Kris Weberg | May 25, 2005
The FDA still refuses to allow the "morning-after" pill to be sold over the counter.

Is there a single person here who can tell me a way in which that's a good decision?

Anna Gregoline | May 25, 2005
Nope. It's idiotic.

People confuse the "morning after" pill with RU-486, which causes an abortion. I think that lies at the root of the problem.

Michael Paul Cote | May 25, 2005
Kinda falls in with the news report I saw the other night about the federal government supplying free viagra to sex offenders! (link)

Anna Gregoline | May 25, 2005
Wow. That's just...wow.

Amy Austin | May 25, 2005
In the infamous words of Kyle's mom: "WhatwhaTWHAT???!!!???"

Jackie Mason | May 25, 2005
[hidden by request]

Anna Gregoline | May 25, 2005
"It's not hard to get a hold of it or get an Rx for it via a clinic."

From what I hear, it's REALLY hard to get a hold of for many, many people. You have to find a doctor to prescribe it, for one, which is very difficult in a Bible belt area, and then you have to hope the pharmacists don't refuse to fill it!

I'm just surprised these days to see more and more people ascribing to earlier and earlier ideas of when "conception" happens. Pretty soon if you THINK you might be pregnant and then decide you're not you'll have had an "abortion!"

Anna Gregoline | May 25, 2005
Oh, and even I felt it necessary to read up again on those two very different pills - for anyone who is interested, this is a great run down, again from those awesome Planned Parenthood people:

(link)

Jackie Mason | May 25, 2005
[hidden by request]

Amy Austin | May 25, 2005
Yes, I have to agree with Anna here... and big chuckle at the thought police busting us for "abortion"! ;-D

Kris Weberg | May 25, 2005
Wait, why is the morning-afetr pill something you want a professional to control? As Anna pointed out, it isn't RU-486, which terminates pregnancy at any stage. The morning-after pill only works within 2-3 days (I think) of sex.

Amy Austin | May 26, 2005
Yes, and I was wondering this as well... it isn't like it will harm you if you take it and turn out *not* to have been pregnant after all -- the worst that can happen is a little bit a nausea! (That doesn't mean that I think this should be an oft-relied upon OTC method of BC, however...)

Jackie Mason | May 26, 2005
[hidden by request]

Anna Gregoline | May 26, 2005
I think I read that it's not really a GREAT thing to do to your body, and *can* be quite a bit rougher than "just a little nausea." But I haven't read much about the newest kind, Plan B, so my info is mostly coming from older medications for the same thing.

It's just so hypocritical of the FDA. They drag their heels on things like Plan B (took them long enough to approve it!) but let Viagara go on unabated (not over the counter - yet) and it kills people all the time.

Amy Austin | May 26, 2005
Well, I certainly won't quibble about the hypocrisy of the FDA!

But, (and this is as far as *I* know...) the "morning-after pill" is simply Lo/Ovral, an older BCP that used to be prescribed just like the modern 28-day 'scripts, but has now been relegated to this use for its higher hormonal content. The "emergency" dosage is 3 or 4 of these pills. I haven't heard of this "Plan B" that you mention (and I haven't gone to your links as yet), but it was the Lo/Ovral that I was given (naturally) after my abduction in 1993, and the only side effect told me was nausea -- which I did experience, (but I attributed that more to the immediate investigative drive with sheriffs to locate the "scene of the crime" than to the pills). In fact -- and I do hate to mention this for fear of proffering it as a realistic "solution", (though I don't think anyone here would!) -- it is fairly well-known/propagated advice for women to just take 3-4 extra pills on the day following their "mistake", and all should be well. That may have worked just fine in the days of Lo/Ovral and other such high-hormone formulations, but I wouldn't trust it at all with today's low-dosage pills. It also ignores the fact that perhaps the woman doesn't even use BCPs in the first place... but oh, well!

Amy Austin | May 26, 2005
Seems to be the self-described "worst-case scenario" run-down on Lo/Ovral and hormones contained within...

(link)

Scott Hardie | May 26, 2005
It seems to me that the religious right's movement against the "morning after" pill is not a stand against abortion, but a stand against casual sex. Anything they believe will lead to more people having premarital sex is out of the question. (I realize we're talking about the FDA here, but the influence is obvious.)

Dan Savage had something similar to say in last week's Savage Love column on the subject of genital warts, aka human papilloma virus:

Researchers have been hard at work on two vaccines for HPV, vaccines that could save thousands of women's lives. In clinical trials, the vaccines have prevented 90 percent of new HPV infections. Good news, huh? Not for the religious right. Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council told New Scientist magazine that "giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex."

While the religious right's war on gay people gets all the headlines, their war on straight rights gains ground daily. They've destroyed sex education in this country, undermined abortion rights, and successfully prevented emergency contraception from being made available over the counter. Now they're going to block the HPV vaccine. Why? Because the American Taliban would rather see sexually active women dead than vaccinated.

Hello, straight people? If you don't want to live in a world where you need a license from the likes of Bridget Maher to have sex, premarital or otherwise, you had better start speaking up. Most of you seem content to merely rubberneck while gay people have the shit kicked out of us, and while that's maddening, I suppose it's understandable. It's not your fight. But what explains your passivity when your own rights are being attacked?

Amy Austin | May 26, 2005
Uh, did I read that slip right, Scott? Are you... gay? (Not that there's anything *wrong* with that... just that I re-read that second-to-last sentence about 3 or 4 times in a row now... ;-D)

Amy Austin | May 26, 2005
But seriously... ;-D... what I also wanted to say was "AMEN" -- these people really scare the shit out of me!

Hmmm... (thought process of single, young chic, looking to get laid):

"There's still no cure or vaccine for AIDS... herpes is still 'forever'... and any number of other things that could possibly go undetected for a bit too long could possibly render me sterile... but, HE-HEYYY -- there's a vaccine against HPV now! WOO HOO!!! Bring on the unprotected sex, baby!!!"

Amy Austin | May 26, 2005
Oh, DUH... Dan Savage is gay. (sigh) I should really start going to bed at a reasonable hour, instead of waiting up to see the new goo!!! ;-DDD

That's truly the biggest brain fart *I've* had in a while now... (Sorry, Scott! ;-PDDD)

Kris Weberg | May 26, 2005
I'd say it goes beyond simply opposing casual sex. The "religious right" -- and God, how I wish genuinely religious people would take back the mantle of faith from these opportunist Pharisees -- oppose any sex that isn't procreative.

After all, if a single girl can't get contraceptives or abortions, what of a married couple who want that there conjugal bliss without either worrying that they'll have a kid or taking surgical steps to ensure they can't choose to have kids at some other time?

At any rate, I seem to have a different Christian Bible than these guys. In mine, Jesus has a lot more to say about helping the poor and accepting outcasts than about sex. Likewise, in my Jewish Bible -- the book they like to selectively quote -- the prophets of the Lord sure seem to sleep around enough, and the guy the Tribes take their name from is a bigamist who wanted to marry Rachel because she's hot.

Oh, fun fact: the Republican-appointed reproductive medicine appointee to the FDA, the guy opposed to the morning-after pill might have a solution to this dilemma: just repeatedly anally rape your wife.

(link)

Anna Gregoline | May 26, 2005
Ok, HPV is a tricky thing though - first of all, not all strains of the disease cause abnormal cells in the cervix (leading to cervical cancer) but SOME can. There are hundreds of forms of the disease, and no real good way to determine right now what strains do what, no testing, etc. Also, not all strains cause genital warts (in fact only a few out of that hundred do), so it's impossible for most people to know they have it (for women, they might have no symptoms and no physical problems, and men are affected even less). I've heard estimates from 50% to 90% of people who are or have been sexually active have some form of HPV. So it's enormously hard to diagnose and treat, with people passing it to each other all the time. So I hardly think it's a license to have more casual sex. People just aren't concerned about it compared to other diseases, and I don't really see how they could be. The vaccine is a good thing though, especially if the disease really is that far spread.

By the way, the best way to prevent cervical cancer is to see your gyno once a year, ladies! If caught early, cervical cancer is totally treatable.

Amy Austin | May 26, 2005
Oh...my...fucking...God. (Literally.)


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