Commenter Julie wrote the following in respose to my original post on this topic. I think it's informative, and she agreed to let me post it on the front page. She also adds, "Please check out the full report on the Morning After Pill at www.pop.org under 'Indepth Reports.'"
There are many reasons to oppose the morning after pill, including health and safety reasons as well as the fact that it sometimes acts as an abortifacient by preventing implantation. Many women would refuse to use the pill if this fact were made clear to them. Pharmacists should be given the right to refuse to sell it if their consciences object.
In the United Kingdom, the morning after pill is sold pharmacist-direct. Post-marketing surveillance there found a significant increase in the rate of ectopic pregnancies (6% as opposed to the usual rate of 2% or less). This is a serious health risk when young adolescents will have unsupervised access to the morning after pill if it is sold over-the-counter.
The most powerful arguments in favor of the morning after pill are claims that its use will prevent 50% or more of unintended pregnancies and thereby reduce the abortion rate.
This is not true as can be easily proven. In Sweden, where the morning after pill has been available over the counter since the late 1990s, teenage abortion rates have gone up from 17/1000 to 22.5/1000. In Washington State, the morning after pill has been available pharmacist-direct since 1998. Abortion rates there have not been cut in half. They are gently trending downward; however, the decrease coincides precisely with the nationwide decrease in abortion rates.
A study by Michael New proved that one of the major reasons for the reduction in abortions in the last few years has been the various laws restricting access to abortion enacted by various states (parental consent, waiting periods, etc.)
Finally, rates of Sexually Transmitted Diseases are skyrocketing wherever the morning after pill has been made available (Sweden and Washington State, for example).
Based upon experience of various states and countries already selling the morning after pill either pharmacist-direct or over-the-counter, it is most likely that if the morning after pill is made available over the counter in the U.S., there will be no reduction in unplanned pregnancies, a skyrocketing increase in STDs (especially among youth), and possible serious health risks which have not yet been studied, especially among adolescents.
This is a public health disaster of historic proportions in the making.
A complete research report on this issue has been published at Population Research Institute called "Under the Table."