EUGENE, Ore. — The morning-after pill, often referred to as Plan B currently sits behind the counter at local pharmacies because women under 17 need a prescription for the pill.
A federal judge in New York ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make the morning-after pill available over the counter with no age restrictions.
Managers at the Eugene and Springfield Planned Parenthood said this decision would make the pill more widely available for everyone. “We trust that women old and young will use it as it serves their needs and use it appropriately, said Marilyn Helton, the Vice President of Patient Services at the Southwestern Oregon Planned Parenthood.
But the executive director of Oregon Right to life said the group does not support this change. “We like to air on a side of caution and let the girls know that it can be an abortive, and if it is then we’re obviously opposed to it,” said Gayle Atteberry, the executive director of Oregon Right to Life.
While Right to Life said the pill can sometimes abort pregnancies, “sometimes it actually stops the human embryo from implanting into the woman’s womb,” said Atteberry.
Planned Parenthood managers said this is not the case. “It’s exactly the same as birth control pills, only it’s in a higher formulation, it’s clearly in the contraceptive category and not in the abortion category,” said Helton.
Atteberry said the main concern she has with minors accessing the pill is that it takes parents out of the decision making process. “This decision just completely whisks away that chance that a parent might have and I think that is what would make me very angry if I were a parent of a minor right now,” said Atteberry.
Even though Planned Parenthood doctors prescribe the pill to minors, managers at the clinic said parents should still be involved in the decision making process.