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updated: 2/22/2014 4:29 PM

Store display highlights threat to women's health

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An Internet photo taken at a big chain drugstore in New Jersey featured a special Valentine "Keep it Sweet" display, including greeting cards, candies, flowers, balloons, condoms, jelly and Plan B One Step -- along with metal handcuffs for the more adventurous.

Also, photos of the "Health and Wellness" aisle at the upfront cashier's counter in a downtown Chicago drugstore featured mostly candies, including Plan B One Step under the Willy Wonka "Sweet Tarts." After filing a formal complaint citing the inappropriateness of a potent hormonal drug available at the candy counter, the corporate office of the Chicago drugstore explained that their display policy for Plan B is "up to each individual store manager."

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Common side effects of emergency contraceptive Plan B One Step (which contains a higher dose of female progestin hormone than regular birth control and has abortion-inducing potential) include nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, tiredness, dizziness, menstrual change, breast tenderness, diarrhea or headache. Serious allergic reactions may occur such as hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat. Emergency medical help is advised. Step One does not prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS or other STDs.

The FDA had battled for 10 years to have this dangerous contraceptive drug available over the counter, without a doctor's prescription, to any female without restrictions, and even to a predatory boyfriend who may be committing statutory rape. When contacted, the FDA absolved itself of any responsibility of mandating where Plan B should be accessed in a drugstore. Apparently any counter will do!

This should trouble everyone sincerely concerned about women's health to their core, don't you think? And yet the "reproductive choice" cabal blames conservatives for waging a "war on women." Folks, this is what that war really looks like -- utter stupidity and irresponsibility.

Arlene Sawicki

South Barrington

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