EC – Over the counter!

This is exciting news!

Finally, emergency contraception (EC), one of the safest and most effective ways to prevent unintended pregnancy after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure, will be available to women without a prescription. On August 24, after more than 18 months of delay, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made Plan B, a brand of EC, available over the counter for women over 18.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

The shadow over this is that, due to the age restriction (women under 18 will still need a prescription), the majority of pharmacies will probably put this behind the pharmacy counter. We’ve seen that there are pharmacists who refuse to dispense this when women go with a prescription, so this could be a problem in some areas. It’s a tricky situation. While I respect that pharmacists, like all of us, have all sorts of different religious and moral beliefs, I believe that those need to be put aside while at work (unless of course you work for your religious organization or something like that). And if a pharmacist is absolutely not willing to do that, he or she should to ensure that, at all times, there is another clerk or pharmacist on duty who will provide Plan B to women who ask.

Anyway, I was glad to see the announcement about this in my inbox. I think it’s an important step. If you’re happy to hear this, please consider sending a thank you note to Sens. Hillary Clinton and Patty Murray.

More in the Boston Globe.

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