San Antonians react to 'Plan B' decision


A lot of strong opinions out after the FDA's decision on Tuesday to move the morning-after -- or "Plan B" -- pill over the counter and making it available to those 15 and over without a prescription.

While some contraceptive advocates applaud the move, some parents in San Antonio, including Tracey Mash, said she's stunned at the decision and believes it takes parents "out of the loop."

"I don't understand how a teenager can do that," said Mash. "How they are given a choice to say, 'It's OK to have sex and if you want to abort it, here's the information, here's the product you can do it with,' without having parent consent? That doesn't sound right to me."

FDA officials are requiring proof of age, such as a driver's license, a birth certificate or a passport, to purchase Plan B.

Dr. Thomas Schlenker, director of Metro Health, said while Plan B is safe, the new availability may not have that big of an impact.

"It's appropriate to make it available over the counter," said Schlenker. "But I don't think it will have a big effect because number one, it is very expensive. It costs about $50 for Plan B and number two, it sort of means things have not worked out as planned."

Schlenker said what is more effective is for teens to delay their first sexual experience altogether and the proof is in the numbers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, younger teens delaying onset of first sex, combined with sexually active teens having better access to contraception, has contributed to the decline of teen pregnancy.

In San Antonio, the number of teens getting pregnant has have dropped from 3,738 teen births in 2008 to 2,713 in 2012. That's a total of 1,025 fewer teen births.

And while that's a great improvement, Metro Health's Project WORTH is working to bring the numbers even lower by getting the word out on teen pregnancy prevention.

On Wednesday, the group hosted the "National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy - Mapping Our Future."

"That we avoid teen pregnancy, it means that there are more young men and young women that graduate from high school, more likely to go on to college and reach their dreams," said Mayor Julian Castro. "And, all of us are more prosperous because of that."

For a list of recent stories Stephanie Serna has done, click here.

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