Morning After Pill Available OTC for Ages 15 and Up

By: Bergen Baucom Email
By: Bergen Baucom Email

Marianna- It's been said, when 'plan a' fails- there's Plan B. Jackson Hospital OB/GYN Dr. Ricky Leff agreed using the emergency contraceptive in that order was important to follow.

"The morning after pill is not the ideal birth control" Leff explained. "Its kind of a last ditch effort to make sure that a girl who's already had intercourse does not become pregnant. So ideally, those girls would be getting prescriptions for birth control pills well before that time period."

Depending on ones moral views about contraceptive, some groups believe making Plan B more readily available would be the equivalent to providing an over the counter abortion- something Leff says is false.

"It makes the endometrial lining somewhat unfavorable to implantation of a pregnancy, and so the pregnancy will not implant [in the uterus] and grow" he said.

But conservative groups were not the only ones with concern.

"I have a problem with putting it out front since [Plan B] has to be checked- since there are restrictions on age. So that is a problem" explained Pharmacist, Jim Watts.

He said putting it out on an open isle shelf also made it vulnerable to theft. Condoms and pregnancy tests were kept behind the clerk- where Watts said Plan B would stay as well.

But in rural communities where teen pregnancy rates have remained the highest, Leff said providing better access was critical.

"it's very safe. So if you want to try to cut down on unplanned teen pregnancies, the more readily available it is to teenagers, the better success you're going to have with that. And, we do have a fairly high rate of teen pregnancy."

Plan B will only be available in stores with pharmacies, but can be sold during non-pharmacy hours.


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