Plan B Now Available to 15-year-olds

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

A Plan B One-Step emergency contraceptive box is seen in New York, April 5, 2013. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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By Katie Wiedemann

DUBUQUE, Iowa - A form of emergency contraceptive known as "Plan B" will now be available to anyone over the counter. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday anyone can buy the pill over the counter at drug stores.

People 15-years-old & older can buy the pill without a prescription or doctor's note. The requirement used to be 17-years-old. Customers have to prove their age at checkout.

Serving in her new role as executive director of Dubuque County Right to Life, Marian Bourek is appalled by the F.D.A.'s ruling. "We look to our government for leadership and this is not good leadership," Bourek said.

Dubuque County Right to Life classifies the use of Plan B as a chemical abortion. Bourek said lowering the age restriction is dangerous. "Now a teenage girl can go purchase this over the counter. Her doctor need not know. Her parents need not know.".

A few blocks away, Dubuque's Planned Parenthood gives patients Plan B. Directors said there is a demand for younger women wanting the pill in an emergency situation. "There is no scientific or medical reason that should stand in the way that exists at all. Therefore politics should not stand in the way of this either. "

We checked with several Dubuque-area pharmacies about how they'll handle the change. Owners of the Hartig Drug Store chain said they're looking into it but aren't sure how they'll proceed.
Union Family pharmacy said "no comment", Mercy Family pharmacy didn't return our calls.

Bellevue Pharmacy in Bellevue said they currently don't sell Plan B, because they've never had anyone request the drug.

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