A recent article in the Washington Post reported that since last August when the federal government approved the sale of emergency contraception without a prescription to women over the age 18, 54,000 pharmacists have completed an online training program about it, and sales of Plan B have doubled to more than $80 million a year. Women's health and family planning advocates suggest that the sales reflects increased access to the product needed by women to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Conservative opponents report being concerned about the impact of the higher doses of hormones found in Plan B on women's health.
The controversy continues. There are pharmacists who refuse to carry emergency contraception and according to the Post article by Rob Stein, the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York is actually suing the FDA to remove the age restriction given that there is no medical basis for restricting teenager's access to emergency contraception and many of the unwanted pregnancies each year involve teenagers. The most important thing we can all do is to make sure that young women understand the law and the availability of Plan B.