You can get Plan B without a prescription now! Yesterday the FDA has finally approved Plan B, also known as emergency contraception or the morning after pill, to be sold on store shelves–not behind pharmacy counters–and for it be available to anyone 15 and up. You’ll have to present ID to prove your age when you buy Plan B, but you’ll be able to discreetly pick it up yourself without having to ask a stranger for it or go to the doc for an Rx.
Plan B is not an abortion pill. It’s basically a high dose of the same hormones present in birth control, and it prevents an egg from being fertilized if taken within three days of unprotected sexual intercourse. It won’t terminate a pregnancy if you’re already pregnant–that’s actually RU-486, which you need to get from a doctor.
In any case, I think not needing a prescription for Plan B is pretty stellar, because it’s going to lower the rate of unplanned pregnancies and the trouble that comes along with it–including actual abortions, which should, in theory, make pro-life advocates pretty happy.
Of course, there are critics of this move: I got into a debate about this with my own mom this morning. Her take, before I straightened her out? “Now kids are gonna think it’s okay to go out and have sex and get pregnant.”
Here’s why that makes no sense. First off, as long as everyone involved is consensual, of age and safe, it’s perfectly okay to have sex. Of course, religious, moral and personal views may vary on that, but in blanket terms, no one is going to arrest two partners of legal age for having sex (provided it’s not in public).
Second, “kids” have been having sex for a while. (I should note that she’s older, so I’m assuming by “kids” she just meant “people under 18,” not, you know, Kidz Bop-age children. Older people define “kids” differently from the rest us.) Anyway, back to “kids”–kids even had sex before Plan B existed. For shame! And if Plan B didn’t exist and wasn’t available without a prescription, guess what? They’d probably still be having sex. Having sex is something kids do. Because kids are people, and lots of people have sex. (And guess what? Fewer teens are having sex than people assume anyway.)
Third, this is a solid move considering a lot of people don’t have or can’t afford insurance and the doctor visits necessary to get a prescription for Plan B. Plus, many girls who would otherwise want or need Plan B may have been hesitant to get it before if they needed their parents to know about it, because they’re uncomfortable with anyone knowing about their sex lives. (This is understandable–while it’s easy to say that if you’re not mature enough to talk about sex with your folks that you’re not mature enough to have sex, it’s pretty unfair and judgmental to make blanket statements like that if you don’t know someone’s individual family situation.)
As for the second part of her statement, it literally makes no sense. This is basically what she, and a lot of other opponents of the move, meant: “If you make Plan B, a contraceptive tool designed to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or after your protection fails, available without a prescription to teenagers, teenagers are going to go out and get pregnant.”
So by providing a tool that would prevent teenagers from getting pregnant . . . the FDA is enabling teenagers to get pregnant? That is the most illogical thing I’ve heard in a while. Providing birth control options won’t make more “kids” have sex, just like taking them away won’t make less kids have sex. Gosh Mom, have a seat and drink your coffee.
Are you happy that Plan B is available without a prescription? Do you think more people will use Plan B now that you can get it without a prescription? Do you think Plan B being available without a prescription will encourage people to have unsafe sex? Tell us in the comments!