U.S. regulators approve of first over-the-counter contraceptive pill

Originally published at: U.S. regulators approve of first over-the-counter contraceptive pill | Boing Boing


I posted this elsewhere, but you can start your countdown clocks until red states start banning this, or at least massively restricting access.


Conservatives will be happy to see something out there which helps prevent abortion!

Haha. Good one!


Can you imagine the rightward political outrage if the CDC/FDA included with each HPV vaccine (to prevent a viral infection in the nascent sexually active) an ‘emergency’ supply of these contraceptive (or other ECP) pills? What a grand and sensible idea that would be! of course as long as we’ve shouty troglodytes dominating our political system we can’t have such wise things -sigh-


That’s really encouraging. The risks are low, side effects few and contraindications very rare. Should be a game changer. Will be instantly attacked by the right. With no justification, but that’s nothing new.

ETA, on further consideration, my only real concern is the lack of the educational aspect. Importance of taking regularly, lack of protection from STI’s, effect on periods, etc. The drug itself is quite safe, but taking it based on internet advice may be not-so-good.

Hah! Ninja’d by @DiveGirl as I was typing!


CDC says 93% effective rate, so while not superior to some oral forms, it’s at least damn close.

I think each box should include some additional information about protecting oneself from STDs, since a doc is eliminated from the process.


I bet there is - but I also bet its printed on thin paper folded 20 times and stuffed in the box which will be promptly thrown out/ignored.

Not sure how to best reach people to educate them. QR code to like a 5 min video? An actual color booklet that informs and entertains?

Theoretically, you should know most of this from health class, but we know that isn’t the case for way too many people.


Honestly, I think your QR code idea is the best one. It doesn’t waste paper like the booklets and maybe they’ll actually scan it. Booklet available and mentioned at checkout maybe, but every box seems like a big waste.


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Lol, so true. My conservative brother was freaking out about unfettered abortion access, and I pointed out to him that Colorado greatly reduced its abortion and teen pregnancy rates by providing free birth control. Given that birth control access is really the only thing we’ve seen internationally that reduces abortion, I asked him why his side doesn’t support something like what Colorado has done? I was so terribly shocked when he didn’t have an answer to that. /s


And common parental control software for phones recognizes that URL on sight in 3, 2, 1; but probably not as quickly as whoever is responsible for putting it up jacks it in to Google Analytics and the Meta Pixel in deeply unwise ways…


Yeah, I don’t know how kids these days are interacting with the world.

Hmm - what if you had a QR code to download an app, and that helps remind you to take it daily. It could track cycles, and have information in STDs etc.

Gamify taking your pill, like they do with that program where you grow plants based on your water intake.

ETA - fair point to the above poster about parental tracking. But for everyone else not on that, it would help. Security needs to be insured, especially in red states.


Theoretically, I like the app idea.

Practically, oh hell no. Too much chance for abuse for the data.


There’s a lot of kerfuffle about tracking apps and their being referenced by schools and parents to the point that kids aren’t using them, or are using several to obfuscate their real cycle.

Probably the thing that might be noticed the most is a few large bullet points on the box exterior, in the most simple terms possible.


I’m in the middle of the Behind the Bastards episode on the Duggars / Quiverfull, learning about how these maniacs don’t even apply for birth certificates for their daughters to avoid schooling and social service requirements. In that light, this is a welcome change indeed.

I’m absolutely certain that just like religio-misogynist closed communities end up with significant influence (if not outright ownership) of local law enforcement, child welfare, schools, etc… they have systems in place to control the communication between women and doctors, or just court misogynist, utra-conservative doctors as well. Especially now that restrictive abortion laws are filtering the sane OBs out of certain states and towns.

It sucks that in order to get around this level of control, you reinforce robbing women of proper comprehensive care (like @docosc and @DiveGirl mentioned above). Also sucks that the christofascists will undoubtedly use this as a selling point to their more “moderate” members for the importance of a husband having absolute control over their wife’s movements and purchasing, since they can’t rely on the “family doctor” or the local complicit pharmacist to be a gatekeeper anymore.


Thrice no, that’s also a data breach waiting to happen.


I heard a doctor on the news state that it has a 98% effective rate IF taken EXACTLY as labeled (never miss a dose, taken the same exact time each day). I wonder if the 93% effective rate cited by the CDC factors this in

Ah, yes. From the FDA:

With perfect use, norgestrel tablets are highly effective in preventing pregnancy. Based on the initial clinical trials of norgestrel tablets, the perfect-use effectiveness rate can be as high as 98%, meaning only 2 in 100 women will become pregnant in a year of use. Perfect use includes taking one tablet every day, and at the same time each day without any breaks between monthly packs. It also includes always using back-up birth control, like condoms, when the person misses or is delayed in taking the daily tablet for more than 3 hours. Perfect use is usually seen in clinical trials.

In real life, however, effectiveness of typical use of norgestrel tablets is lower than perfect use. Typical use takes into account human errors, such as forgetting to take the pill at the same time each day or not using a condom when the person misses a daily pill. The effectiveness of norgestrel tablet may be different for each person as some may find it difficult to use a product perfectly. In real world use, norgestrel is expected to be less effective than prescription norgestrel used in clinical trials that led to its initial approval. However, nonprescription norgestrel contraception is very likely to be more effective than other currently available nonprescription contraceptive methods.



Nah, they’ll just have their AGs go judge-shopping again & have the judge ban it nationwide, then have the SCOTUS make it permanent. Lots quicker and easier than trying to cat-herd the various legislatures…

It won’t be surprising when some loon proposes a law mandating 3 children per white woman.

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What it boils down to is their not wanting women to be able to have sex without consequences. Enjoying sex and your body is bad and dirty - for women. They want unintended pregancies to ruin women’s educational and/or work lives. They want rich men like them to be able to have sex without any consequences, other than paying for their mistresses’ abortions (because they don’t even want them on The Pill! and they sure as shit won’t wear condoms!).

They want women and their children to live in poverty. They are against free school lunches, and demand everyone who gets any form of welfare to be working at crap low-pay jobs, and be drug tested.

ETA: Jamaica had long allowed OTC sales of The Pill. I saw various types alongside the pads and tampons at our favorite grocery store in St Anns Bay in the 90s. I asked our friend Miss Tina about it, since she’d lived there for quite some time. She told me the government felt there was an overpopulation problem on The Island, and that was one of their solutions.

The OTC Pill does not seem to have had nearly enough effect there, since I saw a recent Jamaican news item which said almost 50% of high school girls drop out b/c pregnancy.