Lis and the Single Girl: The Morning After Pill

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Single and fabulous? Well then this is the column for you!

Ever wish you had your own personal Carrie Bradshaw to answer your questions — not just about what to do if your boyfriend dumps you via text message — but serious issues that confront us? This special daily edition of “Lis on Law” will address topics that single women are faced and that everybody wonders about — but no one has time to figure out.

Between work, working out, dating and maintaining a social life, it’s tough to find time to do much else. So, read up and prepare to be fully armed for brunch this weekend with your friends with some super conversation topics! Your pals will be amazed!

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I’ve heard that some pharmacies and hospitals refuse to dispense the morning after pill. How can they do this, and how can I make sure I get the pill if I need it?

We’ve all heard the rumor, “Don’t go to a hospital starting with St. because they won’t give you the morning after pill.” If you think that’s an urban myth, you haven’t read the research. Many Catholic teachings prohibit the use of artificial contraception and many private Catholic hospitals do not dispense the morning after pill (although most of those hospitals will dispense the morning after pill if a woman says she was raped).

Some pharmacies have come under scrutiny for not stocking the morning after pill, also called Plan B or E.C. (emergency contraceptive). Most notable was Wal-Mart, which only recently began selling the pill. This came on the heels of a lawsuit in Massachusetts where women sued the retailer on the basis of gender discrimination for not keeping the pill in stock. Wal-Mart had cited “business reasons” for not selling it.

The state of Washington may have just started a trend by passing a law prohibiting pharmacies and pharmacists from refusing to dispense the morning after pill (or any other medication) because of their own personal morals or beliefs.

It’s also important to know that women over the age of 18, at all pharmacies, can get the morning after pill without a prescription. If you’re under 18, you have to get the pill from your doctor. But, please remember that the morning after pill should not be used as a form of birth control, and it does not protect against STDs, like HIV or AIDS.

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Sources:

• General information on the morning after pill

• Wal-Mart to sell morning after pill

• Women over 18 don’t need a prescription to get the morning after pill

• Catholic hospitals and the morning after pill

• Wal-Mart cites “business reasons”

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Lis Wiehl joined FOX News Channel as a legal analyst in October 2001. She is currently a professor of law at the New York Law School. Wiehl received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College in 1983 and received her Master of Arts in Literature from the University of Queensland in 1985. In addition, she earned her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1987. Lis is also the author of The 51% Minority — How Women Still Are Not Equal and What You Can Do About It. (Watch the Video) To read the rest of Lis's bio, click here.