Plan B - FPA Womens Health

The Morning-After Pill May be Moving to Pharmacy Shelves

Currently people purchasing Plan B must prove to pharmacies they are 17 years old or older, and anyone younger than that must see a doctor for a prescription before purchasing the pill. This might all change thanks to a ruling on Friday.

A federal judge ruled there should be no restrictions on who can buy Plan B including the current common requirements of a prescription or setting an age limit. The judge, U.S. District Jude Edward Kormon of New York, called the current set of rules arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable. He ordered that the restrictions be lifted within 30 days.

If the ruling stands, Plan B One-Step and all other versions of this pill will no longer be behind the counter, but on the shelves along with other pregnancy preventative tools like condoms and spermicide. This means women will no longer need to go through the inconvenience and discomfort of asking a pharmacist for Plan B.


Plan B works to block pregnancies 72 hours after sexual intercourse when a female may be at risk of pregnancy due to neglecting to take birth control, rape or a condom breaking. It works by delivering a high dose of female progestin hormone, the same hormone used in the birth control pill. It is up to 89% of cases, but it works best the sooner it is taken after sexual intercourse.

If the ruling is put into action it will make the pill much easier to access to women of all ages. With half of the nations pregnancies being unintended, lowering that number is a high priority of women’s health specialists.

It has been clear for a long time that the medical and scientific community think this should be fully over the counter and is safe for women of all ages to use,” said Dr. Susan Wood. Dr. Wood was the previous FDA’s women health chief who resigned to protest the Bush administrations slow changing policy for making Plan B more openly available to women.

At Family Planning Associates Medical Group we approve of the decision to give easier access for women to all options when concerning their own health and well-being. We support women’s reproductive rights and giving women safe and easy access to their variety of choices.

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