Heartland reacts to controversial morning-after pill ruling - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland reacts to controversial morning-after pill ruling

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Emergency contraceptives prevent a pregnancy by preventing a fertilized egg from embedding in the uterus. Emergency contraceptives prevent a pregnancy by preventing a fertilized egg from embedding in the uterus.
While the judge who made the decision called the contraceptive one of the safest drugs sold over the counter, some health professionals say issues could still arise. While the judge who made the decision called the contraceptive one of the safest drugs sold over the counter, some health professionals say issues could still arise.
At Logan Primary Pharmacy in Herrin, Ben Calcaterra said he would continue to ask each patient questions about safety and potential risk factors. At Logan Primary Pharmacy in Herrin, Ben Calcaterra said he would continue to ask each patient questions about safety and potential risk factors.
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

In what's being called a controversial ruling, a federal judge in new York ordered the FDA to make the morning-after pill available over-the-counter.

The order also directs the agency to make it available to a person of any age without a prescription.

Human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius had issued an order requiring a prescription for girls under 17-years-old.

Emergency contraceptives prevent a pregnancy by preventing a fertilized egg from embedding in the uterus.

This is something people on all sides have a lot to say about -- including health professionals who may be caught in the middle.

While the judge who made the decision called the contraceptive one of the safest drugs sold over the counter, some health professionals say issues could still arise.

Pharmacists in Cape Girardeau and Herrin said they have a lot of safety concerns about selling the pill to any customer. If the ruling stands, within 30 days that is what they would be required to do.

At Logan Primary Pharmacy in Herrin, Ben Calcaterra said he would continue to ask each patient questions about safety and potential risk factors. However, Calcaterra said despite their answers or his or any other profession's concerns - any young girl could walk out of the store with the so called morning after pill for herself or someone else.

Pharmacists say the pill isn't suited for everyone and they are also concerned about heavy smokers who could see side effects and also patients who would use the medication as a way to get around having regular health check-ups.

"I would still ask the same questions, but in the end I could not deny anyone pills like Plan B," said Calcaterra. "Any medication sold over the counter has the potential to be misused."

Currently, women who buy the pill must present identification to a pharmacist.

Meanwhile, some parents say if the restrictions go, that means their rights to impress rules and good values disappear too.

While some family planning groups and birth control advocates applauded the ruling --- moms and dads in the Heartland told us they feel the decision infringes on their ability to help their children make good moral and health decisions, and sends a message from our government that actions have no consequences.

"My first reaction was one of anger," said Karen Anderson, a mother of four from Cape Girardeau. "I just wonder what else are they going to take from me. That's taking away my right to lovingly guide my children. Next I just think about the immaturity of our children who need help with making those decisions, who need our guidance. I just wonder where have our spiritual values gone."

Anderson and other parents tell me they feel we need to get back to real family values.

The judge is giving the FDA 30 days to comply with his ruling.

The justice department has not said whether it plans to appeal.

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