‘Morning-after’ pill availability stirs some debate

Posted at 12:33 AM, May 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-01 00:33:31-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Soon the “morning -after” pill will be available, to 15-year-olds and up, without parental permission and without a prescription.

It's a ruling that's upset some parents while others say they don't see a problem.

Plan B One Step is better known as the morning-after pill.

"If it's taken within five days of the unprotected sex, it can stop a pregnancy,” said Planned Parenthood's Executive Director Cianti Stewart-Reid.“It does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases and if you are already pregnant, it doesn't stop that either."

Stewart-Reid says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's approval of a plan to market the pill without a prescription to females ages 15 years and older was the right step.

"It's great that teens and young adult women can have access to the drug without barriers and be able to prevent unintended pregnancies if back-up contraception failed," she said.

Ross Butler, the father of two teens agrees. "My 15 and 16-year-olds are just as mature as the 17-year-old age required now,” he said.

Other parents, though, see the pill as an ‘easy’ way out and believe it encourages kids to have sex, knowing there's an option at the pharmacy that can take care of careless activity.

"It's very concerning that they can walk into a pharmacy and purchase something that at 15, my child isn't mature enough to have,” said parent Heather Shires. “No child should be able to make that choice."

"I think somebody should know because there could be complications,” said parent Melissa Allen.“I'm not against choice, but I think it's a serious matter that parents should know about,"

For teenagers, proof-of-age will be required for sale of the pill and it isn’t cheap. A pill can range from $25 to $75, depending on where it is bought.