Wednesday is do or die for Plan B proponents pushing to have the controversial morning-after pill available on drugstore shelves for anyone to purchase, regardless of age, the Washington Post’s Rob Stein reports.
The pill is currently available either with a prescription or without for those 17-years-old and up.
But it’s up to the Federal Drug Administration to move the drug from behind pharmacist counters and onto shelves with everyday items like toothpaste and tampons.
Susan Wood, a longtime Plan B supporter, turned her back on her cushy FDA job to protest the agency’s refusal to change its policy back in 2005.
“If you got into a Wal-Mart and the pharmacy is closed, you’re out of luck,” Wood told the Post. “By having it on the shelf, more women will become aware of the availability of emergency contraception and won’t have to ask someone in an emergency situation about a very private and personal situation. Hopefully, that will help women when time is of the essence.”
But for every pro-Plan B argument, there are critics who argue the pill would prompt more teens to have unprotected sex. Seen by some as an OTC abortion pill, the drug works by keeping eggs from fertilization if taken within 72 hours of intercourse.
“It’s not a drug that prevents life — it’s a drug that destroys life,” Jeanne Monahan of the Family Research Council told the Post.