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FDA OKs generic ‘morning-after’ pill

WASHINGTON (BP)–Another “morning-after” pill with abortion-causing qualities will soon be for sale in stores.

Watson Laboratories has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to market a generic version of Plan B, a post-intercourse “emergency contraceptive,” as it is commonly known, that can cause an abortion.

The new generic drug will be marketed under the name “Next Choice.” Like Plan B, it will be available for purchase without a prescription for women 17 years of age and older and for prescription use by girls younger than 17.

Next Choice works, like Plan B, to restrict ovulation in a female. It also can act after conception to block implantation of a tiny embryo in the uterine wall, thereby causing an abortion.

The drug regimen for the “morning-after” pill is basically a heavier dose of birth control pills. Under the regimen, a woman takes two pills within 72 hours of sexual intercourse and another dose 12 hours later.

Plan B, which is produced by the Duramed division of Barr Pharmaceuticals, had American sales of $135 million in the 12-month period ending June 30.

The FDA added its approval of Watson Laboratories’ Next Choice on Aug. 28.

When the FDA approved the non-prescription use of Plan B in 2006, Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, described it as a “sad day for America.”

“Allowing drugs with such powerful physiological and emotional effects to be sold over the counter to adults without a prescription will have significant consequences, none of them good,” Land said.

“It will certainly result in the pharmacological, spontaneous abortion of large numbers of babies, who will be conceived but known only to God…. This decision will lead to increased rates of sexual activity for younger women outside of wedlock, resulting in physical, emotional and spiritual consequences, including increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases, against which Plan B offers no protection,” he said.
Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode.

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