Emergency contraception odds shift in women’s favor

Just last week we were shaking our heads in frustration and wondering what the deal was with the government, the courts and emergency contraception.

We wrote a whole post about how disappointed and confused we were that restrictions continued on emergency contraceptive access.

We even created a set of graphics to display the “games” we saw being played with emergency contraceptives – and how women were clearly set up to constantly lose.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageBut this week, (we think partially in response to our clever graphics, of course) the Obama administration decided to stop blocking the over-the-counter sale of emergency contraceptives to women and girls. This means that the Food and Drug Administration will comply with Judge Edward Korman’s ruling that emergency contraceptives be accessible without a prescription and without age restrictions or proof of age.

Plan B One Step will now be available over-the-counter without age restrictions, and its generic counterparts are likely to apply for the same approval. Two-pill forms of emergency contraceptives will still fall under restrictions, due to concerns that young girls might struggle to understand dosage directions.

The access rules to emergency contraceptives haven’t necessarily simplified, then, but we are hopeful that now women and girls are more likely to succeed in obtaining emergency contraceptives when they need them.

**In South Dakota all of this could make no difference if your pharmacist refuses to distribute emergency contraception, which they can do under current state law.

For help dealing with this, look for a copy of our recently updated Emergency Contraception Pamphlet for information on which pharmacies do carry emergency contraception in the state. Or request one by emailing us at jenny@prochoicesd.org.

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