Morning after pill now available to 15 year olds - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Morning after pill now available to 15 year olds

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The following is an update from the Associated Press:

"The Justice Department is appealing a judge's decision lifting all age limits on the Plan B morning-after birth control pill and a cheaper generic.


The federal government says the judge who issued the ruling had exceeded his authority and that his decision should be suspended while the appeal is underway.

U.S. District Judge Edward Korman of New York had given the Food and Drug Administration until Monday to lift all age limits on Plan B and cheaper generic. The judge mandated that emergency contraception be sold just like aspirin.

On Tuesday, the FDA said anyone 15 or older could begin buying one brand, Plan B One-Step, without a prescription - two years younger than the current age limit of 17."




If you are 15, 16 or 17 you still need your parents permission to get your ears pierced, but you do not need their approval to buy the morning after pill, nor do you need a prescription from your doctor.

So will this increased accessibility of emergency contraception actually decrease underage and unwanted pregnancies?

An RN from the Health Department, actually says no, because it's already provided, and for a cheaper price.

"As far as access, minors have had it at our medical clinic and health departments for many years, so I don't think that's changed their access," said Candy Hurd.

Some say with the Hollywood glamorization of teen pregnancy, combined with the increased level of education on the topic, it's easier and has a better stigma to be pregnant today than in years past.

"Definitely because it's so different than now. Back then it was a big sin to be pregnant in High School, and now people push for it, it's okay now," said Kaylee Dickenson.

A local high schooler finds it odd that a minor can not take aspirin at school without a parent's permission, but on their own consent, they can walk into a pharmacy and take emergency contraception.

Another high schooler said although he believes a 15 year old should be able to make their own decisions...

"I would be more willing to help provide for these health care measures like birth control and the Morning After Pill as compared to helping pitch in for welfare reform, paying for a child for the next 18 years that they don't necessarily want or need to have," Travis Boothe said.

Still, the cost of the morning after pill, weighs heavy on peoples minds. The cheaper, generic form of Plan-B is still $34.99