North Carolina Republicans using junk science to keep students from learning about Plan B
A group of North Carolina Repubilcans want to keep information about Plan B contraception out of the state’s public school health classes, and they’re justifying it with debunked health claims, Liberals Unite reported.
Six GOP state lawmakers introduced House Bill 596 last week. The measure, which updates existing legislation requiring that birth control methods be covered alongside “the positive benefits of abstinence until marriage and the risks of premarital sexual activity,” also purports to use information that is “objective and based upon scientific research that is peer reviewed and accepted by professionals and credentialed experts in the field of sexual health education.”
However, the bill specifically excludes Plan B and another contraceptive, Preven, saying they “may cause spontaneous abortions.”
But scientific research has already undermined the bill’s own claim; the the Mayo Clinic has stated that the drug does not work if taken after a pregnancy has begun. It has not been found to harm existing fetuses.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Plan B for use for women 15 and older in May 2013, despite complaints from conservative Christian groups that teen girls could be given the drug “under coercion or without their consent.”
“Research has shown that access to emergency contraceptive products has the potential to further decrease the rate of unintended pregnancies in the United States,” an FDA spokesperson said at the time. “The data reviewed by the agency demonstrated that women 15 years of age and older were able to understand how Plan B One-Step works, how to use it properly, and that it does not prevent the transmission of a sexually transmitted disease.”
If approved, the bill would take effect in the 2015-16 school year.
Critics have accused Republican-backed legislation in Arizona requiring doctors to tell patients that abortions can be “reversed” through high doses of the hormone progesterone of being based on “dubious” claims. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed that bill into law last week.