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"I just don't get it," says San Antonio, Texas mother of three teenagers Ingrid Thorasdottir. "If you want to buy Sudafed," the over-the-counter cold medicine, "you have to show an ID. If you want to buy spray paint, even if you are an adult, you have to show ID. But if you want to buy an abortion pill all you have to do is walk up to the pharmacy counter and ask for it."
But another San Antonio, Texas mother who asked to remain anonymous counters, "This pill will help the girls who need it most. Not every 15- or 16-year-old has a good relationship with their parents. Many girls who have unprotected sex will just want to make sure they are going to become pregnant. This is exactly what these girls need."
These two Texas mothers sum up the main points of view on the US Food and Drug Administration's recent decision to make the morning-after pill available to even younger teens.
The Obama administration announced that it would appeal the federal judge's decision.
Many parents are upset that changes in the regulation of the drug make it possible for teens to get emergency birth control without any discussions with their parents. Women's rights advocates point out that not all girls have sex because they want to, and not having to discuss forced sex makes it easier for them to get the pill so they can avoid pregnancy.
The levonorgestrel pill is neither a contraceptive nor an abortion pill. It is not a contraceptive because it does not stop the fertilization of a released egg by a sperm. It only affects the implantation of the fertilized egg into the lining of the uterus.
It does not induce abortion because it acts before there is pregnancy. And many of its users have only a vague understanding of how it works.