn Peer review Plan B positive controls public science rats Richard Conniff Richard Lynn Ron Unz Science in Society science journalist science writer SCOTUSblog Sheryl Sandberg Smithsonian Magazine Standard Model Subatomic particle Tatu Vanhanen Tim Kreider Unintended pregnancy United States Supreme Court Vaccine WGBH Why Evolution is True Women in science
- Not enough science in “The Science of ‘Inside Out'”, and other musings on “Gray Matter”
- Counting rats, part 1
- Feeling guilty about “smushing” an ant, and other musings about our relationship to animals
- “I’m back” and then back again, still looking for the sweet spot
- Measles surge years after vaccine-autism scare: science denial comes home to roost
Race/IQ: The Entire… on Searching for objectivity in t… Unz on Race/IQ: The… on Searching for objectivity in t… Tom Schoenfeld on Our “Darwin problem… Stuart Edwards on Our “Darwin problem…
Copyright© Thomas A. Schoenfeld and dissectingpublicscience.com, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given both to the contributor and to dissectingpublicscience.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.