Women's Health

Study finds 17-year-olds denied morning after pill



While the law dictates that the morning after pill should be made available to women 17 years of age and older to purchase over-the-counter, without a doctor’s prescription, a new study finds that not all pharmacies comply with this regulation, according to FOXCharlotte.

Boston University researchers found that in a study of 943 drugstores in five major U.S. cities, nearly 1 in 5 pharmacies denied the morning after pill to 17-year-old girls because of their age.  

Some pharmacists cited reasons such as "You have to be 18 or older,” "You're too young," or "You have to have a parent with you,” according to FOXCharlotte.

Pharmacist Jesse Pike in Charlotte, N.C., said his pharmacy handles about three requests a year for Plan B.  He told FOXCharlotte the pill is not an abortion pill, but rather, “The drug actually mimics the birth control pill in making it more difficult for fertilization to occur."

Rosemarie Tong, the director of UNC Charlotte's Ethics Center, said young women who are faced with an incorrect denial of access to Plan B should push back.  

"Maybe that push back is the final act of courage that a young girl needs to take today,” she told FOXCharlotte.

In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration said that Plan B should be available over the counter to all girls of reproductive age.  However, the Secretary of Health and Human Services overrode the decision, dictating the drug be kept available over the counter for girls 17 and up.

Click here to read more from FOXCharlotte.